One of my biggest frustrations during winter is falling prey to colds (common cold) and flu. It’s funny how every year we all experience some form of a cold or flu and despite it being a massive disruption to our lives we have little or no preparation to combat it – or at least to minimise its affect.
Yesterday evening during our weekly friend’s reunion at our regular coffee shop three out of five friends were either coughing, sneezing or were convinced they had a cold. I then decided to share a little of what I do during winter to shield myself from common colds and flu – this led to a discussion which they found to be very educational. So I’ve decided to share with you exactly what I discussed yesterday. Personally, I believe the best way to combat the illness is to educate ourselves in knowing what simple steps we can take to increase our resistance in catching common colds or a flu. Over the past couple of years I have revived a simple method which my mother uses, a method which I use to run a mile to avoid as we were growing up at home – but now I fully appreciate its value and deep benefit’s.
Here I present to you healing foods to help fight colds and flu, admittedly it’s not a complete list of foods that help, as I can imagine there to be many many more, nevertheless these foods are easily available and should be a good starting point for anyone.
1 – – Chicken Soup
This is my favourite and brings back good memories at home when I was growing up. Chicken soup normally is the best type of food to eat during winter and not necessarily consumed when the cold or flu has struck. It’s also known as nature’s penicillin and is the top contender for its remedial and curative powers. Steaming hot Chicken soup is fantastic for the prevention of clogged airwaves and the nutritious broth injects required energy to keep you resistance levels high. To give that extra healing ability I tend to add plenty of mixed vegetables and species – if you can make it then don’t be ashamed to eat plenty of it on a regular basis.
2 – – Hot and spicy food
If you are like me and enjoy experimenting with species on a long, dark, cold, wintry evenings then cook an Indian curry using plenty of garlic, horseradish, chillies or spicy sauces. The combination of spicy ingredients helps prevent congestion and drowsiness.
3 – – Water or Fluids
One of the worst liquids you can take during winter or when infected with cold or flu are coffee, fizzy or sweetened drinks (much like my friends yesterday at the coffee shop). Instead take plenty of water and pure fruit juices. While I was out shopping I realised you could buy lime and ginger tea as well as chamomile or peppermint herbal tea cheap and in bulk buy with plenty of other flavours – so why not just stock up for winter. The simplest cost affective drink is simply hot water and a slice or lime/lemon.
4 – – Garlic
In general antibiotics are really ineffective against viral infections of the sort that reason most colds and flu. This is where garlic comes in – it’s a broad spectrum antibiotic with natural powerful antibacterial properties. As well as the powerful antibacterial Allicin, garlic is proven to produce a number of other potentially beneficial compounds.
Garlic is known to help treat the symptoms of colds and flu and it’s mainly seen as a preventative ingredient, I find that its best to eat plenty of garlic before the cold/flue infection is caught. This ingredient has positive effects for the immune system as a whole – hence why off the shelf herbal supplements on the market contain garlic.
5 – – Vitamin C and Citrus Fruits
It’s vital during winter to increase vitamin C intake so increase the consumption of citrus fruits. Few years ago, I added a glass of orange juice to my breakfast to increase the protective vitamins. Vitamin C is in Potatoes, green peppers, strawberries and pineapples, all these food can help as your daily cold-fighting food arsenal.
6 – – Ginger
This is another ingredient which is used during winter. Ginger in China is big – I know this as some students during University period always had their tea with ginger. Its part of Chinese traditional medicine since it possesses strong yang energy which warms the stomach and lungs. The Chinese have used this ingredient for over 2500 years to treat congestion, sinus pain and sore throat. Its best to take ginger in your tea crushed or hot water with a drop of lime or lemon, but the idea is to allow the ginger to brew for at least 5 minutes allowing the ginger to release some of its magic.
Traditional medicine which has been used for centuries is the best way to build a stronger immune system and will naturally give you a better level of resistance against illnesses such as common colds and flu. I think people need to have a little more faith in natural medicine, which has been used for centuries around the world. For me it unquestionably worth it – for I was someone who would easily catch a cold and suffer especially during my University days as a student.
Do you have any natural healing foods/ingredients which you use to combat colds and flu during winter? I’d like to read your experiences – perhaps you can recommend a few in the hope that we can benefit from them too.
In addition to eating healing foods it’s important to continue exercising during winter. Our bodies are designed to learn in all situations (including cold and freezing temperatures) and getting use to exercising during winter is another good way to combat illnesses. A fit body and a healthy mind along with a strong immune system are perfect to stay active during winter fighting the horrible illnesses you can catch out there. I tend to jog in the evenings no matter what the weather – not only do I enjoy the different weather conditions I find it beneficial in subjecting my body to different conditions.
Do you have any tips to fight the common cold and flu?