A number of foods are known to help improve one’s immunity and also prevent colds and flu symptoms which show up mostly during the cold seasons.
During the cold, winter or rainy seasons, a lot of persons get under the weather and feel a lot more comfortable taking meds to beat it.
However, rather than being stuck on meds whenever it rains or snows, there are other alternative ways to beat the colds.
Eating healthy foods that enhance your immunity and are very rich in vitamins can do a great deal in helping you fight colds.
Let’s take a look at eight foods you should be eating to help you prevent colds and flu:
Garlic, when eaten raw or mildly cooked is very rich in antioxidants that may help relieve cold symptoms.
Besides adding flavor to your meals, they also contain the ingredient allicin, a sulfur-based compound that releases potent antioxidants when broken down.
According to a 2001 study in the journal Advances in Therapy, researchers found that people who took garlic supplements for 12 weeks between November and February got fewer colds than those who took a placebo.
And of those who did get sick, those who were administered garlic supplement recorded a faster recovery rate.
If you’re not a big fan of garlic’s strong flavor and wouldn’t like it in your meals, you could as well have it in capsules or powdered form combined with ginger as a tea.
#2 Oily Fish
Oily fish such as Salmon, Tuna and Mackerel are very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
These compounds help reduce harmful inflammation in the body.
Chronic inflammation prevents your body’s immune system from working properly, and can contribute to colds and flu as well as more serious diseases.
Omega 3 fatty acids help fight colds in more ways than one.
According to a placebo-controlled study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, medical students who took fish oil supplements for three months had lower inflammation levels and also fewer symptoms of anxiety.
Another food you should be eating to beat the colds is Oysters.
Oysters are rich in the essential mineral, Zinc which is well known for its potency in fighting common cold.
Experts say oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food.
According to a study published in a Canadian medical journal, taking zinc lozenges appears to shorten the duration of cold symptoms in adults.
Although taking zinc supplements can elicit side effects such as nausea and headaches, however, it is advisable to get zinc directly from your food.
It’s important though to note that eating uncooked shellfish such as oysters are not advisable as they contain harmful bacteria that could lead to infections.
#4 Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerine, lime, and lemon are rich sources of vitamin C.
Studies have shown that having vitamin C once symptoms of colds surface may reduce the duration of symptoms by at least 24 hours.
Whichever way you choose to consume them citrus fruits—squeezing the juice out of the oranges, slicing the grapes or using limes and lemons in your recipes—you sure will get a lot of vitamin C goodness for your body.
Best Foods To Fight Colds and Flu
No need to worry about getting too much vitamin C from your citrus fruits as you can hardly overdose on vitamin C.
By the way, the human body flushes out whatever vitamin C is left unused out of your system.
A hot cup of your favorite tea can do a whole lot more than just soothe your sore throat and help clear your congested airways and soothe a sore throat.
Tea whether it is black, white, yellow or green, contains a group of antioxidants known as catechins.
Catechins are a type of flavonoid, a type of natural phenol and antioxidant which some experts believe have flu-fighting properties.
A Japanese study, people who took catechin capsules for five months had 75% lower odds of catching the flu than people taking a placebo.
Some other researchers suggest that catechins besides boosting overall immunity and metabolism can also protect against cancer and heart disease.
#6 Red peppers
Your favorite, spicy hot red peppers, just like citrus fruits, are very rich in vitamin C.
Compared with oranges, one red pepper contains twice the amount of vitamin C (about 150 milligrams) an orange has, which is more than double the recommended daily allowance for women.
Even that may not be enough, however, as studies suggest you need much more than that to harness the nutrient’s cold-fighting benefits.
According to experts, when down with a cold, taking as much as 400 to 500 milligrams per day could help fight symptoms.
The human body needs vitamin D to build strong bones, teeth, defend against heart disease, and boost our immune system.
Gratefully, much of this vitamin can be gotten freely when the sun’s rays interact with our skin cells.
We can also obtain this essential vitamin from food fortified with vitamin D such as milk, breakfast cereal and orange juice.
You’ll do well to keep the colds away if you take your recommended daily dose of vitamin D.
According to a study carried out at the Massachusetts General Hospital, researches discovered that lower vitamin D levels were associated with a greater risk of upper respiratory infections.
Another study done by the same team found that Vitamin D supplements can help kids deal with winter colds also.
Last, but in no way least is one spice which in recent times has been endorsed as a super food, turmeric.
This rich yellow spice turmeric, which usually comes in powder form is often used in curry dishes and marrinates.
Turmeric is very rich in antioxidants and is considered a natural anti-inflammatory.
Experts are of the opinion that if taken daily can relieve the body of toxins.
Some experts say that people who eat turmeric are less susceptible to colds, coughs and congestion.
Now you know these eight foods that can help you beat the colds and flu, do go ahead and spice up your meals, drink some tea and stay warm!