Top 10 Foods to Beat Cold and Flu 

 Originally Written: January 20, 2012

By  Hanna Trafford

Last Updated on January 20, 2013 by Hanna Trafford

fluThis is the time of the year – and I am having a hard time finding a person that didn’t have or doesn’t have a flu. I know that the market has a whole wide array of treatments that claim to help, but how about some natural, daily items, that you may already have at home and that will make you feel better for sure?

There is so much information about the flu – how to prevent getting it, how to know that you have it, what to do about it, to get a flu shot or not… and on and on and on!

I found some information to add to all that – and it makes a whole lot of sense to me. I do however have to admit, that the foods listed totally appeal to me – so maybe I am being a bit partial. But let’s face it – what have you got to loose by trying this?

chocolate-flavonoids-health-weight-loss-nutrition-diet1. Chocolate:

You don’t have to feel so guilty if you treat yourself to chocolate! The health benefits of cocoa creations have been widely reported. Researchers have found that theobromine – an active ingredient in dark chocolate suppressed nerve sensitivity in the throat – and that reduced the urge to cough. Apparently – 2 ounces of dark chocolate have the same punch as a dose of strong cough medication. You need to pick dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa.


2. Bananas:

Bananas help soothe upset stomach – nasty side-effect of influenza. This fruit stimulates the production of mucus in the stomach, protecting it from acid that makes you queasy. Plus – they are rich in potassium and vitamin C so they help to balance electrolytes during bouts of diarrhea or vomiting.


3. Chicken Noodle Soup:

Some people call it “Nature’s Penicillin” and it is in fact a great way to get rid of sniffles. That is because it’s steam unlocks sinus congestion, high protein in the soup boosts energy and the anti-oxidant-rich vegetables act as anti-inflammatory. The sodium that is added for flavour replenishes lost electrolytes. Although being sick will decrease appetite, it is very important to eat to help your body beat cold germs.


4. Orange Juice:

Just one cup of this refreshing liquid will give you about a half of recommended daily intake of vitamin C. And that is a good thing, considering the immune boosting effects of this vitamin. It is not a cure for cold, but vitamin C will help you fight off germs and shorten cold symptoms. Of possible, choose freshly squeezed juice and leave the pulp in!


5. Garlic:

Crushed garlic contains allicin, natural decongestant and antibiotic that stimulates immune function. Garlic looses much of these cold-busting properties at high heat – so it is recommended to use raw garlic in soups and salads or adding it at the end of the cooking process.


6. Seafood:

Fish and seafood – like salmon, shrimp and lobster are rich in zinc and selenium – those are anti-oxidants the will help to boost the body’s immune system. The Omega-3 fatty acids will help to flush the flu virus out of your body and reduce inflammation. Nutrients found in seafood will also optimize and increase body;s ability to fight off infection – and that will make it easier to beat the colds faster.


7. Chili Peppers:

Cayenne and other chili peppers can potentially knock the cold right out of you. There is a high concentration of capsaicin (the stuff that makes peppers hot) and opens and drains congested nasal passages. It also clears airways!


8. Tea:

Green, black, white – they are all cold busters! Teas are full of polyphenols (anti-oxidants that act as anti-inflammatories) and that will keep membranes moist, helping you to breathe easier. Steep your tea for at least 90 seconds and drink it hot. That will maximize the health benefit. Hot tea will impede spread of viruses (cold viruses thrive at below body temperature) adn steam from hot tea will also work as decongestant.


9. Elderberries:

These berries are a great source of anti-oxidants and it si believed that they will help ease winter colds, flus and sinus infections. The dried berries that you can find in health food stores (some under the name of Sambucol) are known to reduce viral infections and stimulate the immune system. A bit of caution here: the roots, leaves, stem and bark are toxic and should not be eaten!


10. Yogurt:

About 70% of the body;s immune system occurs in the digestive tract. By promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines, yogurt boosts the immune system and fights against harmful bacteria. But don’t eat yogurt if you are vomitting – since your digestive tract is impaired in that situation, it will not digest foods such as dairy products.

I hope you enjoyed reading this information – I welcome your comments, suggestions and experiences!


Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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