Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Foods that Fight Colds: Part 1

This is the season for both joy and colds and coughs. Sometimes we just get bored of heading to the medicine cabinet for medications and tablets.

Here we have for you some of the most common foods that can fight colds and boost your immunity.

You will be surprised that it is not all about the long prescribed vitamin C.

Our immune system is very much tied to what we eat. If you eat healthy and focus on foods that have the power to boost your immune system, you are less likely to get sick and more likely to have less irritating symptoms if you do get sick.

Here is a list of foods that do just that and they are from a variety of food groups:

1- Fish, especially oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, contain omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce harmful inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammations can prevent your immune system from working properly.

2- Oysters are the highest foods in zinc, an element that helps fight the common cold and shorten the duration of common cold. Try not to eat it raw, though, for fear of other diseases that shellfish case. 

3- Garlic contains allicin, which is a sulfuric compound producing potent antioxidants when decomposed. This is if taken in tablets or raw, but especially when eaten raw.  

4- Anise seeds have antibacterial properties and help ease off cough and upper respiratory tract congestion. You can add them to cookies but for colds and cough it is better taken as tea. It has a licorice taste.  

5- Citrus fruit which are high in vitamin C help ease the symptoms' duration but recent research suggests vitamin C does not have the effect that it was once thought it has to fight the cold. Oranges and lemons are power houses that you can benefit from on many levels so you can eat as much as you want of them.

6- Fennel has similar qualities and taste to anise. It helps you ease off a cough and get rid of congestion as it is a natural expectorant. You can eat it raw or roasted, but for cold symptoms it is better you take it as tea of its seeds.     

7- Yogurt and kefir which are probiotic foods help replenish strains of beneficial bacteria that help strengthen digestive health and preventing stomach ailments. Also consuming probiotics may lower the risk of having upper respiratory tract infections.

8- Tea (black, green or white) not only helps soothe congestion and sore throats, research shows that it also contains antioxidants (catechins) that may have flu-fighting properties. People can take catechins as supplement form as well. Some research also suggests catechins could boost our general immunity, rev metabolism and protect against cancer and heart disease.

9- Red peppers are high in vitamin C (1 pepper has 150 mg of it which is more than 1 orange 100 mg and it is also twice the daily need of women). If you are sick you can eat more than your daily needs to get all the fighting benefit of the nutrient.

10- Milk is the major source of vitamin D. Vitamin D has the ability to strengthen and build our bones, defend against heart disease, and boost our immune system. While vitamin D is mainly produced in our skin when exposed to sun rays, it also exists in fortified foods like milk, cereal, and orange juice (read labels). When you get your daily dose of vitamin D this might help keep colds and upper respiratory system infections away.

Don't forget to read Part 2 of the foods that fight colds. Click here.


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