Natural foods and remedies to help fight the flu and cold

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The flu and cold virus is sweeping the nation causing school districts to close and pharmacies to run out of medicine. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The flu and cold virus is sweeping the nation causing school districts to close and pharmacies to run out of medicine. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

The flu and cold virus is sweeping the nation causing school districts to close and pharmacies to run out of medicine.

Health officials have already seen a 500% increase in flu cases in Arizona from previous years.

[RELATED: Health officials see 500% increase in flu cases in Arizona]

Luckily, there are some natural foods and remedies that can help fight the flu and cold.

Citrus

Citrus, more specifically Lemons, can be great fruits to curb the flu and cold virus. Lemons are one of the few fruits in the citrus family that actually improves the production of white blood cells which fight free radicals.

[READ MORE: Pharmacies seeing increase in need for flu medication]

You can use lemons in a wide variety of ways like making lemon water or lemon tea. Plus, lemons are an anti-bacterial which will help fight off any bacteria growth.

Vitamin C

This one may not be a too much of a secret. Mostly found in citrus fruits, vitamin C is an antioxidant that can reduce cold symptoms by 23 percent, studies found.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Flu Outbreak]

According to a review of 21 studies, just one to eight grams of vitamin C will do the trick, which you can get from citrus fruits like red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and more. You can also get the vitamin via supplements.

Garlic, onions and leeks

Not only is garlic good for scaring off vampires, it also helps prevent the flu!

Add plenty of garlic, onions and leeks to your meals and soup because combined, they contain dozens of broad-spectrum antiseptic and immunity-boosting compounds.

Amino acids

The importance of amino acids in immune health was not understood until the last twenty years or so.

[MORE: Flu outbreak forces Texas school district to close for a week]

Amino acids help protect cells from oxidative stress and contributes to the protection of nerve cells. What this means is that you are fighting the flu or cold from a cellular level.

Chicken soup

Not only does chicken soup provide the fluids you need to help fight off viruses, but it also reduces inflammation that triggers symptoms and leads to more colds.

In addition, chicken soup adds protein boosts cell growth.

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