It’s the time of year when you cannot move for people sneezing. These cold-busting foods help keep the sniffles at bay.
Like most things in life having a well-balanced diet is always a good start. Ditch the caffeine, along with the processed high-sugar, high-fat junk food, and replace them with whole grains and lots of fruit and vegetables. The better your diet is to start with the quicker you will recover from a cold.
Vitamins C & A
While Vitamin C will not stop you getting a cold, it can certainly make you feel better and help you recover from the cold quicker. Oranges are well known for their Vitamin C content. You can also find it in kiwi fruit, grapefruit, strawberries and blackcurrants. Where possible eat the fruit raw and fresh to maintain the Vitamin C content.
Foods high in beta-carotene are superb for fighting illness as they convert to Vitamin A which is important for keeping the immune system strong. As the name carotene suggests, carrots are high in these immunity-boosting ingredients along with other orange and yellow-coloured vegetables and fruits, like sweet potato and peppers.
When you have a cold it is also important to keep your fluid levels up so make sure you drink lots of water. You can also make smoothies with some of these vitamin-packed foods.
Get hot and spicy
Both chilli and ginger naturally clear your nasal passages and red chillies have the benefit of containing the other cold-busting essential: Vitamin C. Turmeric, used in a lot of Indian food, has anti-inflammatory properties that can also help with flu and cold symptoms.
In its raw form garlic is antibacterial and full of immunity-boosting selenium. A 2001 study by Peter Josling showed that people who took a garlic supplement on a daily basis suffered from fewer colds than those who did not. Add garlic to salad dressing or mash it into some sweet potato for a nutritious yet comforting side dish.
Penicillin in a bowl
For years the healing properties of a steaming hot bowl of chicken soup have been known. This is not just an old wives’ tale. Naturally occurring ingredients in this dish not only feed the body but also the soul. To get the best out of chicken soup make your own.
If it comes down to it and you cannot avoid the cold, have a hot toddy. While there is not much nutritional proof this cold-busting food works it certainly makes you feel better. Top up a shot of whisky with some freshly-boiled water and a teaspoon of honey to help soothe the throat. For a non-alcoholic alternative replace the whisky with fresh lemon juice.