There are very few things as bothersome as a sore throat, and in winter, it’s common to experience it at least once or twice. Most often accompanied by cold or flu symptoms, a sore throat can also occur when you’ve strained your voice or if you’ve contracted a bacterial infection like strep throat or tonsillitis.
Though food might be the last thing on your mind, it’s very important to eat the right foods and stay hydrated – in fact, some foods are so rich in antioxidants and anti-bacterial agents that they actually help your sore throat to heal faster.
As soon as you start to feel that dreaded irritation in the back of your throat, stock up on these healthy healers:
Used since ancient times, honey is known for its ability to soothe and heal a sore throat. Not only does it reduce coughing and throat irritation with its soothing ability, but it is filled with antiseptic and antifungal properties. Add a few drops to your rooibos tea, or have a teaspoon of it for instant relief.
A natural antibiotic, garlic stimulates the immune system. It is anti-microbial, which makes it a great germ-fighter. The effects are best when it’s fresh, rather than crushed, so add some to a stew or soup the next time you are fighting off the flu.
Filled with antifungal and antibacterial properties, ginger is also a natural painkiller. In addition to alleviating pain, it helps fight infection and speeds up the healing process. Add a piece to hot water to make your own ginger tea, or include chopped / grated ginger in a hot meal.
One of the most antioxidant-rich fruits, lemon is a rich source of vitamin C. It boosts the immune system, while its anti-inflammatory nature helps fight bacteria. It’s also incredibly soothing – squeeze some fresh lemon juice into your tea or hot water, or, if you’re brave enough, drink a little bit of fresh lemon juice.
It’s almost become a cliché, but having chicken soup while you’re sick really helps! The high sodium (salt) content makes it anti-inflammatory, while all the nutrients commonly found in chicken soup (protein from the chicken, and vitamins and minerals from the veggies) help the immune system fight the virus.