Foods that Fight the FluPosted: September 26, 2013
By: Liz Myers, September 26, 2013
Happy flu season, folks! That joyous season when a chorus of coughs fills the air, sneezes shower you with germs from every direction, and you find yourself shaking hands with someone who desperately needs a Kleenex. It’s a warzone out there. Fortunately, there are tasty ways that will help to reduce your likelihood of falling victim to the cold and flu virus.
The ginger root has long been valued for its natural medicinal purposes, and science can support the plant’s benefits for the flu season. This flavorful herb fends off rhinoviruses, better known as the common cold virus, with chemicals called sesquiterpenes. Moreover, if the sesquiterpenes didn’t build up a defense quick enough and you’ve caught the infection, ginger also helps to suppress coughing, reduce fever, and relieve pain. So stock up and use it to flavor your tea, soup, or vegetable dishes. However you enjoy it, make sure it’s the real deal; processed products like Schweppes Ginger Ale won’t give you the full benefits.
Believe it or not, a spoonful of honey to help your cold isn’t just an old wives’ tale. The sweet syrup coats your throat, providing relief when it is sore from a cold or the flu. Honey is also full of antioxidants to boost your body’s immune system. Look for buckwheat honey, which is the richest in antioxidants. The honey that you buy at your local grocery store is most likely clover honey, which contains the lowest levels of antioxidants.
While red wine is often used to relax, to have a good time, and sometimes, as a last minute gift to bring to a dinner party, suddenly, the drink is being touted for its medical purposes as well. Not only does red wine improve heart health when consumed in moderation, it also contains chemicals called resveratrol and polyphenols that prevent the flu virus from multiplying if it were to enter your system. For those non-drinkers, peanuts and grape leaves contain the same chemicals.
I must also stress that getting your flu shot should be the first step in staying healthy this season. With a shot and a flu-fighting diet, your immune system should be prepared to ward off any infection that comes its way. For more foods with immune boosting benefits, visit http://www.rodale.com/healing-foods-cold-and-flu.