During flu seasons we need to protect ourselves with nutrient dense food and ensure our system is well equipped to fight off any unwanted flu virus. Therefore we should include the following “flu fighting foods” in our diet on a regular basis: mineral water, fermented foods, leafy greens, garlic, lemon, blueberries as well as healing spices like ginger, cinnamon or turmeric.
All of these food groups include certain health benefits and most fall into the “super food” category. Let’s take a closer look at each of these foods individually:
- Water: many people are unaware of the power of good old fashioned mineral or filtered tap water. Our body and immune system is unable to work to its fullest potential if the body is dehydrated. You may be surprised how many people in Hong Kong are in fact slightly dehydrated without being aware of it. Most of us should consume between 1.7 – 2.5 liters of water / day (depending on physical fitness and lifestyle factors).
- Fermented foods like kefir or natural organic yoghurt will maintain ahealthy digestive system balance, which in turn is good to strengthen your whole body against the flu and make it overall strong. Our system is always the strongest, if all elements – including the digestive tract – work well together.
- Leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals and support a healthy digestive system. They can strengthen your immune system but also lower your appetite for sweet snacks.
- Garlic has antifungal and antiviral properties and can lower inflammations.
- Lemon and blueberries are amazing antioxidants providers and are able to not only fight off a virus but also other toxins that enter your system. Please note that the best choice for any fresh produce is organic / free range / grass fed etc. Not only because of animal cruelty, but also to prevent eating toxins with your “healthy” food in form of chemicals, pesticides, added hormones and so on.
- Healing spices like ginger, cinnamon or turmeric can boost your immune system with their antiviral functions and deliver ore antioxidants to fight off toxins.
I’d recommend including all of these foods on a regular basis (i.e. weekly) into your diet. If there is one “super flu fighting food” that stands out, it may be ginger. Ginger is easily included on a daily basis (i.e. fresh ginger tea) and can not only boost the immune system, but also help to fight off toxins that surround us daily in Hong Kong (i.e. through pollution).
Tanja Guigon-Rech, Certified Nutritionist at Nutrition Nation.