When suffering from a cold, you may wonder what kind of food to help reduce your illness's severity and duration. It is well known that a balanced diet will help fight colds, but did you know certain types of fruits and vegetables can provide invaluable support in overcoming it?
Unfortunately, respiratory viral infections like the common cold occur frequently and cannot be treated with antibiotics. While rest is essential to recovery, it is also important to address the nutritional element. Eating nutritious foods is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system against cold illnesses.
Fortunately, nature provides us with numerous natural options; consuming certain types of fruits and vegetables can make all the difference when dealing with an infection like a cold. Here's an overview of specific produce items that can boost your immunity and help quickly overcome or reduce cold symptoms.
Citrus Fruits for Fighting a Cold
It is known that citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons contain a variety of powerful nutrients that can help boost your immune system and ward off a cold. Vitamin C is the most notable nutrient in citrus fruits, but there are other benefits to consuming these delicious fruits. Vitamin C helps support immunity by enhancing the production of white blood cells, which assist in fighting infections. Regularly consuming vitamin C from citrus fruits can ensure your body has enough to fight any colds before they worsen. In addition, vitamin C helps repair tissue damage caused by infections and reduces inflammation in the body, reducing soreness associated with a cold or flu. You might want to drink freshly squeezed orange juice if you start feeling cold symptoms.
Spicy Foods for Clearing Congestion
When it comes to congestion, most people rely on medication and over-the-counter remedies. However, there is an alternative that could help clear your nasal passages - spicy foods! Chili peppers contain a compound known as capsaicin which can open up your airways and lessen the severity of congestion. There are many different types of spicy foods that you can try in order to reduce your congestion symptoms.
Popular options include chili peppers, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder and ginger. These spices contain varying levels of capsaicin, which activates special receptors in the nose when breathed in. This helps to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages and ease breathing difficulty. Not only do these spices help to clear congestion, but they also add flavor to food! So why not give them a try next time you have trouble breathing?
Garlic for Antiviral Properties
Garlic is a common ingredient used in cooking, and it has antiviral properties as well. One of the critical ingredients in garlic is allicin, which has been proven to fight off cold viruses. Allicin has strong antiviral properties, and research shows that it can help to reduce the severity and duration of a cold virus.
Allicin is an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral compound that occurs naturally when garlic cloves are crushed or chopped. It helps to increase immunity by increasing production of white blood cells. Additionally, consuming garlic daily may protect against viruses such as the cold virus before they have had the chance to take hold.
Eating raw garlic can be an unpleasant experience, so many people consume it in capsule form or incorporate pressed garlic into their daily meals.
Green Leafy Veggies for Vitamin A
Green leafy veggies, such as spinach and kale, are a great source of Vitamin A. This important vitamin helps to strengthen your immune system and protect against infection. Not only does Vitamin A provide essential disease-fighting benefits, but it also helps reduce inflammation throughout the body for soothing relief from sore throats. In addition to Vitamin A, leafy greens are packed with other healthy vitamins like Vitamin C and folate. Eating these veggies can help boost your overall health and ensure you get all the essential nutrients you need in your diet daily. They will help you fight off illnesses and improve digestion while providing antioxidants that may protect against cancer cells forming in the body.
Sweet Potato for Soothing Relief
Sweet potatoes are a great option for those looking for natural relief from inflammation. Not only are sweet potatoes rich in vitamins and minerals, but they contain two essential nutrients that have been shown to reduce inflammation: vitamin A and vitamin C. Eating just one or two servings of sweet potatoes per day improves the body's ability to fight off the pain caused by swelling and redness associated with inflammation. Vitamin A is an important antioxidant that prevents free radicals from damaging cells. It also helps improve immunity and may even help decrease risk factors associated with chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, helps support the formation of collagen, which is important for skin health, wound healing, and joint repair - all of which can be affected by chronic inflammation.
Berries for Antioxidant Support
Berries, especially those with a deep red or blue hue, are high in antioxidants. The body uses antioxidants to fight free radicals and protect cells from damage. This can reduce the risk of chronic inflammation and associated illnesses, including neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Eating berries is easy to add these beneficial compounds to your diet. Berries are prosperous sources of important nutrients like vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and anthocyanins that can reduce inflammation. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid found naturally in certain types of berries and give them their deep red or blue hue.
Melons for Hydration & Vitamin C
Melons are a nutritious and delicious way to stay hydrated and get your daily dose of Vitamin C. The juicy fruit is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help keep your body functioning at its best. Melons are tasty and hydrating and contain high levels of vitamin C, which is crucial for overall health and fighting off colds. Consuming melons regularly may help boost the immune system due to their abundance of water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. In addition, melons have anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce inflammation throughout the body. They also provide essential electrolytes to help keep dehydration at bay during hot summer months or after strenuous exercise activities.
To sum up
Eating vegetables and fruits is essential to prevent and cure colds. It's no secret that vegetables and fruits are potent sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other vital nutrients for a healthy body. They strengthen the immune system against common viruses like the cold or flu and help speed up recovery time should you contract one.
The vitamins in vegetables and fruits can relieve common cold symptoms such as coughing, congestion, fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, and more. Vitamin C is particularly beneficial since it helps build up your body's defenses when faced with infections, while vitamin E helps reduce lung inflammation caused by a cold virus. Furthermore, consuming foods rich in magnesium has been proven to reduce mucus production associated with a cold, while zinc can shorten its duration.