Healing Foods for Flu Season

It’s no secret that it is currently flu season here in Aus so while we all try to avoid that suspicious coughing friend (be honest at least one of your friends is looking a little under the weather) there are some things you can do to help prevent being that friend and it’s as simple as caring for your body with nutritious food. If you have been reading my blog for a while then this probably doesn’t surprise you as health and well-being is very important to me (after all a lot of my recipes on the blog have been adapted to be more wholesome).

When I feel under the weather I pack my body full of these wholefoods:

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1) Ginger

Ayurvedic medicine puts a high status on ginger as a healing spice and it’s no wonder when it can help aid the absorption of nutrients in the body, help digestion and aid nausea. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties that help ease painful joints and reduce the severity of headaches (important when the flu shakes hit!)

2) Lemon

It’s common knowledge that citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and lemons are no exception. But why is that important? Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps protect the body’s immune system and helps fight against infections in the body – including colds & flus.

3) Honey

Honey contains anti-microbials that can help soothe an inflamed throat and speed up the recovery of an infection. The more natural the state of the honey the greater the anti-microbial effect, so do buy a good quality organic honey.

4) Turmeric

Turmeric is often used in Indian food and gives many curries it’s yellow colour, however it also has quite a few medicinal properties. Curcumin, a component of turmeric, is a strong antioxidant, antibacterial agent and a powerful anti-inflammatory. Therefore turmeric is another strong natural ingredient to help fight against flu infections. (Top tip: pepper helps the body absorb curcumin so add it to any recipes that contain turmeric to increase its’ medicinal abilities).

5) Cinnamon

As well as tasting yummy, cinnamon is a high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and has antiseptic and anesthetic properties. On top of all this cinnamon can help increase blood flow, giving the body a warm and soothing feeling (when the body needs it most!)

6) Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables (think kale, lettuce, spinach etc) are full of vitamins, minerals and disease fighting phytochemicals that help boost the body’s immunity so that you can stay in tip top flu fighting shape. Already have the flu? Keep eating your greens as they can help reduce the flu’s duration and severity.

 

So what do you do with all this wonderful information? Make my all time favourite Flu Fighter Tea:

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Use the above ingredients (except the leafy greens, because that would be weird) to create this warming, wholesome tea that’ll pack a punch against any cold or flu that may be brewing.

What you need:

  • 1 knob of fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • Pinch of fresh turmeric (grated)
  • Half a stick of cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
  • 2 black whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of organic manuka honey (or to taste)

What to do:

  • In a tea strainer place the ginger, cinnamon stick (may need to break into smaller pieces), turmeric and peppercorns.
  • Place the strainer in a teapot or mug and pour hot water over it.
  • Squeeze the lemon’s juices into the tea and put the wedge into the teapot/mug.
  • Let the tea steep for 3-5 minutes then remover the strainer.
  • Stir in the honey and enjoy!

Drink this tea 3-4 times a day when feeling under the weather to ward off the flu, or to help reduce the severity of the flu if (poor you) it has already set in.

And while yes if the dreaded flu bug does catch you, you will need to seek out the Doc for antibiotics but by looking after your health and stocking piling your body full of good vitamins and minerals you should be able to ward off the worst of the winter nasties!

JB xx

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