At the Pinewood Center for Natural Health we believe that there is a lot of truth to the old adage, first said by Hippocrates centuries ago, and that is “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” These age-old words of wisdom were first written literally in stone in the fourth century B.C. and they still apply today, especially when it comes to fighting off winter flus and colds. Given the hectic pace of the lives that most of us live it is more important than ever to optimize your immunity and that includes eating flu and cold fighting foods at every meal.

Here is a look at five potent foods that can help you ward off colds and flu this season.

# 1 Raw Garlic

Raw garlic is such a powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent that it can decimate the flu virus as soon the oil from it comes into contact with the invading virus. This is due to the fact that raw garlic contains allicin and allian, which are sulphur compounds that have direct anti-viral action in the body. One way to actually ward off the flu if it is going around your office or around your child’s daycare putting you at very high risk for contagion is to chew a raw clove every four hours. If this is not a miracle cure that is easy for you to swallow then try mixing up the raw garlic into a salad dressing or sweetening with a touch of honey. It is most powerful when consumed raw but still amazing for your immune system if you stir fry it or put it in a soup. There is a good reason why it is called “Russian Penicillin.”

#2 Raw Onions

Raw onions are also powerful immune system boosters and contain the same flu and cold fighting compounds as garlic. Most people can tolerate eating raw onions a little easier than they can garlic. The most palatable types are the sweet Red Spanish onions and the large white Vidalia onions. You can easily mince raw onions and the sprinkle the bits on top of any meal raw or cooked.

#3 Dark Berries

All dark coloured berries but especially bilberries, blueberries, blackberries and Saskatoon berries are jam packed with high concentrations of flu-fighting and cold-fighting antioxidants. Black coloured berries contain almost forty times more antioxidants than other foods. It is recommended that you eat fresh, organic berries whenever you can but if they are not available, frozen berries will do.

#4 Homemade Chicken Soup

Research has shown that your grandma was right and that warding off the flu is as simple as serving up bowl of delicious homemade chicken soup. It is the combination of celery, carrots, onions and chicken that forms a specific protein group that assists your body when it comes to warding off viruses. It is also a vaporous food that is soothing to the respiratory system.

#5 Spices and Herbs

Most spices in general have volatile, antimicrobial oils in them that can fight off colds and flu. Potent sources of anti-viral compounds include the herbs and spices: dill, turmeric, cloves, ginger, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, oregano and coriander and you should use these spices liberally in your cooking. You can also brew them in a tea. Some natural food stores sell lines of tea bags with spices for brewing. For instance you can buy rosemary tea or thyme tea on its own.

A traditional remedy for sweating out a fever is to mix powdered ginger, cinnamon and coriander into a cup of tea or hot water. Garlic, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, dill and coriander used individual also pair well the chicken soup as does extra garlic.

For more information or to book a consultation about anti-aging, diet and weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Health Clinic website that has a list of full services and products at or call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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