We’ve all heard the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” but what can we eat and drink to feel better when we have cold or flu symptoms? While there is no substitute for consulting with your doctor, we’re certain you will find our food remedies helpful in easing some of your cold and flu symptoms.

1.) Honey has been shown in studies to have antiviral and antibacterial properties, and it can soothe your cough and sore throat. Use local raw honey for the best results. Add a tablespoon or two of honey to your tea with a squeeze of fresh lemon. The lemon adds flavor and a boost of Vitamin C, essential in fighting colds. Add 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger to your tea, too, as it helps with sore throats. Try two or three cups of tea a day for the maximum benefit. Don’t use honey for infants and young children as their immune systems are still building. Don’t overdo using honey as it is still a sugar and sugar can weaken your already stressed immune system.

2.) Your body is busy trying to fight off your cold or flu and is using more energy to build up your immune system as well so it has less energy to properly digest a heavy meal. Eat frequent, light meals with no dairy as those products can cause inflammation in your lungs which results in congestion. Try warm broth, teas, fresh fruits and vegetables and chicken soup, yes, chicken soup! The steamy soup actually lessens congestion and promotes coughing to clear the lungs and airways.

3.) Your immune system has taken a hit and was weakened by trying to fight off your cold or flu. It’s important to rebuild it to fight off future illnesses. Support your immune system by having plenty of Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables such as oranges, guavas, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, dark leafy greens and green peppers. Squeeze some oranges and grapefruits and pour the juice over ice or chill. Steam some broccoli and squeeze fresh lemon juice on it for a warm yet light dish. Vitamin D lowers your risk of catching a cold and being in sunshine is a great source of Vitamin D as well as eating fish.

4.) Sore throats can be eased by gargling with a mixture of 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of honey, a squeeze of lemon and a little hot water to dilute. If you can handle it without the hot water, then do so because the stronger it is, the more potent it is as well. Feel free to gargle with this several times a day. The more you use it, the better and quicker it works.

5.) Garlic has been known to be one of the best antibacterial and antiviral herbs ever. It’s healing properties are best when drank as a garlic tea. Simply peel a few cloves of fresh garlic and lightly crush them, add to 2 cups of water and simmer for 15 minutes after it starts to boil. Strain the garlic out, and allow it cool before adding 2 tablespoons of raw local honey and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Drink as much as desired throughout the day.

6.) Make cough syrup by thinly slicing a red onion and layering it in a bowl with raw local honey. If you’d rather use brown sugar instead of honey, alternate layers of brown sugar and the red onion in the bowl. Cover well and leave on your counter overnight. By morning, you will see there is about a cup of sweet syrup in the bowl. Remove the onion and use a tablespoon of this nutrient and vitamin rich syrup to ease your cough and help fight infection while soothing your throat. You can use the syrup several times a day and be sure to refrigerate it after each use.

7.) Pineapple has been found to be five times more effective than cough syrup, It kills bacteria, fights viruses, contains an enzyme that reduces inflammation, and only 1 cup supplies nearly half of the daily requirement for Vitamin C! A great cough suppressant recipe is to mix 1 cup of fresh pineapple juice with 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of raw local honey, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and about a 3 inch piece of ginger finely grated. Shake well in a jar, and drink 1/4 cup of the mixture 2 or 3 times a day. Refrigerate and make a new batch daily.

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