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Preventative Medicine: Natural Foods that Fight the Flu

Your diet does more than determine your body's shape!  Everything that we put into our bodies play a vital role (and could be the most important factor) in our overall health and longevity!  Cold and Flu season is just around the corner - and while you may have stocked up on hand sanitizer, flu medicine and maybe even vaccines, why not incorporate some natural foods that can act as preventative, natural medicine?  Maintain your great health by including some of these natural and delicious foods into your daily routine.

1. Raw Garlic

Garlic is an amazing staple for any diet regardless if it is cold and flu season, or not!  It's rich in compounds called allion and allicin that destroy viruses before they can spread throughout the body.  Eating (or chewing) raw garlic is the best way to truly feel all of the benefits - however if this is not to your taste, you can try to incorporate it into recipes that you already enjoy!  Adding garlic with a glass of hot water (and honey which has many soothing benefits) is a great way to stay hydrated, to treat sickness that has already commenced, and to escape from the intensity of the garlic flavour!
2. Onions

Onions contain the same compounds as garlic that fight viruses from spreading or surviving in our bodies.  It is also best to eat raw onion (try it in a salad or on top of a lettuce wrap) or added into a stir-fry if raw onion is too strong for you!
3. Spices

Spices like Tumeric, Cloves, and Cinnamon act as strong antioxidants and fight off cold and flu symptoms!  

4. Berries and Yogurt

Raw Berries are a great source of antioxidants that can prevent and also treat illnesses.  Blueberries are recorded to have the highest amount of antioxidants, but other fruits that are great include Pomegranates, Blackberries, Raspberries and Strawberries.  A great way to incorporate these into your diet is mixing them with Greek Yogurt.  This food is very beneficial to anyone starting to get sick, or preventing illness, because of it's probiotics!  The bacterial balance in our stomachs can be restored by eating Greek Yogurt - which also means that our immune systems will become much stronger and more active in fighting infections.

5. Hot Soup

Yes, it's true!  It's not just a myth that Chicken Noodle Soup is therapeutic when you are sick!  There are many reasons that a hot bowl of soup (preferably fresh and not from a can) will make you feel better when you are sick.  First, it's high in water content, so you can stay hydrated which is essential in keeping your body healthy and restoring health if you have already started to come down with a cold.  Second, high temperatures are uninviting and very detrimental for cold and flu viruses - it doesn't allow them to grow or spread.  Did you know that there are protein groups included in chicken that have antiviral properties? So why not indulge in a bowl of Classic Chicken Noodle Soup? 
6. Green Tea

Green tea contains another natural antioxidant that is one of the most potent that has been discovered.  It's abbreviation is ECGC - and this compound can dramatically reduce the amount of free radicals and infections in the body.   Green Tea also adds heat and moisture to the body, allowing it's natural systems to fight the disease more efficiently and effectively.

7. Ginger

Many natural medicines for cold and flu include ginger - and there are many reasons why!  Ginger can boost serotonin in the body and also alleviates nausea or an upset stomach.  Try chopping it into your next salad, or adding it (with some honey to soothe) into your next green tea!  

Already Sick?

Fluids, Fluids, Fluids!  Try adding cinnamon, turmeric, anise, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, and honey into your next hot tea (or glass of hot water)!  It might not be as sweet and tasty as your usual herbal tea - but your body will thank you for this nutritious drink!  You can also find great supplements (Garlic, Onion, and Antioxidants like Vitamin C) if you find it hard to add these foods to your diet every day!  Look for something natural with no added sugar or unnecessary chemicals.