We are officially in full gear in the Flu Season and it is important that you keep your immune system healthy so you can fight off any bug that you may encounter.
Here are the Top 5 Foods that will Boost your Immune System and survive this winter season. The best part is, you can make a dish that combines all 5 of these foods together and use it as an anti-flu and anti-cold remedy!
1. Garlic (Latin Name: “Allium Sativa”)
Garlic comes from the Liliaceae Family and is usually used in its bulb form. It is known for it’s powerful taste and smell, this is mainly due to sulphur containing compounds known as allicin.
Garlic has numerous immune stimulating properties including being a powerful diaphoretic “makes you sweat” and anti-microbial agent. It can also be combined with other compounds such as muellin and oil and be used as ear drops to treat ear infections. As a food, it’s pungent taste will go great in any soup and will definitely increase circulation. If you are brave enough, try eating 1 clove per day for preventative purposes but make sure you have some mouthwash near by.
2. Onions (Latin Name: “Allium Cepa”)
Onions come from the same family as Garlic. They also contain sulphur containing compounds, only a little bit more on the mild side, although it may not seem that way because cutting raw onions can sometimes make you cry. Traditionally, onions have been used in many contexts including mild infections, coughs and colds because of antibacterial actions. 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 and work by inhibiting the release of mediators of inflammation such as histamine from white blood cells. Onions are also very powerful in helping to reduce allergies and asthma.
3. Turmeric (Botanical Name: “Curcuma Longa”)
This root has been historically linked to countries such as India and China and has been well known for anti-inflammatory effects on autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. The active constituent “Curcumin” makes turmeric a top candidate across the board for numerous health conditions. Turmeric resembles ginger root because they both come from the same Zingerberaceae family. It is a distinctive yellow-orange color and because the pigment is so bright, it has historically been used a dye for clothing. Turmeric possesses many antiviral properties and can help fight off influenza.
4. Ginger (Botanical Name: Zingiber)
Ginger has many beneficial uses. There are numerous clinical research findings to show ginger’s efficacy in treatment and prophylaxis for motion sickness and nausea. Ginger is very warming and can be great for warming up cold extremities. Unlike Turmeric, Ginger is usually more yellow in color and it tastes wonderful in foods such as stir-frys and soups.
5. Lemon Citrus
A very common remedy used for colds and flus is honey with lemon. Lemon comes from the citrus family and had a reputation for containing excellent sources 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. This vitamin has many soothing properties to help treat a sore throat and calm congestion.
Dr. Linda Khoshaba received her Doctorate from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Her main areas of focus include women’s health, pediatric medicine, diabetes management, and prolotherapy. She completed her Master’s Degree in Health Promotion and Public Health where she focused mainly on patient self management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. She attended the University of Western Ontario, Canada where she was awarded an Honors Degree in Health Sciences.