You feel that telltale tingle at the back of your throat, your head hurts, and you can’t breathe. Then you’re coming down with a cold. ”Tis the season for feeling sick — and you’re not alone. Before you reach for the latest over-the-counter remedy in your medicine cabinet, head to your kitchen. Look for these 7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu.
7 Colds and Flu-Fighting Foods to Strengthen Immune System
While frequent hand washing, regular exercise, and the flu shot are tried-and-true methods to fend off sickness, you can also bolster your immune systems with items found right in your pantry.
The most authentic way to fight a cold or flu is to eat foods that will help you build the healthy cells you need to feel better. Add these cold-and flu-fighting foods to your cart on your next grocery run.
Nope, it’s’s, not the smell of garlic that scares away the bacteria and viruses that make you feel sick.
It’s’s allicin, the major active component found in garlic, that’s responsible for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Research studies have shown that people taking garlic supplements experienced fewer and less severe colds compared to those taking a placebo.
Garlic also helps promote healthy gut flora, which rids the body of toxins, bacteria, and viruses.
While you could pop a pill, it is best to eat the actual thing.
The active components are more bioavailable when you eat real garlic.
If you want to boost your immune system, eat some beef.
Beef is a good source of zinc, and zinc is vital in the development of the white blood cells that defend your body.
Research has shown that having a zinc deficiency decreases a person’s immune function and response.
Plus, the extra protein you get from chowing down on beef supports the body in building antibodies and fighting off infections.
3. Sweet Potato
While sweet potatoes may not be considered a traditional cold-fighting food, they’re a great source of Vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces.
That includes the inside of your nose and your gastrointestinal tract, as well as your skin.
You might not think of your skin as part of your immune system, but it keeps infections from entering your body.
It is your first line of defense.
Keeping your mucous membranes healthy is key to keeping infections at bay.
One of the most recent spices to be crowned a superfood, turmeric is a rich yellow powder often used in curry dishes.
It’s’s high in antioxidants and considered a natural anti-inflammatory.
If you take it daily, it is known to relieve the body of toxins.
It has been shown that people who consume turmeric are less susceptible to colds, coughs, and congestion.
5. Dark Leafy Greens
While people typically associate citrus fruit with vitamin C, dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and arugula, are also great sources of the cold-fighting vitamin.
Some research shows that if you consistently take in adequate amounts of Vitamin C, it can reduce the duration of a cold.
Sautéing vegetables and combining them with other healthy spices and foods, such as garlic, is recommended.
When the greens are cooked, they shrink in size, and you can consume more of the vegetables than if you were eating them raw.
Remember – the darker the greens, the higher the nutrient content.
6. Wild Salmon
As daylight hours decrease during the fall and winter, so do your vitamin D stores.
This nutrient is critical for fending off colds and flu, so it is important to mindful of consuming foods rich in it, like wild salmon.
Research has shown that those with healthy levels of vitamin D suffered from fewer respiratory tract infections compared to those who were deficient — and felt better faster after getting sick.
7. Chicken Soup
Your mom was right. You should eat chicken soup when you’re sick. This age-old elixir combines many elements that help speed your recovery.
The warm broth not only soothes your throat but helps you stay hydrated, too.
Hot liquid, like soup, raises the temperature in your body and airways, loosening mucous secretions.
Also, when you cook chicken, it releases the amino acid cysteine, which resembles a drug that is used to treat bronchitis.
With its high concentration of protein and vegetables, it’s’s like you’re giving your body a super-vitamin.
While these pantry staples are an excellent first line of defense against colds and the flu, you also need to pay attention to your overall diet.
A healthy diet has been shown to boost immune function and help you get better faster.
If you’re consistently eating a varied diet and a colorful palate, it will help your body fight off any infections. Learn the 7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu to remain healthy every day.
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