You’re probably well aware that the flu is now in full swing. So, the pressure is on to keep your body in optimal shape. Aside from resorting to the traditional flu shot and fervent hand washing, there are some natural approaches to keeping the illness away and fighting off any onset. As simple as these are, they are surprisingly powerful and guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds in the process. Get ready to feel your best with these effective and plant-based fixes including recipes from the Food Monster App.

1. Turmeric

Goji Berry Golden Milk

This miracle ingredient earns first mention. Hailed as the mother of healing, turmeric is especially powerful at reducing inflammation, which is key to preventing illness. Rife with magnesium, fiber, and iron to name a few, turmeric has the capacity to reduce swelling and accelerate healing in the body. This makes it ideal for keeping you in optimal shape and poised to ward off unwanted viruses.

To enhance the effectiveness of its active compound curcumin, try heating your turmeric and adding in some black pepper for maximum body absorption. Try out this Goji Berry Golden Milk or Turmeric Detox Soup for a delicious and soothing way to stay well.

2. Ginger

Ginger Elixir – Ayurvedic Digestive Drink

Ginger Elixir/One Green Planet

While ginger is most often used for its properties in soothing digestion, it’s also an amazing guard against the flu. The antiviral and antibacterial benefits of this rhizome help help to flush toxins from the body and keep you feeling your best, as well as enhance absorption of nutrients in the body and cleanse the lymphatic system.

Ginger’s uses are endless— add it to smoothies, teas, baking, or a flavorful curry recipe. Showcase it in some Ginger Raisin Biscuits or Miso Ginger Zoodle Soup as a great way to integrate its spicy warming flavor.

3. Lemon

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In addition to its folate, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, potassium, vitamin C levels and flavonoids, lemon also helps to alkalize the blood which keeps your body guarded against illness. It can be instrumental in shortening the duration of anything you may end up catching. Lemon is also able to reduce fever and ease respiratory issues, making it the perfect guard against the flu.

Try combining it with ginger in some warm water each morning to pack a hefty immunity punch, or get creative with this Himalayan Lemon Marmalade to spread on all your favorite things.

4. Mushrooms

Beer Butter Mushrooms/One Green Planet

Although commonly used in Eastern countries to treat the cold and flu, mushrooms haven’t garnered the full attention they deserve everywhere else. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of these fantastic fungi are ideal for assisting with cell mitochondria function, allowing your body to shut down pathogens more effectively. They also offer benefits in nerve regeneration and have beta glucans which assist the immune system, making them a great option for this time of year. Aim for a variation of different mushroom types to reap the benefits of their unique properties.

Not sure how to make them center stage them in a tasty vegan dish? Try out some Garlic and Thyme Pan Seared Mushrooms or Roasted Shiitake With Celeriac Potato Purée to get your fill of these satisfying flu-fighters.

5. Pineapple

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If you happen to feel the onset of some flu-like symptoms, pineapple can be a lifesaver. The bromelain enzymes inside this fruit (the same thing that makes your tongue tingle what you eat it) have the ability to break down mucus and thin it out, making you feel significantly better. The vitamin C in pineapple stimulates white blood cell activity, thus fighting off free radicals which may threaten your health. 

For maximum benefits, opt for fresh pineapple to be sure that you’re getting all the active nutrients. Enjoy this au naturale or transform it into some Raw Mango Pineapple Ice Cream to satisfy your sweet tooth while guarding against the flu.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

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You’ve probably heard about the wonders of ACV already. Aside from its widespread topical benefits, this is also an incredible flu prevention remedy. The antimicrobial qualities of ACV are ideal for killing off any unwanted illness invasions, as well as supporting optimal gut health (which is essential for overall well-being). It’s also been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce mucus due to its potassium levels, as well as give you extra energy by eliminating the accumulation of lactic acid.

With a flavor as powerful as this, the perfect way to include ACV in your diet is by making it into a topper like this Spicy Chipotle Salad Dressing. You can even add a dash of fresh garlic to boost your protection from the flu even more.

7. Guava

Chetan Kolluri/Flickr

Move over, oranges! Guava has natural folate, copper, vitamin A, and manganese, as well as impressive vitamin C levels that surpass its citrus counterparts to give you a much needed immune boost. In addition to helping the body fight off free radicals, guava helps disinfect the respiratory system to stop any flu in its tracks. This under-appreciated superfruit has more potassium than a banana and is perfect in smoothies, cold treats, or on its own. If you’re feeling culinary, try out this Apple, Ginger, and Feijoa Cake as an unexpected way to enjoy its flavor.

Hopefully these healthy hacks help to boost your body’s natural defenses with the power of plant-based healing. Keep these ingredients close and you’ll be well suited to keep the flu far away. 

For more immunity-boosting foods and recipes, check out these 10 Foods That Will Boost Your Immunity During Flu Season by downloading the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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