Cold seasons put our immune system to the test and increase the likelihood of catching a cold or flu. And while there are a multitude of medications that help relieve the symptoms, they do not help the body cope with the infection. Certain foods help fight seasonal flu , or at least reduce its symptoms and bacteria. The elderly, pregnant women and infants, who are more fragile during this period, must adopt a healthy diet to strengthen the immune system. It is therefore interesting to look at natural remedies which are also effective antiviral drugs which, on the contrary, stimulate our immune system and facilitate the healing process. These natural foods below are a first step, especially for older people who are more affected by complications during this winter period.
Here are our 6 favorite immuno-stimulating foods:
Garlic stimulates the immune system and is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent, thanks to one of its components: allicin. It is able to increase the production of white blood cells, the body 's first line of defense against pathogens. It is also rich in vitamin C and B6 and is a good source of minerals such as manganese, calcium , phosphorus and selenium. To consume it, it can be combined with other foods, such as onion and chili pepper, or it can be swallowed as is with water, just like medicine. If you do not like its taste, then choose to consume it in tablets available in pharmacies.
Used in traditional oriental medicine, ginger root is recommended for its natural antitussive properties. Ginger is an effective food, not only for fighting fever due to the flu, but also for nausea and fatigue. It contains antiviral substances, it fights against sore throats, inflammation of the mucous membranes and coughs. There are several ways to use ginger to combat a bad cold. The simplest method is to consume ginger in the form of herbal tea.
In practice: let 10g of fresh ginger pieces infuse for 8 minutes.
It is the anti-flu food par excellence, a real remedy for winter. It is loaded with vitamin C , which is known to support the body 's natural defenses. Lemon (and lime) juice is said to decrease the strength of cold and flu viruses in the body and reduce phlegm. It is present in most home remedy recipes to fight influenza viruses and respiratory tract infections, as a main or secondary ingredient.
In practice: add lemon juice to your tea or make hot or cold lemonade with honey.
It is known to have many antioxidant and anti-viral properties. Its polyphenol content helps to strengthen our immune defenses and ensure the protection of white blood cells against the free radicals responsible for their damage. In addition, drinking a lot in winter is a very good idea, because good hydration helps fight flu, headaches and germs effectively.
In practice: if you have cold or flu symptoms (or if you feel them coming), drink 3 to 4 cups of green tea per day to support your body and help it eliminate pathogens.
Fermentation will significantly increase the nutritional value of foods: content of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, etc. By interacting with our intestinal flora, these microorganisms will also increase the digestibility of foods. They are natural probiotics and help to maintain a diverse and healthy intestinal flora. However, a large number of our immune cells are located in the intestine. Probiotics therefore play a major defense role against infections, viruses and other pathogens. For other probiotics, do not hesitate to see your pharmacist for more information.
In practice: regularly consume kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi or kombucha ;)
Thyme has an antispasmodic action on the respiratory tract which makes it an effective cough suppressant.
Inhaled in the form of essential oil, it has an effective expectorant action which causes bronchial secretions to become thinner and promotes their elimination.
In practice: you can take it as an infusion or use a diffuser to inhale its essential oil at the first signs of a cold or flu.
Ginger and lemon tea recipe
Cut a lemon and a 3 cm piece of ginger and immerse in boiling water. Add the honey of your choice. Leave to infuse for a few minutes. The tea can be flavored with cloves, a cinnamon stick, allspice and peppermint. When the first symptoms of the flu epidemic appear (sneezing, pain, fever, aches, etc.), drinking tea can prevent the infection from progressing. If you are already sick, ginger tea helps relieve cold symptoms and speeds recovery.