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Fight colds and flu with weapons from the kitchen

SICK: Take care of yourself if you are under the weather with your cupboard contents

MANY individuals are now fighting the sniffles. Cold symptoms can make you feel sick and miserable. Congestion of the upper airways, dry mouth, sneezing, cough, runny nose, fatigue and altered appetite are just some of the symptoms. In mild cases without complications, we are advised to hydrate ourselves and rest.

Having a robust immune system makes you less susceptible to attacks and diets can contribute to building a strong arsenal. There are herbs, spices and other food items which can alleviate symptoms and even speed up recovery.

Turmeric: looks like ginger, but is orange on the inside and is the foundation of curry powder. It contains a compound called curcumin which has anti inflammatory and immune boosting effects.

Garlic: Its sulphur-containing compound, allicin, is effective against bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections. Grate a clove on your sandwich or swallow slices, also steep for tea. Many persons fear the odour.

Onions: can also be used for tea and is soothing to coughs if had with honey in teas.

Oregano: grown in some kitchen gardens, has a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids. It can be brewed into a tea and had warm.

Cinnamon: an infusion made from this herb is also useful in relieving nasal congestion.

Lemon: with its power oils is also a popular home remedy for colds, and is most times combined with honey in a warm drink.

Lemon grass (fever grass): infused into a tea is also used as an effective expectorant.

Basil: used in meat dishes also makes an effective infusion used as an expectorant for colds.

Ginger: is used mostly in Jamaica for nausea, but combined with orange skin in an infusion is also used to calm a cough.

Green tea: has a range of polyphenols including EGCGs epigallocatechin gallates, powerful antioxidants and anti-cancer fighters which have been shown to inhibit the replication of some viruses.

Yellow and orange plant foods: rich in beta carotene, are also important in bolstering the immune system as vitamin A is very important in regulating cell communication.

Zinc: is important to the immune system's function. Insufficient or excess amounts can alter its function. Foods rich in zinc are sea food such as oyster and lean meats.

Yoghurt: with live cultures of lactobacillus and bifido bacterium strains will improve immune response.

Chicken soup: the combination of vegetables, sodium, liquid, protein from chicken and the warm temperature is hydrating, improves electrolytes, and loosens mucus from nasal cavities.

For those ailing, feel better soon.

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