With winter nearly here, its time to start preparing for the cold and flu season. We have put together a few suggestions of ways to help prevent infections through natural remedies that boost the immune system and help your body cleanse toxins.
Garlic is well known throughout history as a food that fights infections from bacteria and viruses. Garlic stimulates and activates the immune system to help fight off and destroy cold and flu viruses. Handy tip - Chew a healthy-sized sprig or two of parsley after eating the garlic as it helps minimise the garlic smell.
Onions contain Quercetin, a nutrient that breaks up mucus in your head and chest while boosting your immune system. When the smell of raw onions makes your nose run and your eyes tear up, this stimulates your immune system to fight infection. Onions also contain Allicin which slows down and kills a variety of viruses and bacteria. The pungency of onions increases your blood circulation and makes you sweat. This effect is helpful during cold weather to prevent infections and to sweat out a cold or flu.
Consuming fresh raw white onion within a few hours of the first symptoms of a cold or flu is when you'll get the strongest immune effect.
Ginger reduces fevers, soothes sore throats, and encourages coughing to remove mucus from the chest. The chemicals shagaols and gingerols in ginger give it that spicy kick that stimulates blood circulation and opens your sinuses. Improved circulation means that more oxygen is getting to your tissues to help remove toxins and viruses.
Just cut up a hunk of fresh ginger (no need to peel) and pour a lot of boiling water over it. A little honey, a little lemon, and it's the perfect winter tonic.
Horseradish strengthens your immune system and increases blood flow to parts of your body irritated by cold and flu infections to remove wastes. This pungent food encourages you to flush out infected fluids through sweat and increased urination. Horseradish is known to stimulate your lungs to cough out mucus from colds and flus while heating up your body. This powerful plant is also antibacterial which prevents other problems like sinus infections from taking hold while you're sick.
- Use with sushi instead of traditional wasabi.
- Add to your hummus or guacamole.
- Use in a sandwich or wrap for a little extra zing.
- Add about a teaspoon to your salad dressing, again zing.
Cayenne pepper contains the chemical capsicum, a source of vitamin C that aids your immune system in fighting colds and flus. The powerful effect of Vitamin C comes from bioflavonoids that help your body produce white blood cells, especially the white blood cells of your lymphatic system that cleanse your cells and tissues of toxins. Cayenne pepper, also full of beta carotene and antioxidants that support your immune system, helps build healthy mucus membrane tissue that defends against viruses and bacteria. Spicy cayenne peppers raise your body's temperature to make you sweat, increasing the activity of your immune system.
The chemicals that give these hot and spicy foods their kick are also responsible for their immune boosting power. These foods act as antiviral remedies, enhancing your immune system, making it easier for your body to fight viral infections. These antiviral foods work best when consumed throughout the year to keep your immune system in top form.
MSM (source of Organic Sulphur) - is a nutritional supplement that can also help to normalise and maintain the immune system and improve general well being. Simply add one teaspoon to water daily to help fortify your health against any infections. You may also notice as an added bonus your hair may become shinier, your skin smoother and your nails stronger!