Foods That Fight Infection

When you have an infection, you will normally head to the doctor’s office for a prescription. But, do you know that antibiotics can do as much harm as good? While they destroy infection-causing bacteria, they also kill beneficial bacteria within your system. This exposes you to further infections. Many research studies have established that certain foods have immunity enhancing properties. Following are top foods which fight infection.

Foods That Fight Infection

1.     Garlic

Studies show that garlic has a wide range of antimicrobial properties. It is antifungal, antiprotozoan and antiviral. It can treat more than 70 infections, including dysentery, diarrhea, encephalitis and tuberculosis. Garlic may be taken internally by chewing or drinking after crushing and mixing with water. 

2.     Cabbage

Cabbage is one of the most popular vegetables. But, besides this, cabbage has powerful antibacterial properties. Tests have shown that cabbage juice destroys bacteria such as H. pylori which is associated with stomach ulcers. Cabbage juice is also beneficial in treating duodenal and gastric ulcers. 180 ml of fresh cabbage juice mixed with one teaspoon of honey and taken twice a day is effective treatment of these ulcers in addition to some bladder infections and obstructive jaundice.

3.     Turmeric

It has antiseptic and inflammatory properties which help in the treatment of rhinitis, throat infections, colds, ringworms and scabies among others. Internally, half a teaspoon of turmeric powder can be mixed with three to five tablespoons of milk to treat many of the above conditions. Other methods of treatment include inhaling the smoke from burning turmeric to treat rhinitis and a running nose.

4.     Ginger

A popular root spice for thousands of years, ginger has been one of the foods that fight infection. Its antibiotic qualities have been used in the treatment of infections such as chest congestion, whooping cough, diarrhea and cholera. One teaspoon of fresh ginger juice is mixed with one cup of fenugreek decoction and a few teaspoons of honey to make an effective expectorant and diaphoretic.

5.     Yogurt

Yogurt or curd has antibacterial qualities. During fermentation, beneficial bacteria multiply and predigest milk protein, making it easier to assimilate into the body. When these bacteria get into the gut, they destroy or inhibit growth of infection-causing bacteria. Yogurt helps protect the body against infections such as diarrhea, dysentery and appendicitis.

6.     Honey

Honey has both antibiotic and antifungal properties. It fights infections such as throat inflammation, ulceration and sore tongue. Gargling honey with water is an effective relief from hoarseness. To treat oral ulceration, mix 150 grams of honey with 10 grams of glycerin and 20 grams of borax powder and apply locally twice or thrice daily.

7.     Coconut

Coconut is a rich food source of many essential nutrients. It is also one of the important foods that fight infection. Coconut water from the immature green coconut treats infections such as cholera and intestinal worms. It also neutralizes blood acidosis and stabilizes electrolyte levels. To benefit from the antimicrobial qualities of coconut, drink a glass of coconut water two or three times in a day. 

8.     Lemon

Lemon is a powerful antibacterial fruit that treats throat infection and cholera among others. Taking lemon juice regularly can protect against cholera. For the treatment of throat infections, roast a ripe lemon in its skin until it starts to crack. Take one teaspoon of the juice mixed with some honey once every one to two hours. You can also drink this lemon juice mixed with water and a little honey.

9.     Pineapple

This popular tropical fruit contains bromelain which has powerful antibacterial properties to help fight throat infections, diphtheria and even tuberculosis. To treat throat infections, use pineapple juice as a mouthwash. For tuberculosis, the patient should take one glass of pineapple juice every day.

10.  Onion

This popular vegetable is also one of the foods that fight infection. Onion is both antibiotic and antiseptic and protects against and treats infections of the ear, teeth, mouth and gum. It is most effective when taken raw. During World War II, onions were used to treat wounded Russian soldiers. Chewing onions regularly clears oral infections including tooth and gum problems. Onion juice drops administered three times daily can treat ear infections.   

11.  Echinacea

The Echinacea herb strengthens the immune system, thereby protecting against many infections. Active ingredients in Echinacea, including polysaccharides and flavonoids, have powerful therapeutic properties that help treat various infectious conditions. The upper parts of the herb contain the most benefits.

12. Other Effective Foods

  • Carrot. The carrot, a rich source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, is a protective food against eye, throat, tonsil and sinus infections.
  • Berries. Berries such as cranberries, blackberries and strawberries have powerful antioxidant properties, making them foods that fight infection and protect the body from cancers, heart disease and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Fatty Fish. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help protect against inflammatory conditions such as heart disease.
  • Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain vitamins, minerals and the antioxidant lycopene, which helps protect the body against cancers.
  • Nuts. Nuts contain minerals, vitamins, fiber and mono and polyunsaturated fats which help prevent conditions such as heart disease.  
  • Coconut Oil. Coconut oil contains lauric, a medium chain fatty acid that gives coconut its antibacterial properties.
  • Fermented Foods. Besides their ordinary benefits, fermented foods have probiotic qualities that help promote immunity and protect the body against bacterial infections.
  • Horseradish. Horseradish contains antimicrobial properties that make it one of the important foods that fight infections of the lungs and UTIs.
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