Fight flu with the right food

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - LIFESTYLE - An­jali Muk­er­jee (Nu­tri­tion­ist)

In­fluenza or flu, is a res­pi­ra­tory tract in­fec­tion caused by a va­ri­ety of flu viruses with symp­toms such as fa­tigue, fever or headaches. In­stead of turn­ing to end­less pills, it’s bet­ter to try nat­u­ral reme­dies that en­hance our im­mune sys­tem.

A few tips to strengthen one’s im­mune sys­tem:

Flu­ids: Have plenty of warm wa­ter, soups, juices and wa­tery broths to flush toxic by-prod­ucts out of the body as quickly and ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble. Avoid drinks with di­uretic (fluid-elim­i­nat­ing) prop­er­ties, such as tea, cof­fee, al­co­hol and car­bon­ated bev­er­ages.

Vi­ta­min C: It is well­known for treat­ing and pre­vent­ing colds by boost­ing our im­mu­nity. In­clude fruits and veg­eta­bles rich in vi­ta­min C such as or­anges, goose­ber­ries, sweet lime, broc­coli, pineap­ple, cab­bage, cau­li­flower, and sweet potato in the diet.

Gar­lic: It helps fight bac­te­ria and virus. On test­ing the blood of those who ate about 15 cloves a day, it was found that their blood con­tained more po­tent T-lym­pho­cytes and macrophages, (which in­crease nat­u­ral killers ac­tiv­ity and in­crease im­mu­nity) than non-gar­lic eaters. Eat four to five cloves of raw gar­lic ev­ery day.

Honey: It is full of an­tiox­i­dants and has long been used to help treat sore throats and other bac­te­rial in­fec­tions. It also can as­sist in the growth of friendly bac­te­ria in the in­tes­tine and thus im­proves di­ges­tive health. It’s ad­vis­able to have a ta­ble­spoon of honey with warm wa­ter or as a sugar sub­sti­tute in your drinks. Gin­ger: It con­tains a nat­u­ral plant com­pound called gin­gerol that can help fight off in­fec­tions and flu. You can have gin­ger as tea, or as fresh juice, with honey and warm wa­ter.

Radish: It is an ex­cel­lent rem­edy for thin­ning down mu­cous, clear­ing si­nuses, blocked nose, mu­cous-re­lated mi­graines, etc. Raw radish juice helps to thin down mu­cous, to re­duce phlegm and to ease sore throat, usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with flu.

Zinc: Foods rich in zinc have been found to im­prove im­mu­nity lev­els. These are whole­grain ce­re­als such as ba­jra, jowar, wheat bran, wheat­germ, all shell­fish, most lentils, skimmed milk, peanuts, pump­kin and watermelon seeds, spinach, etc.

Spices: Any food that is spicy enough to make your eyes wa­ter will have the same ef­fect on your nose, pro­mot­ing re­lease of mu­cus and break­ing up of con­ges­tion. Tak­ing a bowl of chilli or other spicy foods con­tain­ing hot pep­per sauce, gin­ger, cloves, hot mus­tard or garam masala helps.

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