Tanya's Tasty Tips: Foods That Fight Colds

Posted on Dec 7, 2008 in Health & Wellness

by Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD
Instead of living in a bed of tissues and medications, here are list of foods that can help might the common cold.Chicken Soup: Your mom was right. According to Researchers at the Nebraska Medical Center studies showed that chicken soup concealed inflammation, which is a common cause of many cold symptoms. The steam from the hot soup will also help unclog airway passages and give you more energy, shown by researchers at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach.

Tea: Constantly drinking fluids will help prevent dehydration. Hot Liquids also loosen mucus, helping it move out of your body quicker and enabling you to breathe easier. Ginger tea contains gingerol, a substance that can restrain coughing and ginger also helps fuel circulation helping clear your sinuses. Green tea has antioxidants which help ward off viruses of the common cold. In an article published in Science Daily, an extract of White Tea was shown to have anti-fungal properties, which can help prevent further infections. Chamomile Tea has been proven to reduce inflammation, which can be effective while fighting cold symptoms.

Oatmeal: Start your morning off with a hot bowl of oatmeal. Not only will it warm you up inside, but it will provide you with essential nutrients to support your immune system. Interestingly enough, according to a UK study, eating breakfast may help fight off colds. The Dietitians Association of Australia reported that consuming products containing zinc will lead to a healthy immune system. Zinc produces a crucial white blood cell known as T-Cells which help your body battle infection. Studies done at the University of North Carolina, found that Selenium, also found in oatmeal helps enzymes protect cells from free radicals formed during infection.

Spices and Condiments: Garlic stands out as an incredibly powerful spice against colds. Garlic produces a phytochemical known as alliin, which ultimately becomes alliicin, quickly oxidizing and forming virus-fighting sulfur compounds, which block the enzymes that lead to infection. Cinnamon has been said to strengthen the immune system by acting as a natural anti-inflammatory and can help reduce fever and achy symptoms associated with a cold. Hot chili peppers contain capsaicin, an antioxidant that is a potent decongestant, which will alleviate a stuffy nose. Oregano is not only a prevailing antioxidant, but it contains antimicrobial compounds that fight bacteria and helps calm the sniffles. Wasabi and horseradish contain mucolytics which help release impacted mucus enabling one to breathe easier and calm a sore throat which was written into the UCLA biomedical library of history and special collections.

Bananas: vitamin B6 is essential for warding off infections in your immune system. Not only are banana’s a tasty good source of this vitamin, but they also contain high levels of magnesium, which is known to be an immune booster. Other great sources of vitamin B6 are pistachios, fish, meat, beans, and whole grains.

Grapefruits: Nutrition Experts at the University of Pennsylvania school of Medicine say having a daily dose of vitamin C can help alleviate symptoms of the common cold simply because it’s a prevailing antioxidant used to keep the body healthy. Grapefruits are loaded with vitamin C. grapefruit being a citrus fruit, when metabolized in your body become alkaline which detoxifies the liver which is imperative to your immune system. Other foods full with Vitamin C are oranges, potatoes, broccoli and pineapple.

Carrots: Beta Carotene, a carotenoid which is an active form of Vitamin A, not only boosts the immune system, but research suggests that white blood cells known as lymphocytes fight infections in the body. Enjoying spinach, kale, and cantaloupe can help increase your intake of this vital nutrient.

Almonds: Scientists at Tufts University found that Vitamin E, considerably improved people’s immune systems. Vitamin E supports the production of B cells which produce antibodies and demolish detrimental bacteria. Other sources of vitamin E include mango, sweet potatoes peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and the creator of The F-Factor DietTM, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto www.FFactorDiet.com.