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9 Foods That Fight Colds and Flus


"Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” - Hippocrates

Food has the power to do much more than satisfy our hunger. What we eat provides the building blocks of our health. It can fuel us, heal us, or harm us...and the choice is ours to make.

Certain foods can boost our immune systems and protect against illnesses, including seasonal colds and flus. Adding these sources of whole nutrition to our diets is what we call preventative medicine.

The best foods to fight colds and flus

1. Garlic

This easy-to-grow vegetable is well-known for its immune-boosting properties.

Studies have shown that garlic supplements can help prevent the common cold and reduce the duration and severity of illness.

You don’t necessarily need expensive supplements though. You can add chopped garlic into pasta sauces, curries, soups and stews, or brew your own garlic tea.

2. Ginger

Ginger provides us with another potent source of healing nutrition. While best known for reducing symptoms of nausea, this spicy rhizome also packs a powerful punch of antioxidants and antimicrobial properties.

Its therapeutic properties can be best enjoyed in hot tea, curry, salad dressing, or meat and fish marinades.

3. Orange

This citrus fruit is infamous for its ability to boost immune systems. Its preventative power comes from vitamin C, among other antioxidants, and its antimicrobial properties.

Other citrus fruits like limes, lemons, and tangerines are also beneficial in fighting colds and flus.

You can eat oranges raw, stewed into sauce, or in hot tea. You can also drink citrus juice, but make sure it’s pure juice with no added sugars to get the most healing benefits.

4. Green tea

We should all be drinking more green tea. The medicinal properties in each cup
can help your immune system fight off viruses like influenza and reduce your risk of infections.

Green tea does much more for your health than fight common colds and flus. It’s also a known anti-cancer agent and has even been shown to reduce your risk of chronic illness like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

5. Honey

Raw honey is a powerful elixir of antibacterial properties that can help fight common colds and flus. It makes a perfect addition to any cup of tea, homemade sore throat lozenge, or it can be taken on its own.

Make sure you’re choosing high-quality honey, ideally from an organic or local source.

6. Red chili peppers

Spicy foods in general help relieve symptoms of common colds and flus. They can help clear stuffy nasal passages and reduce body pains caused by inflammation.

Antioxidant-rich red chili peppers have a special place in preventative medicine. Containing high levels of capsaicin, they provide an easy and effective way to add some healing spice to your next meal. You can add them fresh, dried, or powdered to soups, stews, curries, and stirfrys.

7. Chicken bone broth

Chicken soup shouldn’t be saved for when you’re already sick. The nutritional properties in chicken bone broth can be used to prevent a whole host of ailments.

Drinking bone broth has been shown to boost your immune system, reduce inflammation in the respiratory system, and improve digestion. The therapeutic properties work together to balance your system and improve overall wellness.

If making your own bone broth isn’t feasible, opt for organic options that avoid additives like MSG.

8. Turmeric

Turmeric is best-known for fighting inflammation, but it can also be used to prevent colds and flus. The healing nature of this root comes from the same thing that gives it its yellow colour: the polyphenol known as curcumin.

There are several ways we can consume turmeric. We can take a supplement, mix it into yellow curry, stirfry, tea, or make “golden milk.”

9. Oregano

Herbs in general provide a tasty way to boost our immune-systems and reap the rewards of an antioxidant-rich diet, but oregano stands out among the rest for its higher concentrations of healing bioactive compounds.  

Oregano can be used in a wide variety of dishes from pizzas to pastas to marinades, or it can be taken as an oil supplement.