Learn How You Can Fight a Cold with Food
Debbie J., MS, RD contributed this article –
Here we go again…Cold and flu season is right around the corner, and prevention is the best medicine. But when you already have a bug, getting rid of it and feeling normal again is the goal, right? Well, did you know that you can fight back by eating to boost your immune system? Cold medicines generally only manage symptoms and do not actually cure the illness, but with nutritional support you can supply your immune system with what it needs to help you beat that cold or flu bug.
If taken immediately at the first signs and symptoms of a cold, supplements derived from the Echinacea herb are known to reduce severity and duration. The same is said to be true for a 1,000 mg dose of Vitamin C taken daily. The benefit of taking either supplement may lead to shortening the amount of time you have a cold and/or making it milder.
Boosting certain white blood cells called monocytes and lymphocytes may help rid a cold sooner. White blood cell production is supported by certain vitamins and minerals. The following are good food sources of these nutrients:
Citrus fruit (including orange juice) – folate, Vitamin C
Cocoa – copper
Dark green leafy vegetables – folate, copper, beta carotene, Vitamin B-6
Beans, legumes – folate, zinc, copper
Fortified cereal – folate
Eggs – Vitamin A, Vitamin D, zinc
Fish – Vitamin D, zinc, Vitamin B-6
Orange colored fruits and vegetables – Vitamin A, beta carotene
Other fruits & vegetables:
Banana, Potato, Vegetable juice – Vitamin B-6
Bell peppers, Broccoli, Tomato, Strawberries – Vitamin C
Milk & milk products – Vitamin A, Vitamin D, zinc
Nuts – zinc, copper
Meats (beef, pork, poultry) – Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, zinc, copper
Shellfish – copper, zinc
Whole grains – zinc, copper
Plant foods also provide polyphenols which are helpful in combating viruses. Green tea is an excellent source of catechins, a type of polyphenol. Significant amounts of polyphenols can also be found in black currants, black grapes, blueberries, cherries, black grapes, plums and soybeans.
To keep your immune system up to par, avoid very low-calorie diets and/or high fat intake. Drink plenty of fluids to thin mucus, making it easier to expel along with the viral particles trapped in it.
Another line of attack is to build your internal defenses – colonic bacteria – with probiotics. A daily yogurt is rich in probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and it just might do the trick.
Next time you catch a runny nose, turn to your refrigerator and pantry to treat the common cold. That way you can enjoy eating the sniffles away.
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Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.
Posted on October 8, 2013, in Health, Helpful, LA Fitness, LA Fitness Blog - Living Healthy, LA Fitness Blog - Top Tips, Nutrition and tagged best food to avoid flu, best foods to avoid cold, blog la fitness, cold remedy, cold remedy food, cold season, diet, diet advice, diet q&A, diet tips, dietitian advice, fitness, fitness club, flu remedy food, flu season, food and supplements for cold, food for colds, food for flu, goals, Health, healthy food, how to get a six pack, LA Fitness, LA Fitness articles, la fitness blog, la fitness comments, la fitness dietitian, LA Fitness news, la fitness review, la fitness reviews, lafitness.com, Living Healthy, Lose Weight, lose weight fast, motivation, nutrition, nutrition advice, nutrition q and a, nutritionist, supplements for cold, supplements for flue. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.