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The Top 5 Foods to Fight the Flu for a Healthy You

Flu Season is officially here, and it is important that you keep your immune system healthy to fight off any bug that you may encounter.  Nobody wants to get sick, especially during the holidays, so it’s time to take action now! Here are the Top 5 Foods that Boost Your Immune System to survive this winter season. The best part is, you can combine all 5 in a yummy soup for a powerful anti-flu and anti-cold remedy!

1.    Garlic (Latin Name: “Allium Sativa”)

Garlic comes from the Liliaceae Family and is known for its powerful taste and smell, which are caused by its sulphur containing compounds known as allicin. Garlic has numerous immune stimulating properties, including being a powerful anti-microbial agent and diaphoretic, meaning it makes you sweat.  It can also be combined with other compounds, such as mullein and oil, to be used as eardrops for ear infections.  As a food, its pungent taste goes great in any soup and has the added effect of boosting circulation. If you are brave enough, try eating 1 clove per day for preventative purposes, but make sure you have some mouthwash nearby!

2.    Onions (Latin Name: “Allium Cepa”)

Cutting onions may bring tears to your eyes, but it’s worth it to stay healthy and fight those cold and flu bugs this season. Onions come from the same family as Garlic with a milder amount of sulphur containing compounds.  They have powerful antibacterial properties that are traditionally used in many contexts including mild infections, coughs and colds.  Recently, research has shown that onions contain some of the richest sources of dietary flavonoids, one of the most abundant being Quercetin.  These flavonoids have great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.  Flavonoids work by inhibiting the release of mediators of inflammation, such as histamine, from white blood cells, which means onions are also very powerful in helping to reduce allergies and asthma.

3.    Turmeric (Botanical Name: “Curcuma Longa”)

Turmeric is a root that is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects, especially with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. The active constituent “Curcumin” makes turmeric a top candidate across the board for healing numerous health conditions.  Turmeric possesses many powerful antiviral properties that aid in fighting off influenza and keeping those sniffles at bay. It’s often used in Indian and Chinese food, adding a little flavor to your dishes or dying clothes with it’s distinct yellow-orange color.

4. Ginger (Botanical Name: Zingiber)

It has been proven in many clinical studies that ginger is very beneficial in the treatment or prevention of nausea and motion sickness, making it a necessary addition to your cold and flu remedy stock.  It is also very warming and can treat cold hands and feet by increasing circulation. Ginger is usually more yellow in color and is a wonderful addition to dishes like stir-fry or soup.

5. Lemon Citrus

One of the most common remedies for colds and flus is lemon with honey.  Lemon comes from the citrus family with a reputation of being an excellent source of Vitamin C.  Vitamin C itself has many notable immune modulating effects by working as a natural antihistamine and helping to keep the immune cells in check.  The Vitamin C in lemon juice has many soothing properties to treat sore throats and calm congestion.  Honey accents the lemon’s healing powers by coating your throat for relief from the painful, itchy, sore throat that accompanies this season.

Add these ingredients to any meal during the cold and flu season to stay healthy, or combine them in a soup to kick that cold or flu right out of you!  Be well this season and Happy Holidays!

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