It is said in jest that without treatment it takes 7 days to get rid of a cold, and with treatment it takes 1 week. But jokes aside, there are some very good readily available foods that can help you fight off that annoying cold that is ruining your day, nay week. However, it should be noted that these food items are not meant to be taken in isolation but need to be combined judiciously into your normal diet so that they can start having a synergistic effect.
Note that a healthy balanced diet consisting of adequate portions of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean protein is your best bet against most illnesses including common cold. Nevertheless, here are a few food items that you can incorporate into your diet that will fend off the troublesome symptoms of cold.
How to Treat Common Cold
Orange juice contains vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms of a cold. The recommended dose for vitamin C is around 90 mg/day.
Recent studies have proved that mega-doses of vitamin C are not superior to recommended doses when it comes to staving off the cold. One cup of orange juice contains around 120 mg of vitamin C.
Tea has great amounts of polyphenols, which are antioxidants, and other chemicals that are useful against cold. Green tea undergoes the least amount of processing and contains epigallocatechin gallate, which is an antioxidant that boosts your immune system. It has also been suggested that the warmth of hot tea might also have a soothing effect.
Garlic is a very powerful aid against cold. It has sulphur-containing compounds, allicin and allion, which have antiviral properties and are known to boost your immunity. You could either try eating them every 3-4 hours or use them liberally in cooking.
Onions contain the same helpful compounds as garlic, namely allicin and allion. You can eat a few raw onions once every 3-4 hours or use them liberally in cooking your meals.
Ginger has certain compounds, gingerol and shoagol, which are anti-inflammatory, antiviral and increase the sweat production and thus help in excreting out the toxins. It also reduces the nausea and vomiting that may be associated with a cold. It can also be taken as a bath or in tea.
Bell peppers contain vitamin C, which is helpful against cold as noted above. Vitamin C also increases the count of white blood cells and antibodies that are keys to mounting an immune attack against invading pathogens like viruses. A half cup of peppers contains about 140 mg of vitamin C. They also contain other beneficial chemicals like phytochemicals and beta-carotenes.
Spices like cloves, cinnamon and turmeric are rich in antioxidants that boost your immunity. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a polyphenol with powerful effects against cold. Use these spices liberally in your cooking or add them to the morning oatmeal or soups.
All berries, particularly blue berries, are rich in antioxidants that help fight a cold. Eating fresh berries is better than eating frozen ones. Eat about half cup (125 ml) of berries a day.
Broccoli is a good source of vitamins like A, C as well as E. It also contains glucosinolates. This confers immune-boosting properties on broccoli and helps fight cold.
If you are a non-vegetarian, you can try your hand at chicken soup for fighting off that cold. The way it helps is by slowing down the mucus production, and thus make you breathe more easily when suffering from a cold.
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