Fight Off Viruses with Herbs, Spices and Food

Fight Off Viruses with Herbs, Spices and Food
by Jennifer Elliot | December 3, 2013

The time of the year has arrived where cold and flu are almost impossible to avoid. We go to work completely swamped by germs. Our kids in school are not safe either. A casual shopping trip to a nearby supermarket or a book read are all avenues of welcoming germs into our bodies. Of course a visit to the doctor can certainly improve our health but for how long will we spend on medical bills?

If our internal system is not functioning well, that is, the immunity system, what good will the medicines do? When we weaken our immunity system by not providing enough nutrients it gets less responsive to germs, infections and viruses. This inclines us to ailments like flu, fever and the likes.

In spite of all this, there is a natural remedy to fight off viruses that ruin our health. Most of these remedies are simply sitting in our kitchen cabinets and fridges. These are herbs and spices which fight with viruses and upon including these in our regular diet we get stronger.

Herbs, Spices & Foods that Fight Off Viruses

There are a few herbs and spices to fight with viruses that cause sneezing, swollen throat, painful cough, common cold and runny nose in the fall and winter seasons. Here we have listed a few with their benefits:

Mint

Mint contains menthol contents which help in conditions like common cold. It can open up nasal passages and also provide soothing effect to sore throat with its cooling effect. To test the magic of this herb, add some fresh mint leaves in boiling water and take deep breaths in it, in the manner of taking steam, or you could even make a herbal mint tea which can be very soothing and healing.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon comes with anti-inflammatory properties and is widely used by doctors to treat conditions like sore throats and coughing. According to National Library of Medicine cinnamon also helps in treating vomiting, common cold, loss of appetite and infections. Cinnamon can be sprinkled on oatmeal, can be used as a spice in pasta sauce yielding a great taste and can also be mixed in yogurt for boosting immunity.

Citrus Fruits

Of course, there is no denying the fact that seasonal fruits were made for a reason. Stock up on fruits such as oranges, grape fruits, and pomogranates. 

Sea Food

Sea food like fish, prawns and crabs are considered fatty seafood picks. Chronic inflammation restricts the immune system to function at its optimum and can contribute to common cold, flu and serious medical conditions. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, nuts like walnuts and flax-seeds reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.

Consume fish at least twice a week, types can include mackerel, sardines, herring and salmon. Sea food increases the activity of white blood cells that protect our bodies from bacteria.

You can ward off illness this winter season by cutting down on junk food like ice cream, snacks like cookies and focus more on nutrient rich foods listed above to beat a healthier heart.

A Few Things to Avoid

Since we're discussing what all to eat in order to prevent and fight off flu viruses, let's also take a brief glimpse into what one should avoid from the beginning in order to reduce the chances of getting a flu or other winter viral infection.

First off, all things cold must be minimized, such as ice creams, lollies, cold drinks and the like.

Secondly, all things that have a cooling effect must also be minimized. This means going low on, say, things like sugar cane juice etc. 

Thirdly, though perhaps most important, try to double your intake of water. During fall and winter season, we are likely not to feel thirsty, but our bodies need the minimum amount of water nonetheless. So we must ensure that we give it the bare minimum that it requires, and then some. You could always mix some vitamin C powder in your water to give yourself a mini-treat as well.

Last but certainly not the least, cut back on rice, and tangy things.

About the Author - Jennifer Elliot

Jennifer Elliot takes her Nutrition (and yours) very seriously! She believes that the strongest weapon we have against all diseases, ailments and conditions is Nutrition. She also widely promotes the importance of exercise to maintain optimal health. Keep an eye out for Jennifer’s articles to remain updated on how to lead a nutritious life!

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