The air we are breathing is getting toxic by the day. It was reported earlier this week by the government-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research that Delhi's air quality has fallen drastically and is inching closer to "severe" category. Winter is approaching and with the festive season at hand, experts are also predicting a heavy sheath of smog to take over in the northern part of the country. Previous year, hospitals across capital saw record number of people landing up in hospital emergency rooms due to respiratory hassles. The government and non-government institutions are doing their bit to spread awareness about preventive measures, and one of the most common advises is to keep your diet fortified with essential minerals and antioxidants.
The polluted air that we inhale includes ozone, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, diesel exhaust particles, etc. into our lungs. Air pollution could lead to dry throat, itchy skin, burning eyes, breathing problem, coughing, wheezing, irritation in nose, and rise in blood pressure. The protective antioxidants present in the lining of our lungs help counter the effects of these pollutants, but sometimes they are not enough. There are a number of foods, fruits, veggies and spices that are replete with antioxidants and can prevent your lungs against the onslaught. Honey is one of the oldest and most trusted remedies to soothe itchy, scratchy and sore throat.
Air Pollution: Why is a teaspoon of honey your best friend this season?
Honey is packed with vitamins C, D, E K and B complex. It has anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial and ant-fungal properties. It is also rich in a bevy of antioxidants that make it ideal to fight respiratory infections. The book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, "types of honey shown to work well for coughs include buckwheat, eucalyptus, citrus, or labiatae(mint family) varieties. The antimicrobial family properties of manuka honey make it a good choice if you or your child has cold."
How to have honey to combat itchy throat due to air pollution
The book 'Healing Foods' suggests a home-made cough syrup you can make using just a tablespoon of honey.
• Take 1 tbsp of honey or combine with little lemon juice and/or grated fresh ginger for a warming cough syrup that will boost your vitamin C intake, notes the book.
You can also use honey to make this effective Ayurvedic concoction as suggested by Ayurveda expert, Dr. Ashutosh Gautam.
- Water - 1 cup
- Ginger - 1 small piece
- Tulsi- 4-5 leaves
- Turmeric - a pinch
- Black Pepper - 5 seeds
- Honey - 1 teaspoon
- Rock Salt - a pinch (optional)
1. Take a pan and add water to it. Heat it on high flame and allow it to boil. Once it starts boiling, add in ginger, tulsi leaves, a pinch of turmeric and black pepper seeds.
2. Now, boil the concoction on low flame till the water reduces to half a cup. Once this is done, remove it from the stove and pour it in a cup. Add one teaspoon of honey and your concoction is ready. You can add in rock salt if you have phlegm.
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