Cold and flu are common respiratory illnesses that millions of people get all over the world. Cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu. Cold symptoms can make one suffer for a few days, on the other hand flu symptoms are more severe and one can suffer for few days or even weeks. There are more than 200 types of virus that can cause cold and flu. Most symptoms of cold remain above the neck which includes sore throat, congestion of the nose, coughing and sneezing. These symptoms accompanies with fever, headache, body ache and extreme weakness are indications of flu. Severe cold can lead to pneumonia, an ear infection, or an asthma attack. Researchers have found that medicines across the counter are not always effective for cold and flu, but there are certain immunity- boosting foods that will help in the winter misery
Foods that fight cold and flu
- Chicken Soup – provides the fluids that help to combat with the cold and flu virus. It has a mild anti-inflammatory that helps to reduce the inflammations in the upper respiratory tract that triggers the symptoms of cold. Combination of vegetables and chicken help to soothe the symptoms of cold.Chicken soup thins mucous secretions so that congestion in the nose, chest and throat gets clear. The addition of noodles will increase the healing power of the soup by the carbohydrates that will help the energy levels. On the other hand addition of vegetables will increase the nutrient levels in the soup that will boost a struggling immune system.
- Garlic, Onions, and Leeks—contain a broad spectrum of antiseptic and immunity –boosting compounds. Garlic also helps to open the clogged sinuses.Garlic also contains allice, which is a sulphuric compound that produces antioxidants.Garlic supplies the maximum antioxidant punch when eaten raw.
- Citrus Fruits- Studies have revealed that Vitamin C, most commonly found in citrus fruits, is an antioxidant which can reduce the symptoms of cold. These can be got from supplements or from fresh citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, sprouts, squash, papaya, sweet potatoes, butternut and tomatoes.
- Ginger—contains a chemical that targets the virus that belongs to the family of cold virus that is most commonly the cause of colds. Ginger also acts as a mild sedative and helps in reducing pain and fever. Ginger tea or ginger ale works wonders with a sore throat.
- Honey- is a cold and flu friendly sore throat reliever. It also helps to fight infections from viruses, fungi and bacteria.Buckwheat honey has the highest levels of antioxidants. This has many more medicinal qualities. Studies show that honey coats the throat and soothes irritation which can reduce cough.
- Yogurt—The Lactobacillus bacterium in yogurt blocks the replication of viruses that invade the body in cases of any illness.
- Selenium-Rich Foods—are found in Brazil nuts that help to boost the immunity in the body.Selenium the production of cytokines, which help to get rid of the flu virus. Other foods like Lobster, oysters, clams, crabs, tuna, and cod all contain selenium.
- Red Wine– the bacteria in Red wine — resveratrol and polyphenols- work in the same way as the beneficial bacteria – Lactobacillus bacterium in yogurt does. It blocks the replication of viruses that invade the body in cases of any illness.
- Mushrooms is a common herbal medicine that increases the production of cytokines which are cells that help fight off infections. Another class of compounds found in mushrooms are called polysaccharides that support the immune system in the body
- Black Pepper –is a spice well known for its pain relieving and anti-fever properties. According to Ayurveda spices like cinnamon, coriander and ginger enhance sweating which helps to break fever. Spices in food can also help in clearing a clogged nose and can shrink the blood vessels of the nose and throat to clear congestion.Anise seeds have bacterial properties that help to ease coughing and clear congestion in the upper respiratory tract.
- Green tea—Studies have revealed that green tea contains antioxidants that help in curing the ailing immune system in the body. Green Tea helps in producing more cells that can fight the virus and bacteria causing cold and flu.