We are in the thick of cold and flu season, and it seems like this year is hitting all of us particularly hard. Hand-washing, regular exercise and getting enough rest is crucial right now, but did you know what you eat can also help keep sickness at bay? We’ve compiled a list of the best foods that can help ward off a cold, as well as help keep your immune system strong!
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. Plus, chicken soup has a mild anti-inflammatory effect that helps clear nasal congestion and ease cold symptoms.
One of the most recent spices to be crowned a superfood, turmeric is a rich yellow powder often used in curry dishes. It’s high in antioxidants and considered a natural anti-inflammatory that is known to relieve the body of toxins.
Next to turmeric, ginger is one of the world’s most potent disease-fighting spices. With its high levels of vitamin C, magnesium and other minerals, it’s known to stimulate circulation and helps keep the sinuses and lungs clear of mucus.
Cinnamon is one of the most potent antioxidants in the world. Adding it to a teaspoon of raw honey is known to knock out a cold within a day or two. You can also add this spice to virtually anything, such as your breakfast cereal, coffee or tea.
Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, which helps decrease the strength of the cold and flu virus in the body, reduce phlegm and helps fight throat infections, thanks to their antibacterial property.
Green tea leaves contain six types of antioxidants called catechins, which have been shown to inhibit the activity of the common cold, as well as certain influenza viruses. Green tea compounds also help protect tissues from infection and boost immune response to infectious agents, making this food a no-brainer this cold season.
The vitamin C content of citrus fruits have long made them a great choice when battling a cold. However, grapefruits stand out among the group, thanks to being relatively low in sugar – which is important since sugar deteriorates the functioning of the immune system and makes the body more prone to infections.
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties, and proponents swear by it to alleviate symptoms when hit by the cold or flu. Plus, it contains allicin, a powerful antibacterial that is released after garlic is crushed.