Few things are quite as bothersome as a sore throat. Often a sore throat is the first symptom to strike when a cold is coming on, and we search for relief in the drug store with fruity lozenges and chloraseptic spray. Next time you feel your throat becoming sore or scratchy, head to the grocery store instead of the drug store. Many fruits, vegetables, and herbs are capable of saving the day with their antioxidant-rich powers and can sometimes help you avoid that trip to the doctor.ginger. Combine fresh ginger, shredded or chopped, and hot water and you’re well on the road to recovery. Ginger has been used for thousands of years in China to treat cold symptoms, such as a sore throat. According to Livestrong.com, “For cold and flu-like symptoms such as headaches and sore throat, the University of Mississippi Medical Centert suggests adding two tablespoons of fresh ginger to a cup of hot water and allow[ing] it to stand and drink two to three times per day.”
While you’re in the produce department finding your ginger root, make sure to stop by the fresh herbs. Sage, fragrant and green, has been used for decades to ease achy throats. With astringent, antiseptic, and antibacterial qualities, this herb creates an aromatic tea that’s perfect for easing a scratchy or sore throat.
If ginger and sage don’t appeal to you, stick to the basics: fruits (and, remember, whole fruits are always better than juices) high in vitamin C, lots of herbal teas, leafy green vegetables, and soft foods such as eggs and bananas. Foods such as watermelon and broccoli contain high amounts of glutathione, which is “critical for immune function and controlling inflammation,” according to Dr. Mark Hyman. Glutathione “is the master detoxifier and the body's main antioxidant, protecting our cells and making our energy metabolism run well.”
Like eggs, bananas are an easily ingested food if you have a sore throat. If you don’t like the taste, try mixing it into a smoothie with some other vitamin-packed fruits such as strawberries or blueberries.
Packed with vitamin C, sulfur, vitamin K, and other antioxidants, cabbage is a great vegetable to incorporate into your diet. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can even relieve headaches.
This story was originally published on November 19, 2014.