If you’re down with the flu, you can soon bid it adieu, as these superpower foods have been medically proven to reduce their symptoms, make it last a little shorter and just feel good.
The flu, or the common cold is the most common contagious ailment in almost every part of the world. Generally being viral in nature, the symptoms of the common cold can be triggered by a mere ‘achoo’ from nearby or by touching the hands of someone who has it or objects which carry its virus.
But, even if they enter your body, they cannot affect you if you have a strong immune system, which is crucial to maintain, so as not to contract mild to serious illnesses. Some basic ways of building that immunity includes, adding the essential nutrients to your diet, reducing your sugar intake, making sure you get an adequate amount of sleep, exercising regularly, handling your stress levels and maintaining good hygiene such as washing hands with the right technique.
However, if you do come down with that seasonal or viral flu that’s going around, unless it is a severe condition, taking those antibiotics would only burden your liver and kidneys and may even make the virus immune to a variety of treatments. So here are some home remedies that have gained a household name for itself to fight that common cold, along with medical evidence on how they work to get rid of that flu naturally.1
1. Chicken Soup
The oh-so-classic warm chicken soup, especially a home-cooked bone broth i.e. chicken stock slow-cooked on a low-flame, has been proven by medical research to reduce the effects of infectious diseases. Becoming a valid natural cold remedy, chicken soup makes it easy and palatable for those who are sick to digest it, complete with essential nutrients needed to increase the good bacteria in your intestines. Some of those nutrients include, silicon, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorous, glucosamine, and other compounds which come from the cartilage and bone minerals which are broken down, slowly infusing into a wholesome soup. It is also said to help lower inflammation, joint and body aches and help you sleep easier. Likewise, the overall effects of some chicken soup is said to heal your body faster and help you recover quickly. The cysteine in chicken soup also helps loosen and reduce the mucus in your nasal cavity and lungs so it can be come out easily. Although, grandma’s home remedy for colds has now been supported with some science, this does not include Campbell or any processed canned soup.
2. Vitamin C
Foods that are rich in vitamin C rich foods such as kiwi fruits, citrus fruits, broccoli, papaya, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red bell peppers and even Brussels sprouts, are renowned for fighting infectious diseases. Vitamin C also lessens the amount of time the viral flu lasts and even the intensity at which it affects you, especially respiratory tract infections. Health pro’s such as, Dr. Ronald Hunninghake, believe that vitamin C can help alleviate the symptoms of various illnesses be it a cold or cancer. Since they are packed with antioxidants, even a man who had a serious case of ‘swine flu’ named Allan Smith, escaped the fatalities of the disease by being put on an IV along with a digestive vitamin C tablet. Likewise, athletes who are looking to keep themselves healthy swear by vitamin C supplements.
3. Raw And Organic Vegetables
Some of those dark, leafy green veggies such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard and the like have potent anti-oxidants of flavonoids and carotenoids, as well as magnesium, which all help build an immunity against bad bacteria. You can make the best juice out of them if they are organic, fresh and raw.
4. Vitamin D
An essential nutrient that you can even get from sunlight, Vitamin D is plays a crucial role in combatting various illnesses because of its strong disinfecting properties. It alone is responsible for helping your body produce, over 300 kinds of antimicrobial peptides to kill all kinds of fungus, viruses and bacteria. If those levels of vitamin D go down even a tad bit, your immune systems responses slow down and make it easier for you to get a cold, or other respiratory illnesses. Some research to back that up was a large scale study conducted with about 19000 Americans who contracted colds more frequently because they had low vitamin D levels. Further studies showed that those with lower respiratory tract infections had higher amounts of vitamin D in their body. If natural ways to get your vitamin D are tough, try an oral vitamin D3 supplement but do pair it up with vitamin K2, if you are taking a lot of vitamin D3. Do keep your vitamin D levels consistently at 50 to 70 ng/ml, all year.
5. Animal Proteins
Eggs, especially organic farm-chicken eggs and organic grass-fed beef, are powerhouses of essential fatty-acids, vitamins A and E, zinc and proteins for boosting your immunity threefold. Organic cow-milk contains lot of good bacteria that facilitates the immune system and is rich in vitamin A. Do avoid the pasteurized ones as they are said to contain processing chemicals that worsen issues in the respiratory system especially causing relapsing colds and phlegm production.
6. Spices And Herbs
Spicy foods, whether it is some spicy cayenne or black pepper in your tomato soup will stimulate your body to release the watery fluids in your mouth and nasal cavity, throat, lungs, sweat glands, helping expel the excess fluids that starting flooding out. The piperine in black-pepper is said to help reduce fever and pain. Another spice and immune system’s best friend would be curcumin, a pigment found only in turmeric giving it that dark yellowish hue and killer anti-inflammation qualities.
The right amount of zinc per day, i.e. around 50 mg/day is said to cut down the duration of the cold symptoms to 24 hours and even lower the severeness of the symptoms. Found in scallops, shrimp and even fish, those with asthma, bad immune system strength, or any chronic illness should not take too much zinc.
8. Fermented Foods
Pickled food helps reset and flood your body with good bacteria, found in foods such as raw kefir limes, Korean pickled cabbage-kimchee, Japanese miso soups, sauerkraut and other pickles. Another example is, apple cider vinegar which has potent anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory characteristics, promoting the needed alkalinity in your gut for proper immune functioning.
9. Extracts And Oils
Some immune-boosting extracts include, olive leaf extract, which was used by Ancient Egyptians, and even some Mediterranean countries as a natural, non-chemical medicine. Another example is oregano oil, with a wealth of carvacrol that is best agent to rid your gut of bad bacteria and microbial build up. Coconut oil which has lauric acid also helps your body turn it into monolaurin, which is a plant-sourced essential fatty acid that is solely capable of destroying fat-coated viruses such as herpes, measles, acne, influenza and HIV.
10. Age-Old Forest Pickings
The final cold-fighting ingredient would be a bunch of age-old remedies that date back to the ancients in various countries, such as elderberry. Available as a syrup, it helps control the cold symptoms by causing sweat to release excess fluid build-up, thereby reducing congestion, and lessening the duration of the flu to just four days. From the same plant, the elder flower extracts are rich in the antioxidants of flavonoids and anthocyanins which are also found in blueberries, which strengthen the immune system, especially for lung issues. The ever-loved versatile garlic, if consumed raw or crushed before adding it to your food, is known to work more effectively as an antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal ingredient, helping you make a speedy recovery.
To make the most out of all these flu-fighting components, try making combos of them such as beef milk stew with turmeric, garlic, spinach, tomatoes and pepper. Or a lovely cup of hot tea mixed with elderflower, ginger and peppermint. These will make your body automatically decongest those phlegm ridden-respiratory channels and expel it out along-with the virus that caused it.
For optimum effect, try to avoid consuming too much sugar as it eradicates the needed microorganisms in your immune-system (which is located in your gut) and makes it hard to fight any invasive virus attacks. This includes white sugar, artificial sweeteners, and even processed foods
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