Colds are an inescapable reality of life. Whether you’re riding the train during rush hour, working in your cubicle, or just walking down the street, chances are that you’re going to catch a cold from somebody else. But the truth is that you can prevent that for the most part by eating natural foods that fight colds. While there isn’t a magic food that will protect you from common viruses, feeding your body the right amounts of nutrients will make it more difficult for a cold to set in.
Here are 5 natural foods that will help you keep colds away.
Fish is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to fight inflammation and reduces the risk of suffering heart disease. By lowering inflammation levels in the body, Omega-3 helps the immune system to work properly and therefore be prepared to deal with the common cold and other common viruses that you encounter every day.
For a long time it was believed that oily fish had the highest concentrations of this acid, but it’s actually sardines that lead the pack. Sardines are the best source of Omega-3 with 1,259 mg of this compound as compared to rainbow trout (905 mg), salmon (840 mg), and tuna (196 mg).
2. Chicken Soup
Perhaps the most famous home remedy of all time, chicken soup lives up to its reputation as both a preventive tool and an effective cure for the common cold. Studies have confirmed that chicken soup has a unique healing power, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of its’ broth, chicken, and vegetables.
Whether you’re sick or not, drinking chicken soup will help you reduce inflammation in your body, therefore strengthening your immune system and helping to alleviate common cold symptoms, such as soreness in the throat and excessive congestion. So make sure to use as many veggies as you can, especially celery and spinach, to maximize your soup’s healing powers.
Mushrooms contain a variety of minerals and nutrients, such as potassium, selenium, and vitamin B that are essential to mitigate catching a cold. These help to boost your immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells, which are the ones responsible for fighting infections.
Of all the varieties available, scientists have found shiitake mushrooms to have the most benefits. Besides helping to prevent and cure a cold, shiitake mushrooms also contain high quantities of healthy nutrients and minerals like lentinan (which is linked to reduced risks of cancer), vitamin D, and niacin.
4. Citrus fruits
Oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is essential to keep your body’s defenses running strong. Whether you’re eating or drinking them, citrus fruit will provide your body with the antioxidants it needs to fight off infections and viruses that are trying to set in.
In addition to its preventive qualities, citrus fruit can also help you soften the effects of a cold. A recent study showed that eating an orange at the earliest signs of a cold can help reduce its duration by a day, and other added health benefits include treating bronchitis, aiding weight loss, and even helping to prevent cancer.
Oysters contain high quantities of Zinc which is an essential mineral needed to fight off viruses. According to a detailed study, Zinc levels are directly related to the duration of a cold. Good levels of zinc in the body are known to shorten the duration of a cold and lessen the discomfort caused by its symptoms.
Because zinc supplements come in high dosages, eating oysters provides a natural, healthy dosage of this nutrient which is exactly the amount you need to bump out of a cold. Eating oysters regularly will also keep your zinc levels at a healthy level, helping you to prevent contracting other common viruses.
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To your health,
Dr. Chris Dawkins, BM, MRCGP, LMCC
Chief Nutrition Optimizer at Natural Health News