Flu season is here — and runny noses, fevers, and sore throats seem to be inevitable in these cold winter months. Although we can’t totally control whether or not we get sick, we can choose to use food in our fight against the flu. We’ve compiled a list of everyday ingredients that you can use to prevent illness, heal that cough, and sooth your sore throat.
Trade in your chai tea for chamomile. Add some shaved ginger and honey, and you'll be well on the road to recovery. Chamomile has been proven to boost immunity and help you sleep, in addition to treating nausea, fever, and inflammation, according to WebMD. If chamomile isn’t your "cup of tea," opt for peppermint tea, which has been linked to thinning mucus and boosting immune health.
Next, put down the cough medicine. According to numerous studies, ginger acts as an impressive, all-natural expectorant helping those with respiratory infections, according to Livestrong.com. Proven to loosen mucus in the lungs, this herb is useful for more than morning sickness, and can be added to tea, sautéed vegetables, or contemporary desserts. If you don’t have any ginger in the fridge, try an onion. Onions have been used as a natural expectorant that also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, and have even been said to be a healing agent for bronchitis.
To help fight off illness, boost your immune system with a nutrition-packed lunch. Simple modifications of the common brown-bag lunch can increase your chances of staying healthy during flu season. Trade in a sandwich for a salad with salmon or a tuna wrap. According to Health.com, fish including salmon and tuna act as superfoods that fight the common cold. In addition to reducing inflammation, omega-3s found in these fish have been proven to deplete anxiety and increase immune health.
Whether you’re trying to prevent the common cold or fight off the flu, food acts a powerful tool in protecting yourself against illness. Simple, everyday ingredients can be used to increase immune health and recover from a case of the sniffles, or even the flu. Introduce a few of these ingredients into your daily routine for an instant immunity boost, replacing that trip to the doctor with an enjoyable afternoon spent in the grocery store.