Tis this season…for sore throats, stuffy noses, and body aches. The flu – or at least flu-like and cold symptoms are almost impossible to avoid. While I can’t tell you how to prevent catching the germs of others sans vaccines, I can tell you where I turn to when I want to boost my immune system the minute the first cough comes out: my kitchen.
These 3 preventative tips were introduced to me over the years through family and friends, and they remain popular because they actually work! So while the winter weather sets in and the holidays quickly approach, stay happy and healthy with these DIY remedies:
- Raw Garlic: While some people prefer to mince it, I personally like to avoid the bad breath that comes along with eating garlic. As soon as I feel a cold coming on I take a clove (or two) of garlic and, if the cloves are large, cut them into smaller pieces, about the size of a pill, and swallow them whole. Raw garlic has antiviral compounds and enzymes in it that will help fight illness, so however you want to prepare it is up to you (oils, teas, or just chewing on the clove all work just as well).
- Red Bell Peppers: I admit my go-to for vitamin C growing up was always orange juice. I associate the vitamin with citrus, and orange juice was my favorite way to consume it. Now, based on my personal dietary needs and preferences, I rarely consume sugary juices, and even a lot of fruits for that matter. Don’t get me wrong: oranges are still an excellent source of vitmain C. BUT did you know that a red bell pepper has 3X the C?! That was great news for me, since peppers are one of my favorite vegetables. Like lots of produce – though not all – these are best consumed raw for all their health benefits.
- Ginger Tea: Even just the aroma has me feeling back to 100%. I prepare it by mincing fresh ginger and placing it in a pot of water. Once the water comes to a boil I cover it, turn the heat to medium-low and let it boil for about 15-20 minutes. I then strain the pieces out and add the tea to a cup, adding a slice of lemon and a spoonful of raw honey. Ginger is best for a sore throat but works just as well for an upset stomach.
What home remedies do you use for cold and flu season? How has your diet helped (or hurt) your ailments and illnesses? Share your advice with everyone and let’s start off 2015 on a healthy note!