Monday, 27 June 2016

First Aid foods to speed recovery.

It's that time of year again; the change of season often brings with it colds, coughs, flus and tummy bugs.

With so much sickness around right now, it's a good time to think about the foods we can use to speed our recovery.

Your food choices really can influence how quickly you recover from colds and other bugs.

Below are my top 8 'food as medicine' suggestions for the season.

  • Chicken Soup- provides much needed electrolytes, hydration and has a decongestant effect when consumed hot. Cysteine- an amino acid derived from the bones helps to break up mucous.
  • Garlic- Also breaks up mucus, plus has very strong antibacterial & antimicrobial effects.
  • Hot tea-Even good old black tea is hydrating and decongestant, more medicinal teas include Holy Basil (Tulsi), Chamomile, Yarrow, Peppermint & Licorice. Teas can be used to modulate fever, rehydrate, soothe dry coughs, stem diarrhoea and boost the immune response.
  • Ginger- Ginger is great for acute infections of the respiratory and digestive systems. Can help to reduce fever, ease nausea & vomiting, as well as being anti-inflammatory.
  • Chilli- Not for the faint hearted, chilli has a fever modulating effect and is actually useful for the pain associated with laryngitis and pharyngitis.
  • Bananas- as part of the BRAT diet (banana, rice, apple and toast) helpful with diarrhoea as banana is both binding and can slow bowel contractions.
  • Pumpkin/ Sweet potato- Orange vegetables are great sources of Vitamin A, essential for immune cell function, especially Natural Killer cells, don't they sound good (natural killer cells are immune cells that kill viruses and bacteria)? Vitamin A also improves our mucosal surface immunity-making our gut and airways less vulnerable to germs.
  • Mushrooms- The immune boosting actions of Shitake & Maitake mushrooms have been known for thousands of years. Recent research suggests consumption of regular mushroms may benefit our immune systems too. Consuming mushrooms, especially in a chicken broth with ginger, garlic and chilli is an ideal way to boost your defenses against infection.

A quick and easy flu fighter tea recipe can be found here: