"Sinus infections: More than 90 percent of sinus infections stem from viral infections, meaning taking antibiotics will do nothing to treat the ailment. Instead of pressing your doctor for a prescription, try reaching for vitamin C–rich citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, or nectarines. They help defend against viral infections naturally. Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnips, and radishes are immune-boosting, sinus-clearing foods to turn to, as well.
"Another food defense? Visit an allergist to make sure you're not unknowingly living with a food allergy. Any food you're allergic to—be it wheat, milk, or nuts—could trigger an immune response that sends mucus production into overdrive.
"The common cold: Grab a cup of organic yogurt to give the common cold virus the kill shot. Yogurt's beneficial Lactobacillus reuteri bacteria can actually take away the virus's ability to multiple. Selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts and farmed oysters are also good picks to bolster your immune system and help you fight the common cold.
Ear infections: Many ear infections arise during a cold due to swelling, not because of bacteria. In most cases, the discomfort disappears in a few days without any medical intervention. Food allergies could be another hidden cause of ear infections, so if your child has frequent bouts, try experimenting with removing wheat, milk, nuts, soy, or shellfish from his or her diet and see if that helps.
Chewing gum sweetened with xylitol, a birch-derived natural sweetener, also reduces the risk of coming down with an ear infection by about 25 percent, according to Finnish research (Note: Xylitol is extremely toxic to pets, particularly dogs, so keep it out of paws' reach.)
"A sore throat: Heal a sore throat using the power of plants, not chemical compounds found in antibiotics. Cardamom, the seeds of a plant from the ginger family and a favorite ingredient in Indian cooking, is rich in a compound called cineole, a substance with natural throat-clearing properties. Toss some in soup for an easy food fix. Another go-to ingredient? 'Russian penicillin,' as garlic is sometimes called. Eat garlic-rich foods or even brew a garlic tea and gargle with it for quick, natural relief."
Friday, August 24, 2012
On the heels of Tuesday's post about home remedies, today's Daily Fix from Rodale News deals with home remedies that also help us avoid the unnecessary intake of antibiotics, which are rampant in our food supply. Here is part of the story, courtesy of Rodale News. (To sign up for the very helpful Daily Fix, click here and enter your email address in the "free newsletter" section about halfway down the right side of the page.)