You have probably heard of the phrase e “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food?”  These immortal words were first uttered by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460-277 BC) who is the founding father of natural medicine.

These words are especially applicable during cold and flu season when some foods can literally be eaten to ward off, treat the symptoms or actually cure illness.

Here is a look at five foods that can help you fend off the flu this season.

# 1      Raw Garlic

Raw garlic is such a potent viral and bacterial agent that it can destroy the flu virus before it can transform into a full-blown virus in the body. That is because it contains sulphur compounds called allicin and allian that have a direct antiviral effect. If there is a flu going around and you fear contagion or if you feel a bit it is best to chew a raw clove every three or four hours. If you cannot handle the bitter bite of raw garlic then you can also swallow it whole, just like you would any vitamin pill. Another trick is to mix crushed garlic into a salad dressing or to mix it with honey. If you still can’t tolerate the taste or smell then try mincing it and eating it with soup or in a stir-fry, but realize that the rawer it is, the better it will work.

#2        Raw Onions

Eating raw onions can be as effective as eating garlic. They also contain the same anti-microbrial compounds calleds allion and allicin. Red Spanish onions are a little sweet and the easiest for most people to consume. You can also mince it and sprinkle it the pieces on top of any meal, cooked or raw.

#3        Dark Berries

All dark hued berries such as blueberries, blackberries, bilberries or Saskatoon berries are packed with high concentrations of antioxidants; almost forty times more than in other foods. It is recommended that you eat fresh, organic berries whenever you can but if they are not available, frozen berries will do.

#4        Homemade Chicken Soup

Research has shown that your grandma was right and that warding off the flu is as simple as serving up bowl of delicious homed chicken soup. It is the combination of celery, carrots, onions and chicken that forms a specific protein group that assists your body when it comes to warding off viruses.

#5        Spices

Most spices in general have volatile, antimicrobial oils in them that can fight off colds and flu. These include dill, turmeric, cloves, ginger, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, oregano and coriander and you should use these spices liberally in your cooking. You can also brew them in a tea. Some natural food stores sell lines of tea bags with spices for brewing.

A traditional remedy for sweating out a fever is to mix powdered ginger, cinnamon and coriander into a cup of tea or hot water. Garlic, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, dill and coriander also pair well the chicken soup mentioned as the #4 top flu and cold fighting food.

By: Pinewood Health Centre

Dr. Michael Rahman’s practice focuses on biological medicine and its treatment of chronic diseases, from fibromyalgia to cancer, and healthy age management. His practice interests also include naturopathic cosmetic care, blending naturopathic medicine with cosmetic approaches and technology that enhance health and beauty. He is an active member of the Naturopathic Doctors Ontario, the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Medicine, the British Columbia Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the World Society of Anti-Aging Medicine, and the International Meso-Lipotherapy Society. Dr. Rahman founded Pinewood Natural Health Centre in Toronto in 1997 and expanded his practice into the Durham Region in 2003. Dr. Rahman also founded the Pinewood Institute for the Advancement of Natural Therapies in 2005.

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