Cold and flu season is upon us, and while we know that keeping stress in check, getting plenty of rest, and loading up on liquids is the key to a speedy recovery, food can also play a role in how fast you kick that cold.
Aren’t you supposed to “feed a fever and starve a cold”?
While some Old Wives’ Tales regarding illness have some truth to them (more on that later), this one is absolutely false. Eating healthy is always essential to a healthy body, and when you’re sick this is even truer. When your body is fighting an illness, it needs energy, so eating the right foods is essential to a speedy recovery.
What are the best foods for colds?
Lemon Honey Tea: Honey has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. It is one of the best remedies for soothing a sore throat and alleviating congestion. A mixture of honey with vitamin C rich lemons and hot water can cut your recovery time down substantially. Lemons are also filled with immune boosting flavonoids, helping you stay healthy.
Broth: This is one Old Wives’ remedy we’re happy to follow! There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot soup when you’re feeling sick, and it is also one of the best things you can give to your body. Herbamare vegetable broth is made with organic shitake mushrooms, which are notorious for their antiviral, immune-boosting, and cholesterol-lowering properties. Use it in this delicious soothing soup by Angela Liddon. To spice up any soup, add chili powder, traditionally used for clearing the sinuses and alleviating congestion and cold symptoms.
Garlic: Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Research has shown that individuals who took a garlic supplement experienced fewer and less severe colds than those taking a placebo. If you feel a cold coming on, or are already sick, try chewing on a clove of garlic. While this method won’t make you the most friends, you should be at home and in bed – right!
Are there any foods I should avoid when I have a cold?
Dairy: Studies have shown that consumption of dairy can promote mucus production, which could make you more congested. So even though a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie might seem like a staple when you’re in bed with a cold, pass it over for a vitamin C rich popsicle. But make sure you avoid popsicles that are loaded with…
Sugar: Natural sugars from fruits, honey, and maple syrup can do wonders for a beaten down body. But you should avoid any artificial sweeteners, as high sugar intake can suppress the immune system – the last thing you want when you’re feeling sick.
Feeding a cold is key to a speedy recovery, but it is important to feed your body with the right kinds of foods. Ease symptoms and cut your cold short by nourishing your body with vitamin C rich foods, plenty of liquids, and rest.