Respiratory Infections – Foods & Spices That May Help

One of our most popular blogs is ‘Foods for keeping your lungs healthy’. This new information looks at how seven everyday foods and spices help with breathing problems by helping to avoid respiratory infections during the cold, winter months.

This is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please always seek advice from your physician or health provider regarding a medical condition.

Foods and Spices for Respiratory Infections

According to NHS Choices, eating a balanced diet is vitally important in maintaining good health. Their definition of a balanced diet is one that includes a variety food and drink in the right proportions. This includes 5 portions of fruit and veg. This will ensure you get all the daily nutrients your body needs. One specific requirement is to drink plenty of fluids. In fact, 6 to 8 glasses per day is recommended. This not only helps to keep you hydrated, but it also helps to keep mucus moving. This is important because if mucus sits in your airways and lungs, you are more likely to get a respiratory infection.

Foods and spices to keep your lungs healthy

Echinacea

This is one of the most popular supplements in Europe for fighting respiratory infections, such as the common cold. Evidence shows that while it may not prevent you from getting a cold, it might help as a treatment in reducing the severity of cold and flu symptoms.

Elderberry

There is evidence that elderberry boosts the production of some immune cells. Furthermore, it may also unblock the flu virus’s ability to spread. In fact, elderberry ranks among the most effective remedies for treating respiratory illness. In a study published in the journal ‘Phytochemsitry’ (2009), black elderberry extract is at least 68% effective against swine flu (H1N1).

Garlic

This is a centuries old immune booster and natural remedy for respiratory disorders. It contains medicinal compounds, including allicin and sulphur-containing compounds to ward of disease. In one study, fewer people taking a garlic supplement went on to have a cold in comparison to people taking the placebo. Garlic is popular in cooking, but if you’re not keen on the taste, it is also available in supplement form.

Ginger

Ginger is excellent at preventing as well as treating respiratory ailments, thanks to its antiviral compounds.  This is because it acts like a disinfectant to ‘disinfect’ the body. And ginger is so easy to add into your diet, as a tea or simply by adding it freshly chopped to your food.

Oregano

The oil of oregano works well at treating respiratory illness after symptoms first show. In fact, it is quite a potent antibiotic and antiviral herb. A word of caution though. Be careful and always check side effects and interactions.

Essential vitamins that help to ward of respiratory infection

Vitamin D

In the UK we are lacking in vitamin D. One reason is due to low levels of sunlight. However, this combined with covering ourselves in sun protection cream, result in vitamin D deficiency. Such low levels may cause chronic illness, including respiratory illness.

You can learn more about government advice on vitamin D supplementation by visiting Pulse – At the heart of general practice since 1960

Vitamin C

As a child, we are told to eat an orange to stop us getting a cold. This is because it contains vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that boosts immunity and wards off colds. This Finnish study finds that respiratory patients taking vitamin C supplements were less likely to develop respiratory infections. This includes pneumonia and the common cold. Therefore, try to take natural vitamin C that comes from ‘superfoods’ such as acerola cherry.

Keep your lungs healthy

You can also help keep your lungs healthy by making them stronger and more resistant to fatigue. As a result, this could help you fight off a respiratory infection. POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training exercises your breathing muscles, improving their strength and stamina.

If you have a respiratory condition, such as asthma or COPD, then you may benefit from using POWERbreathe Light Resistance. It features an adjustable, light resistance for you to breathe in against. Choose from the following models:

However, everyone can benefit from stronger breathing muscles, not just people with breathing problems. In fact, there is a POWERbreathe breathing trainer to suit everyone.

The models above are best for people with breathing difficulties. However, if you don’t have a breathing problem then these are the models for you:

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