Fill Up On Foods That Fight Colds

A bowl of chicken noodle soup(BlackDoctor.org) — Do you think the worst of it is over? If you do, sorry to break the news, but we’re not free and clear yet. Cold and flu season typically can last from September until May, and many people find themselves even more susceptible to the sniffles as seasons (and temperatures) change.

Over 200 viruses can cause the common cold, and new strains of the flu are constantly developing. Because colds and flu don’t respond to antibiotics, preventing either one of them can be quite the tricky task.

The Common Cold & Frustrating Flu – What Really Works?

Between folklore, family recipes and science, differentiating myth from fact among cold and flu remedies has become difficult. But one fact that you can find comfort in is the effectiveness of food, including the long-time home remedy chicken soup. A well-known study done at the Nebraska Medical Center researched whether chicken soup works as a remedy to fight illness and help relieve symptoms. The study found that chicken soup contains a number of substances with healing effects—and the researchers concluded that chicken soup actually does work.

Other than soup, is there any other culinary hope in coping with colds and the flu? The answer is YES! While there’s no natural miracle cure, the below foods may be able to help you and your family on your way to recovery.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes might be a surprising superfood, but they are a healthy option for cold and flu fighting, nonetheless. Sweet potatoes are one of the best veggies on the block when it comes to nutritional value, boasting potassium, vitamins A and C, and calcium, all helpful in staying healthy and fighting off cold and flu symptoms.

Nuts

A dish of nuts at your side may help you ward off your symptoms and boost your body’s immunity. But not just any nuts will do. Opt for Brazil nuts, which contain the antioxidant selenium, or almonds, which have plenty of vitamin E.

Garlic

Garlic has become another popular superfood for fighting the flu. Due to component allicin, garlic is known for its ability to help prevent the spread of flu and other infections.

Red Bell Peppers

Though you might not have much luck getting your children to chow down on sliced red pepper, it might be a more effective choice than the traditional orange slice. Red bell peppers are higher in vitamin C and are water-rich, which will help prevent dehydration.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are sources of beta-glucan which can support your immune system. Consider adding mushrooms to chicken broth or soup, another cold and flu staple.

Dark Chocolate

It’s more than just a dessert. Cocoa can help support t-helper cells, which in turn help your immune system fight off infection from colds and flu. So keep a dark chocolate bar handy, just in case!

Honey

Many consider honey to be one of nature’s best superfoods. It has been proven to help stop the growth of bacteria in a laboratory setting. Honey may also help suppress your cough, should one be present. Consider adding it to warm water or a lightly brewed tea, also reported to help with cold and flu symptoms.

Water

Water is the ultimate tool for hydration, and you simply won’t recover from a cold or the flu if you can’t keep your body hydrated. Make sure to drink enough water and avoid beverages that dehydrate your body instead, such as coffee.

These additional superfoods can help boost your immune system as they ease symptoms:

• 100% orange juice
• Avocado
• Spinach
• Tomatoes
• Bell peppers
• Broccoli
• Garlic
• Grapefruit
• Lean meat
• Yogurt
• Squash
• Blueberries
• Eggplant

Do You Know Which Foods To Avoid When You’re Sick?

While making an effort to consume the above foods, it’s important to avoid foods that are high in sugar. Excess amounts of sugar have been found to suppress immune function. Also, avoid milk products if you are congested. Milk protein thickens mucus and can make it harder to drain from your system. Water, on the other hand, will help keep mucus thin and easier to clear.

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