It’s estimated that on average more than 200,000 people each year get the flu and are hospitalised as a result Yet it’s possible to prevent or even stop the symptoms of cold or flu from getting worse with a little nutritional know-how. All your body needs is the right nutrients to support the immune system. Here are five of the best tips for keeping colds and flu at bay.
1. EAT PLENTY OF FOODS WITH ANTI-VIRAL PROPERTIES
This includes foods like cinnamon, garlic, ginger, lemon, oregano and turmeric amongst others. All of these can be drunk as teas, added to food or taken in the form of supplements. Turmeric is particularly good because it contains curcuminoids – antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown in studies to fight viral infections by blocking the interaction between the virus and the host cells.
2. ADD MORE VITAMIN C TO YOUR DIET
The immune system can be boosted by adding more vitamin C into the diet. l This is because vitamin C attacl<s the nucleic acid of the virus and the antioxidant properties fight the bacteria within the body until they are gone. Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, red peppers, kale, broccoli and grapefruit. However, one of the best ways to ensure you are getting enough is to supplement using a liposomal form of vitamin C.
3. EAT LIGHTLY
Eating fewer foods can help the immune and digestive systems to focus on removing the virus, without having to spend time focusing on digesting foods instead. Good choices include fresh juices, soups, steamed veggies and salads. All of these are ideal options as they provide the body with the nutrition it needs, without having to work too much at digestion. It’s also important to avoid cold drinks and foods where possible, to prevent the body from having to work too hard at maintaining a normal temperature.
4. AVOID STARCHY CARBS AND DAIRY PRODUCTS
Grains and foods that contain dairy, corn, soy, meat or sugar are best avoided as these can create an inflammatory response within the body. Once these foods are eliminated, it’s possible for the body to naturally start healing itself. But it needs to be free of the foods that are causing it internal damage and upsetting the stomach in order for this to happen.
5. DRINK HOT LIQUIDS
Drinking tea can help with relieving nasal congestion and preventing dehydration. Hot liquids can also soothe any inflamed membranes lining the nose and throat. If you are congested so much that you can’t sleep at night, then a cup of herbal tea can help. Good herbal teas to consider drinking include echinacea, ginger, peppermint or turmeric.
Follow these five tips and you should be fighting fit this winter.