If you visit your doctor for an upper respiratory illness such as a cold or cough, antibiotics may not be part of the treatment plan. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial diseases such as pneumonia and do not help viral diseases such as colds, flu and most sore throats.
There are now foods from our kitchen that we should include in our daily diet to prevent coughs and colds. Sushma PS, Chief Dietitian at Jindal Naturecure Institute in Bangalore, insisted in an interview with HT Lifestyle that having a healthy immune system is a plus during cold and flu season. He suggested some of the foods you should include in your diet this winter:
Ginger is a common cough remedy that also acts as an anti-inflammatory. A cup of hot ginger tea can ease your annoying cough and sore throat. Ginger contains chemicals that dilate the blood vessels in the lungs and relax the smooth muscles, opening the airways. Use fresh ginger slices or freshly grated ginger in hot tea for cough relief.
Garlic can help treat colds and flu. It promotes faster healing and has other health benefits. If you have access to raw garlic, you can add it to your soup. Garlic has components that boost immunity, have therapeutic benefits and can be included in your daily diet.
3. Raw honey
Raw honey has a wide variety of medicinal benefits, especially for respiratory issues. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce the severity and duration of cough. To get the best benefits, juice one tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and water. Lemon acts as an antioxidant and helps you feel more energetic.
Turmeric milk is a well-known home remedy for almost every ailment in India. It is an effective home remedy for sore throat and cough. Turmeric is advantageous because of the curcumin in it. Curcumin gives turmeric its yellow color and has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric boosts your immune system and activates your antibody response to infection. Mix some black pepper with turmeric for quick relief.
You may be surprised, but pineapple is an effective cough suppressant. Bromelain is a pineapple enzyme with anti-inflammatory and mucolytic (mucus-breaking) effects. Because of these two properties of bromelain, pineapple is a good food for cough relief.
Pomegranate juice is high in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds. Contains flavonoid antioxidants that help fight viruses and reduce the duration of colds by up to 40%. Pomegranate juice can be consumed every day.
Drink hot tea (green, black or herbal tea) when you cough or have a cold. Antioxidant-containing tea relieves sore throat and liquefies mucus from a stuffy nose, which helps clear the nasal passage. Chamomile tea also contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Chamomile tea supports sleep and helps protect the immune system.
8. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, a mineral your body needs to help white blood cells work properly. White blood cells are necessary to fight infections such as the flu virus. You can have it in your handful or sprinkle it over salads to add some crunch.
9. Vegetable Soups
When you have the flu, have a bowl of vegetable soup flavored with ginger, garlic, turmeric and black pepper. Steam from soup or broth accelerates mucus flow down the nose to relieve congestion. A nutritious soup can also help relieve inflammation. Sipping hot soup boosts your immune system, which protects you from bacteria and viruses.
10. Vegetable juice
Vegetables contain antioxidants that aid immune system function. Vegetable juice can help you recover faster from illnesses like the flu. When you have flu symptoms, you may lose your sense of taste and not want to eat solid foods. The ideal remedy for you is a glass of vegetable juice. You can include vegetables such as carrots and spinach that have antiviral properties.