herald

Friday 24 October 2014

How to boost your immune system

I'M just about over a bout of flu, but I still have a cold that I can't seem to get rid of. Are there any specific foods or remedies you'd recommend for boosting my immune system?

A First and foremost, I would encourage you to keep properly hydrated (at least two litres of fluid per day), as dehydration slows down recovery time.

An effective cold remedy can be made simply by squeezing half a lemon into hot water and adding a teaspoon of Manuka honey. The combined ingredients will soothe the respiratory tract and will also act as an anti- microbial and anti-bacterial to improve immune resistance. Herbal teas such as fenugreek and rosehip, liquorice or echinacea can also be useful.

Reduce acid-forming foods that contribute to mucus congestion such as dairy, sugar and wheat, and focus on simple alkalising foods such as chicken soup, miso soup, vegetable juices and steamed green leafy vegetables.

Add plenty of garlic, ginger, chillies and horseradish to your diet, as these will act as a decongestant.

Also, make sure to stay warm and get plenty of rest to help your body recover properly. You might also consider using a steam inhalation of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water to alleviate nasal congestion. Lean over the bowl with a towel over your head and inhale the vapours.

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