Honey, lemon, ginger: do they strengthen the immune system
Honey: You probably know a lot of folk remedies for colds and fortified foods that promise to “boost” immunity. Which tips are true, and which are more like fairy tales? Let’s figure it out together with the book “Immunity”.
Echinacea – for the prevention of colds and flu
There is plenty of evidence for the positive effects of using echinacea for the treatment and prevention of colds. But scientists still have not come to a consensus. The difficulty is that there are 3 types of this plant, and each of its parts contains different active ingredients. This means there are over 800 echinacea products out there, and there is very little information about them. There is also no consensus on the best formula for intake, dosage, and duration of the course. In addition, the drug may interact with certain medications.
At the point when it ascends, there is a prompt reduction in the degrees of synapses (these are the principal controllers of your temperament and mind work), like serotonin, adrenaline, norepinephrine,
Spicy food helps you sweat
Some believe that spicy food heals because the disease comes out with sweat. Capsaicin, the ingredient in chili peppers that causes the burning sensation, helps with nasal congestion, and reduces inflammation as it reduces symptoms. It is also clinically valuable as an analgesic. In addition, a curry dish containing it helps with poor health and saves from blues, and vegetables with spices are a great way to get antioxidants, fiber, and polyphenols at the same time. Source
Elderberry strengthens the immune system
With antiviral properties, elderberry is useful in winter and has been used for thousands of years both as a medicine to reduce pain and inflammation and as a food. Studies show that elderberry syrup significantly reduces the duration and intensity of symptoms of respiratory infections. Moreover, when comparing elderberry extract and a well-known anti-influenza drug, the former turned out to be more effective. Some components of elderberry help prevent viruses from entering cells.
However, elderberry’s anti-infective effects are marginal and are greatly inflated by PR funded by companies that make commercial elderberry products. Of course, this does not negate the results of research and clinical trials but creates some conflict of interest.
Honey, lemon, and ginger: super trio
This trio has stood the test of time as honey, lemon and ginger have been used for generations. But none of the ingredients cure a common cold, and there is little actual evidence that they speed up recovery either.
Although if we talk about honey, then in the fight against a cough in children, it turned out to be more effective than dextromethorphan (the active ingredient in most cough medicines). At the same time, the National Health Service of Great Britain recommends honey as a cough remedy, and not antibiotics. Scientific evidence aside, when paired with a hot drink, this ancient super trio is soothing and fluid-retaining, making it a viable option as a cheaper alternative to over-the-counter drugs. But do not expect a miracle from him.
Garlic – food and medicine
Garlic contains compounds that improve the ability of immune cells to fight germs and also help prevent infection. It has been utilized for a really long time both as a food and as a medication. As early as 3000 BC, the Assyrians and Sumerians used garlic to treat fevers, inflammations, and injuries. Almost all studies support its benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant and antibiotic that fights strains of staph, the microbes that cause staph infections.
However, many of the studies that support the properties of garlic have not been done up to the mark, and it is still unclear whether garlic should be eaten consistently to see its beneficial effects. A recent study of the results of eating 90 days of aged garlic showed that participants developed significantly more T cells and NK cells, natural killer cells that play the role of heavy artillery in the fight against infections.
However, during heat treatment, the properties of garlic change. To optimize all the phytonutrients, let fresh garlic sit for a while after being minced to allow the alliin to ferment into the beneficial allicin, the main active ingredient.
Turmeric – to fight infections
Turmeric is popular in the health media, but should we give in to the hype? It does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have proven clinically effective in treating certain conditions (such as some forms of arthritis). However, these statements are often exaggerated by the media, turning turmeric into a universal cure for all ailments.
Most of the research focuses on curcumin, one of the active ingredients in turmeric, but this spice has over 300 compounds, and curcumin-free turmeric is also clinically effective. And if you eat this root, take the whole, whole. Interestingly, raw turmeric seems to have a stronger anti-inflammatory effect, while cooked turmeric is better at protecting against oxidative damage. In addition, it inhibits the penetration of viruses into cells.
Regular addition of this spice to food helps prevent infections. However, the problem lies in bioavailability. Turmeric should be eaten with fats and with a pinch of black pepper, then it significantly improves digestion.
Chicken broth has been part of the human diet ever since people learned how to boil the chicken. It was prescribed for colds in ancient Egypt; it was considered an effective medicine in the Middle Ages. The Jewish physician Moses Maimonides, who lived in the 12th century, recommended it as a remedy for all diseases, from hemorrhoids to leprosy, which is why chicken broth is called Jewish penicillin.
Until recently, there was no scientific evidence of the therapeutic effect of the broth, nevertheless, it was recommended to everyone at the first signs of the disease. It is not technically a medicinal supplement, but in fact, the broth is one of the most effective products for improving well-being. This is likely due to a number of components, such as carnosine, which has the ability to modulate the immune response in human neutrophils, helping to clear mucus and reduce airway inflammation.
When chicken is boiled, a drug similar to acetylcysteine is formed, which is usually prescribed for respiratory diseases. The broth even lowers blood pressure, as collagen proteins exhibit similar effects to ACE inhibitors; at least that’s what animal studies have shown. In addition, chicken broth is soothing, delicious with vegetables, herbs, and spices, and helps the body maintain fluid balance.