With the weather growing colder and children going back to school, cold season is setting in. There are foods that you can eat to help boost your immunity so that your body is better able to fight off the germs you encounter on a daily basis. Even if you find ourself starting to sniffle and sneeze, don't despair. You can combat your cold with the food that you eat. Here are four foods to help you eat your way to a healthy and cold-free year.
It has become a cliché to make chicken soup when you feel unwell. However, this folk remedy has been used for centuries in different cultures around the world, and there's a reason why. A warm bowl of soup is comforting, especially when you may be feeling cold or even having chills. Also, traditional chicken soup is very nutritious, containing a variety of nutrients and vitamins that can help to boost your overall strength, and therefore cold-fighting ability. Soup also helps to keep you hydrated, which is especially important when you have a temperature.
There's more to it than that though. Research has found that chicken soup actually helps to fight the symptoms of colds.
Chicken soup doesn't actually make your cold go away any faster, but it can decrease the respiratory symptoms associated with colds. That means that you will feel better faster.
Popular BBC TV series (and the accompanying book) Grow Your Own Drugs, hosted by ethnobotanist James Wong, covered chicken soup as a healing food, and created a unique version
using "super foods" for boosting your immune system.
Mushrooms have long been respected as an ultra-healthy food. They are high in protein, and virtually fat, calorie, and cholesterol free. Mushrooms are high in the antioxidant selenium, provide B vitamins, and are a fantastic source of potassium. These super healthy foods can help to support over all health.
There is also medical evidence that mushrooms can help strengthen our immune systems, making us better able to fight off and recover from colds and other ailments. Mushrooms have medicinal properties which are not yet fully understood,Mushrooms are easy to incorporate into your diet.
This simple food is usually used in small amounts to add flavor to dishes. However, we should pay more attention to garlic. Scientific studies have shown that taking a daily garlic supplement can slash your chances of cutting a cold by more than half! If you do catch a cold, garlic is proven to help you recover faster and avoid re-infection or relapses. Allicin is the active cold-fighting chemical in garlic.
According to anecdotes, fresh garlic is more effective than cooked. Try blitzing it up into salsa or hummus to make it more palatable.
Also used primarily to flavor other dishes, ginger has long been praised for its healing properties. It aids digestion, is an anti-inflammatory, and improves circulation. It also acts as a decongestant. Ginger can effectively combat colds because it acts in several ways: it breaks up congestion, it blocks prostaglandin (which means it helps to ease and prevent headaches), it warms your respiratory track (soothing the inflammation associated with colds), and the cineole in ginger reduces stress. If you do catch a cold,
ginger can help to ease the symptoms and speed up your recovery.
You can cook with fresh or dried ginger, take a ginger supplement, eat crystallized ginger, or drink a warming ginger tea. Add local honey to a ginger tea for an extra boost to your immune system.
Incorporating these four foods into your diet can help you to stay healthy and lower your chances of catching a cold. If you do succumb to a cold, these foods can help nurse you back to health again, and they taste good too.