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Foods containing natural antibiotics

Foods containing natural antibiotics

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Our bodies work hard. From tasks we take for granted, such as breathing, to the big stuff like running a marathon or giving birth, there is always something we expect out bodies to be getting on with and coping with. On top of all that, we also expect the body to be able to fight infection whenever it crops up. We want strong immune systems and an ability to recover quickly when an illness takes hold.

The good news is that by eating certain foods we can help maintain a healthy body that is capable of fighting off bacteria. Some foods contain natural antibiotic qualities, which can boost your body’s defence on a daily basis.

Garlic and onions

Members of the same food family, onions and garlic have been used to treat ailments for centuries. Both are known to stave off cold and flu symptoms while the antifungal properties found in garlic can help prevent yeast infections and stop viruses. Onions have also been linked to protection against cancer.


This leafy green vegetable is full of sulfer compounds, which are effective at fighting cancer. Cabbage is also a great source of vitamin C, with just one cup providing 75% of an adult’s recommended daily intake. It may not be high on your list of preferred ways to get your five-a-day but cabbage really is a superfood. If you can’t face the memories of the sloppy over-boiled stuff served for school dinners then try making coleslaw or juicing it with some honey for added sweetness.


Speaking of honey, it also has loads of natural goodness in its own right. Honey has been used around the world for hundreds of years to treat and prevent infection. Uncooked honey is best as much of its vitamins, minerals and enzymes are lost when it is heated. Uses for honey are plentiful and it can be used to treat everything from colds and sore throats to abdominal pain and even anxiety.


Used to add a flavour to lots of types of dishes, cinnamon is also a well-known traditional home remedy. The high level of antioxidants contained in cinnamon help stop the spread of bacteria and can protect against food borne diseases such as Ecoli. However, as it is so spicy you should only use small amounts at a time and look out for allergies as cinnamon can cause sever reactions if someone is affected.

Fermented foods

Foods containing natural antibioticsWe’ve all seen the adverts for probiotic yoghurts and know that our bodies need good bacteria to function healthily. However, while these products are great for our guts, they’re not the only food that can help digestive systems. Raw pickles, apple cider vinegar and kim chi (yep, here we go with the cabbage again) all encourage natural gut flora, or good bacteria as we know it.


Echinacea is a herb that has had plenty of coverage over the past few years for its infection-fighting properties. It is most commonly used at the first signs of cold and flu to reduce the effects of the illness. Some people use Echinacea as a preventative measure, however, research suggests that the herb becomes less effective the longer it is used for so it is best taken for short periods at a time.


Ginger contains loads of health boosting properties and can be used to treat colds, flu and other respiratory problems as well as relieving pain and fever. It also has a mild sedative effect, which helps you rest if you’re feeling under the weather. One of the great things about ginger is that it is so versatile – it can be added to dinners, drunk as a tea or used to add extra kick to smoothies.



About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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