There is no 'cure' for the common cold or the flu, but eating well and leading a healthy lifestyle can definitely help prevent catching it one of these in the first place. By nourishing our bodies with a diet full of a range of foods that give it the right nutrients, you can make sure your immune system is at full strength when the next cold or flu does the rounds of your neighbourhood. Check out the following superfoods that boost immunity and contain the right nutrients to help your body avoid disease & infection.
Honey is a remarkable food with a number of health benefits. It has been used for thousands of years as a food source, and boasts numerous antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Honey is also a favourite traditional remedy for soothing a sore throat when you are sick, and is also traditionally used for indigestion and heart burn. Include honey regularly in your diet to support good health. Include it when you are sick to sooth and support.
This fruit from the Amazon contains an extraordinary amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for a variety of bodily functions, and is particularly important as an antioxidant - antioxidants fight the effect of harmful molecules called 'free radicals', which can cause cellular damage that results in disease. Include Camu in your smoothies, juices, yoghurt or cooking.
Spirulina is incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals: more so than any other plant source on earth. Spirulina stimulates the immune system and improves its ability to fight viral and bacterial infections. As with Camu, Spirulina is packed with antioxidants to fight the effect of damaging free radicals, which helps fight disease.
We may sound like a broken record, but antioxidants are important for protecting your body against a range of diseases. Acai berry is easy to include in your diet, and has 22 times more antioxidant power than antioxidant rich blueberries! The antioxidants and plant sterols of this super berry help to strengthen your immune system and prevent cellular damage.
Traditionally used for treating cold and flu once sick, black elderberry may also help bolster immunity in times when you have an elevated risk of catching cold or flu. Preliminary studies show that this superfood may also help people with the flu recover faster than those taking a placebo.
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed drugs that inhibit or kill the growth of micro-organisms in the body. They are used either:
Taking a probiotic (a supplement of food that contains more of this 'good bacteria') can help to restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut that is often affected by antibiotics. This additional 'good' bacteria helps a number of digestive and immune functions in our body, and importantly prevents the proliferation of 'bad' bacteria which can make us sick. As such, taking a probiotic can work to either minimise the severity of, or totally negate, the unpleasant side effects of taking antibiotics. A healthy balance of “good” bacteria is important for maintaining everyday health, digestive health and immunity and probiotics help you achieve this.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis in particular have been shown to be effective in preventing antibiotic-associated imbalances. In a double-blind controlled study, patients who received both antibiotics and Lactobacillus did not develop diarrhoea. This result is particularly important for elderly and immune-compromised people.
If you are taking a course of antibiotics, taking a probiotic during and for several weeks after can help to replenish gut flora balance. It is recommended that probiotics are taken at least two hours from antibiotics, within 30 minutes of eating or as recommended by your healthcare professional.
Want to know more about probiotics and immunity? Check out our range of digestion and probiotic products.
This article was provided by our friends at health365. For mroe information on the benefits of probiotics, visit Health365.com.au.
The below strains of bacteria have been shown to be beneficial in these particular instances: