It’s flu season here in Melbourne and I’ve been feeling under the weather the past days with the changing weather. But before popping that aspirin, here’s what I usually eat or drink to ease the itchy throat & runny nose and prevent a full-blown flu to hit me.
1. CHICKEN SOUP
Old wives say chicken soup is good for the soul & colds, but it’s actually backed by science with studies showing how chicken soup has anti-inflammatory compounds that relieve respiratory infections.
Chicken also contains an amino acid called cysteine, which is released when the chicken is turned into soup. This compound cysteine, has a similar makeup to a medication prescribed for respiratory illness like bronchitis which helps clear up congestion.
Tip: You can add ginger, veggies like carrots, bokchoy, onions, garlic which all boost immunity. Use less starchy noodles like soba noodles or rice vermicelli noodles for added health benefits.
Homemade Chicken soup recipe:
3-4 cups filtered water
200 grams free-range chicken drumsticks or wings or thighs (bone in)
1 red onion quartered
3 cloves garlic
1 carrot, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 thumb ginder, sliced
salt and pepper
To serve: soba or vermicelli noodles, coriander, lime, bokchoy or other leafy greens
1.Add the chicken, water, onions, garlic, garlic, carrots and celery to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. You can add more water as needed.
2. A few minutes before the chicken soup is done, prep your cooked noodles, bokchoy in a bowl. Then pour some of the chicken soup on it and let it sit for a few minutes. Top with lime or coriander if desired
2. WARM WATER + HONEY + LEMON
Honey is widely known to cure cough, and there’s enough reason why losenges and cough syrups have honey in it. So taking it in its purest form is even better. Just make sure you pick one that is 100% honey and doesn’t have any sweeteners or artificial ingredients.
Adding a touch of lemon also boosts immunity with it being high in vitamin C, potassium and folate. It’s known as highly anti-inflammatory and can help relieve joint pains among other health benefits.
TIP: Add warm water in a cup, a teaspoon of honey, squeeze of lemon. You can add maca powder which is another immunity-boosting natural ingredient.
3. VITAMIN C + GRAPESEED EXTRACT
We all know that grapes are known to be great sources of bioflavanoids which is a powerful plant compound that is highly anti-inflammatory, and protects our health in so many ways. And when it is combined with Vitamin C, the biological benefits of grape seeds are enhanced for optimum health benefits.
When I’m feeling under the weather, I definitely bump my intake of vitamin C–enriched foods like oranges, grapefruits, berries, kiwis, tomatoes, and even green veggies like spinach and broccolis. I usually have them in smoothies in the morning and fill my lunch or dinner plate with those colors. Trust me, you’ll notice the difference by just eating plants in a day!
Apart from eating vitamin-C enriched foods, I also have been taking a high-quality supplement for added layer of protection, one which combines vitamin C + grapeseed extract to enhance the body’s immune function.
ProflavanolC offers a unique formula that gives your body advanced antioxidant protection and supports a balanced immune system, and which is is clinically proven to support also cardio-vascular and circulatory health.
TIP: Pick a high-quality food supplement and be sure to know how its sourced and manufactured. I trust THIS brand * for years now with its quality being ranked by Consumerlab as top ONE for food supplements based on customer experience, and also a company that is GMP-compliant (good manufacturing practices). In other words, it produces products without the nasty stuff in it!
4. HERBAL TEA
Several herbs are known to have antibacterial properties and they are also soothing to your throat and sinuses when made into teas.
My top picks are green tea, black tea, turmeric, and even matcha tea which is known to be more than 20x more potent than green tea. Turmeric is one powerful anti-inflammatory herb which can mop out free radicals (that causes ageing and degeneration), and can greatly boost immunity.
TIP: Skip the milk and sugar when taking your teas. Instead, add a touch of honey if you want to sweeten it up, or a dash of ground cinnamon which has added anti-inflammatory compounds.
5. BONE BROTH
Apart from chicken soup, bone broths in general are greatly beneficial to fighting off colds & flu. When bones are slow-cooked for hours, the collagen, proteins, and minerals from the ligaments and tendons of the bones are broken down and released into the broth.
Bone broths can be made using just a few ingredients or you can also buy them from your regular health stores. Apart from soups, you can also add your bone broth into your stew, gravy, or stir-fries, and even have it as a drink. It’s perfect especially when you have little to no appetite while sick.
So the next time you feel like you’re feeling a little down with the weather, take these natural regimen a go and see how you feel after a day or so. Like I always say, prevention is better than cure so you can definitely consume these food even if you’re not feeling ill in order to further strengthen your immunity.
Tell me, what other natural ways do you fight the flu and boost your immunity? Share your ideas below and would love to learn from you too.
*Some links provided may have affiliate relationships with me. I only promote products and services that align with my personal values when it comes to holistic wellness, and my opinions are un-biased and based solely from my own experience.