What’s common for Chinese New Year (CNY)?
Ang pao (red packet), oranges, bak gwa, pineapple tarts and yes the annoying sore throat! With plenty of house visits and CNY goodies, it is no wonder sore throat is a common woe many people face during this festive season. For those who are “younger”, pimples could be an additional outcome of CNY celebration too.
What causes sore throat?
Both sore throat and acne are cases of acute inflammation. Inflammation could be due to infection but for a typical CNY sore throat, the inflammation is most likely triggered by the cooking oil used in the CNY goodies we eat. The situation is usually worsened by insufficient consumption of water which makes the throat dry and slow down toxins removal from the body.
The power of Nutritional Immunology (NI)..
Mother Nature has created plenty of plant-based food to counter sore throat (i.e. inflammation). Besides mushrooms (lots of polysaccharides to boost immunity) and cactus (excellent anti-inflammatory agent), I have learnt that licorice and peppermint are amazing fighters against sore throat too!
How does peppermint help?
Moroccans love to drink fresh peppermint tea after a meal as it helps to promote digestion. This however is not the only benefit. Peppermint is also rich in powerful antioxidants which scavenge free radicals thus protecting normal cells from free-radical damage. It contains menthol and chlorogenic acid which boost immunity by summoning immune cells to areas being invaded by bacteria and viruses. Menthol also stimulates nerves that sense cold (hence the cooling sensation) and it can briefly inhibit nerves that react to pain. In addition, peppermint can also help to expel mucus and relieve nasal congestion by reducing inflammation of nasal passageways!
Having gained a little knowledge about Nutritional Immunology (NI), what would you do now when your throat starts acting up? Hint: It is in the profile picture of the article and it works!
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