As winter is here, Naini Setalvad shares some much-needed info on how to use foods in your kitchen to stave off afflictions during this ‘cough and cold’ season
Over the years of food-coaching people for various ailments, I have seen that it is hard to escape a runny nose, cough, cold, or flu. As the winter sets in, these ailments inflict misery on people. What makes it worse is the presence of muscle and joint aches. However, in my years of practice, I have seen that when you eat fresh, seasonal, local, and as much organic food as possible, your body develops better immunity. This automatically wards off infections or if you catch one, you can recover faster. A few tweaks and some simple easy-to-do additions, daily, can reverse, retard, or prevent any viruses from manifesting in your body altogether.
Read on to learn about the role a diet consisting of real, organic, local, seasonal, wholesome foods that can do wonders for you.
The hot quotient: It’s amazing when I see the miraculous effects of green and red chillies when the nose is blocked. It instantly starts the mucus flowing, relieving the blocked nose. Simply chop green chillies finely and toss them in your soup or dal. So turn up the heat in your next meal by eating green chillies regularly.
Cough-free with pungent pods: I prefer the garlicky smell on my breath than a cough in my throat and a blocked nose. Garlic stimulates your system and prevents the growth of bad bacteria. So forget about garlic breath and do as I suggest: Chop two or three garlic pods, marinate them with lemon and rock salt, and consume it like a pickle with your food. Fresh green garlic, available in the winter months, can taste delicious. Include it daily in your diet as a preventive measure.
The golden powder: My go-to anti-inflammatory is turmeric powder. Its antihistamine properties work wonders on any inflammation. The common cold, cough, and flu are no match for the powers of this golden powder. The combination of turmeric and honey is excellent for relieving any of the above.
The warming spice: Part of my GGT (Ginger-Garlic-Turmeric) trio is ginger, which is an anti-inflammatory. After adding ginger chopped very finely in hot water with a dash of lemon, I feel warmth in my body, which can work as a deterrent to the winter ailments as well as prevent muscle and joint pain.
Cry away your flu: Cutting onions brings tears to your eyes due to the release of sulphuric oils which stimulate the mucous linings of the sinuses, relieving congestion of the lungs and throat. I advocate having a mixture of onion juice with honey after breakfast and lunch.
Drink up: I am constantly reminding people to hydrate themselves when they are under the weather. Drinking lots of fluids flushes out all the toxins and helps mucus to flow too.
Go red, yellow, orange, and green: These are the natural colours of beta-carotene-rich foods. Beta-carotene is one of the most powerful antioxidants. Tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins, lemons, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes help maintain mucous linings which work as a barrier against infections. They are so easy to consume, especially in the winter months.
Common cold cure: I advise everyone to take good doses of natural forms of Vitamin C. The easiest way is to squeeze lemon juice on everything. Many other foods like onions, guavas, and amla are all rich sources of Vitamin C. Guava contains five more vitamins than lemons, so when they are in season, try and consume them. I love eating them with salt and red chilli as an evening snack. Vegetables like cabbage, peppers, French beans, cluster beans, cauliflower, brinjal, drumsticks and its leaves, radish leaves, spinach, and roots like sweet potato also contain Vitamin C.
Some other natural home remedies which I advocate:
• Consuming fresh leaves of basil daily keeps away the cold and flu.
• Flax seeds prevent chest congestion. Roast and have a spoonful daily.
• Hot water gargles with sea salt works as an antiseptic, killing the germs in the oesophagus and preventing a sore throat. I recommend daily gargles.
• Ghee is a natural throat balm easing throat pain. Coat your throat with a teaspoon of cow’s ghee mixed with turmeric. It is a powerful antihistamine and can be had at night before bedtime.
• A herbal infusion of ginger, honey, lemon, and basil boiled in water and sipped throughout the day is an amazing drink to decongest you.
• Inhale steam to relieve a stuffed-up nose. Half fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over your head to trap the steam, and inhale for a few minutes at a time. Add some eucalyptus oil to the water as it is an effective decongestant.
• Breathe easily with a daily dose of deep breathing.
The recipe of my hot favourite pickle which I consume daily—GGT pickle.
Ingredients: Ginger root, turmeric root, green chillies, garlic pods, mustard seeds, lemon juice, and rock salt.
• Peel the ginger, turmeric, and garlic pods.
• Chop the ginger, turmeric, garlic, and green chillies into small pieces.
• Coarsely grind mustard seeds.
• Add all of the above to the lemon juice with rock salt.
• Marinate in the sun for one to two days.
• Store in the fridge.
Life Positive follows a stringent review publishing mechanism. Every review received undergoes -
Only after we're satisfied about the authenticity of a review is it allowed to go live on our website
Our award winning customer care team is available from 9 a.m to 9 p.m everyday
All our healers and therapists undergo training and/or certification from authorized bodies before becoming professionals. They have a minimum professional experience of one year
All our healers and therapists are genuinely passionate about doing service. They do their very best to help seekers (patients) live better lives.
All payments made to our healers are secure up to the point wherein if any session is paid for, it will be honoured dutifully and delivered promptly
Every seekers (patients) details will always remain 100% confidential and will never be disclosed