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Flu Fighting Foods

Article Category:Beauty and Well-being

Fever, aches and pains, nausea, wheezing and sneezing…yes, ‘tis the season for colds and ‘flu! Whether you’re propped up in bed recovering or wish to safeguard yourself from getting a dose (or getting it again!), grab your pen and write up this grocery list of foodie flu-busters…

Alliums

In the Ancient world, pungent alliums – Latin for garlic – were widely used in cooking and medicine.

Buy: Onions, garlic, shallots, leeks and chives
Help on the Inside: Strong immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and expectorant qualities – good for relieving coughs, colds and bronchitis.
Help on the outside: Garlic mixed in a carrier oil is used in spas as a pedicure treatment – it heals calluses and cuts and stimulates the growth of new, healthy skin.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are the go-to source for Vitamin C, a deficiency of which causes an unpleasant disease called scurvy. Citrus fruits also contain riboflavins (Vitamin B2) and disease-fighting phytochemicals.

Buy: Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes and paw-paw
Help on the Inside: Vitamin C is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. There’s also evidence that Vitamin C helps prevent colds and ‘flu infections and aids in recovery.
Help on the outside: Vitamin C is used in spa facial treatments and is said to smooth wrinkles and boost skin’s radiance.

Ginger

Described as one of the world’s healthiest foods, ginger is used in the East as a medicinal plant.

Buy: Ginger root and real homemade ginger beer
Help on the Inside: Ginger helps with digestion, stimulates appetite (useful in patients who’re not eating), clears the sinuses and airways, relieves joint pain and helps overcome nausea.
Help on the outside: With its distinctive, zesty aroma, ginger is used in a range of spa treatments from body exfoliations to facial masks – it’s said to relax, refresh and awaken body and mind.

Green Veggies

When Mama said eat your greens, she sure knew what she was talking about! In fact, WebMD gives a nod to mothers everywhere, stressing that leafy greens are the Number One food to eat to improve your health.

Buy: Broccoli, spinach and cabbage
Help on the Inside: Brimming with fibre, vitamins and minerals, green veggies are immune-boosting super-foods.
Help on the outside: Broccoli seed oil is the new spa hair treatment on the block – it contains a silicone-like substance which leaves hair shiny and smooth. Cabbage also makes an effective facial mask which soothes and heals damaged or tired skin.

Honey

The original sweet treat, anti-oxidant-containing honey is also a centuries-old cure-all.

Buy: Dark honey – the darker it is, the better its anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties
Help on the Inside: Honey has antiseptic properties – which is why a spoonful of honey or honey and lemon tea soothes sore throats.
Help on the outside: Ancient cultures used honey to dress wounds. These days, it’s used to restore skin via spa body wraps, scrubs and facials.

Rooibos

Rooibos – a fynbos shrub from the Western Cape – is packed with powerful anti-oxidants. Used for culinary and medicinal purposes by indigenous South African peoples for centuries, it has since become an on-trend health food in Western cultures the world over.

Buy: Green Rooibos tea – it has the most powerful anti-oxidants
Help on the Inside: In addition to being an overall immune system booster, Rooibos also relieves nausea and digestive complaints, has a calming effect and aids sleep
Help on the outside: Rooibos is effective in treating skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.

Spices

Favoured stock items of ancient Asian healers, spices have antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties – and you thought they just added flavour to food!

Buy: Black pepper, chilli, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
Help on the Inside: General immune system stimulants, helping protect and heal from common ailments, like colds and ‘flu.
Help on the outside: Many spices can also be used topically to promote good skincare – cinnamon, for example, aids in blood circulation and black pepper busts blackheads.

Yoghurt

There’s a good reason why your mom insisted on giving you a bowlful of yoghurt when you were down with the ‘flu – it’s full of probiotics and other useful micronutrients.

Buy: Unsweetened plain Bulgarian or Greek-style yoghurt, preferably with live strains
Help on the Inside: Probiotics help restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut, which illness and antibiotic treatment knocks out. Probiotics also help stimulate the immune system.
Help on the outside: Applying a yoghurt facial mask leaves skin silky smooth and extra-moisturised.


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