15 Foods That Help Prevent a Cold and the Flu from 15 Foods That Help Prevent a Cold and the Flu

15 Foods That Help Prevent a Cold and the Flu

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15 Foods That Help Prevent a Cold and the Flu

With cold and flu season right around the corner, everyone should be educating themselves on how to protect themselves. You may notice that people are starting to get sick around you; all it takes is for one person to sneeze or cough next to you, and before you know it you’re sick, too.

It is important to use precaution, and do your best to avoid germs. Practice good hygiene, drink fluids, get enough sleep, exercise, and take your vitamins. Most importantly, make sure that you are eating the right foods.

Jess Dyer, in-house nutritionist at Graze, explains that it is important to eat a lot of slow-cooked meals, such as soups and broths, that contain plenty of vegetables. It is a “wonderful way to keep yourself nourished and your immune system supported,” she adds.

Do your best to avoid contracting the cold and flu by eating the right foods. Here are 15 foods that help prevent a cold and the flu.

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Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions should be a go-to during the winter as they have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, says Jess Dyer, in-house nutritionist at Graze. “If you've caught a cold or there is a virus doing the rounds, eat as much garlic and onions as you can!” The easiest (and tastiest!) way to eat them in abundance is in curry or homemade soup, she says.

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Soups and Stews

Yes, Grandma knew best. “Ensure you are eating lots of slow-cooked meals containing plenty of vegetables. Soups and broths are a wonderful way to keep yourself nourished and your immune system supported,” Dyer says. “Use hearty vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower and pumpkin for a flavor and nutrient boost!” Check out an awesome vegetarian stew and a turmeric broth recipe on Graze's blog.

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Turmeric

Turmeric has been used for years as a homemade cold remedy. It full of curcuminoids, a powerful antioxidant that has been known to treat oxidative stress and have protective action against an individual suffering from a cold or cough. It is also a great supplement for treating arthritis pain.

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Lemon and Ginger

Dyer recommends drinking plenty of lemon and ginger herbal tea. She explains that “lemons are rich in vitamin C which helps our bodies fight off infections. They also have anti-bacterial properties and are a great liver detoxifier, which is great when your liver is working over-time to fight off viruses.” Tip: Finely chop a 2.5-centimeter piece of fresh ginger, let it sit in boiling water for 15 minutes, add a squeeze of lemon juice, strain, and enjoy your very own lemon and ginger herbal tea, Dyer adds.

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Yogurt

In order to keep your immune system strong, you need to keep it healthy with probiotics. Yogurt is an excellent source for this; it helps fight off the bad bacteria and it increases the number of virus-fighting cells, which ultimately lessens the chances of coming down with an illness.

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Cayenne

Cayenne pepper contains the chemical capsicum; it can be used as a stimulant to help build up resistance during the beginning stages of a cold. Sprinkle a small amount of cayenne pepper on your food to help you feel warmer and relieve congestion.

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Fluids

“Keep up your fluid intake to aid detoxification and allow toxins to exit the body easily,” Dyer explains. “Coffee dehydrates the body so drink plenty of water and herbal teas instead.” If you are feeling weak, Dyer suggests using a straw. It “can help to get water down without having to lift a glass! It can also help you to drink more since you don’t get the air bubbles like you do when drinking out of a glass.”

 

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Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits contain high concentrations of vitamin C, which is known to boost your immune system and ward off the common cold. The skin found on lemons, grapefruits, and oranges contain flavonoids, which are great for a quick recovery.

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Vitamin C

Dyer explains that “vitamin C is strongly anti-viral and research has shown that it can curb and shorten the seventy and length of most colds and flus if taken in sufficient amounts.” If you feel a cold coming on, you should increase your vitamin C dietary and supplement-wise, she adds. Foods rich in vitamin C are strawberries, fresh peppers, cucumbers, and arugula.

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Oily Fish

Oily fish such as salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids and protein. According to research, the PD1, derived from fish oil, proved to be effective at stopping the flu virus from replicating in the laboratory in human lung cells. Salmon has also been proven to boost the immune system, increase cardiovascular health, and prevent macular degeneration.

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Herbs

There are plenty of herbs that can help fight off winter cold ailments, one of which is licorice. This is one of Dyer’s favorite because it consists of both anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and will help soothe the throat when it’s inflamed. Reap the benefits by drinking it in tea form or by simply sucking on a sugar-free licorice hard candy. “Liquid herbs such as licorice, astragalus and echinacea can be used in both the prevention and treatment of winter ailments such as sore throats, runny noses or blocked sinuses,” Dyer says.

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Fennel

Fennel is an herb that’s known for its numerous health benefits. Studies have found that it’s a great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and decongestant. There are various herbal remedies that can be created to prevent and cure the cold and flu. HomeRemediesWeb says that you can rid your nasal congestion by boiling 1 liter of water in a pot, adding 4 to 5 teaspoons of fennel seeds, and simply leaning over the pot and inhaling the vapors by covering your head with a towel. You can also gargle warm fennel tea for a sore throat.

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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has numerous health benefits, one of which is strengthening the immune system. It is full of antioxidants that have been shown to help reduce the risk of disease, alleviate symptoms of the common cold, and even shorten the duration. Tip: Melt coconut oil into tea or broth to soothe a sore throat.

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Oysters

Oysters contain the mineral zinc, more than any other food contains. Just one oyster will give you about 13 milligrams of zinc. It has been proven to boost the immune system and ultimately prevent the cold and flu. According to research, taking zinc lozenges during the first few days of a cold may shorten the misery of an upper respiratory infection.

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AVOID: Sugar

Avoid sugar at all costs. It greatly compromises your immune system and makes you more susceptible to a long recovery, Dyer explains. “If you are run-down and then eat or drink something sugary, it can literally send your immune system into free-fall -- and the next thing you know, you're still not feeling better.”  If you’re beginning to feel sick, stay off sugar and allow your immune system to regroup. Tip: Looking for some healthy, low-sugar dessert recipes? Check out: cherry chia pudding, cherry chia pudding, chocolate strawberry smoothie.

15 Foods That Help Prevent a Cold and the Flu