Garlic: Nature’s immune booster

 garlic2As we head into winter, many of us are expecting our annual dose of that dreaded cold. While we should always visit our local doctor or health clinic when needed, there are many natural herbs and foods we can use to help boost our immune system.

Foods like garlic, capsicum, lemons, onions, chillies and ginger are very effective in both keeping our immune systems strong and, if we do catch that cold, helping to it off as well. The most powerful of these natural cold and flu fighters is garlic. This herb is packed with antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. The chemical compound that works its magic is called Allicilin. Garlic’s healing power is most effective in its raw form.

Crush it and allow it to sit for 10 minutes and swallow it with water. If you can’t access raw garlic or find it hard to diges, it can be bought in capsule form from most pharmacies and supermarkets. Ginger contains a chemical that specifically targets the most common family of cold viruses. It’s a natural pain and fever reducer and has calming properties, allowing you to rest when you’re sick.

So try adding shredded gingerroot to your tea. Chillies are also a great way to treat and prevent the cold and flu. They induce healthy sweating and also clear a blocked nose or congested lungs. They’re high in vitamins A and B, the antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and protect us from infections and viruses. Everyone knows that eating chillies can be difficult but using them in cooked dishes will lessen their intensity. Vitamin C is also helpful in warding off the cold. Foods rich in this vitamin are capsicum, kiwi fruit, oranges, strawberries and lemons.

Eating plenty of these foods will help boost your immune system and allow it to take on an invading germ. Chicken Soup has often been referred to as the food of choice when battling a cold. This is because it’s easily and quickly digested, giving you the valuable nutrients you need when your appetite might be is affected through short term illness. Just remember that it is vital to remain hydrated when you have the cold, so drink plenty of water. Try adding these super foods to your daily diet. They’ll help strengthen your immune system and help fight off that dreaded winter cold.

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