Not only do healthy, nutrient-dense foods nourish your body and help the cells grow and reproduce, they also help arm your body’s defenses to ward off attacks from germs that cause colds. Low-fat meats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat – high protein dairy products all play a part in preparing your body to do battle.
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Boost your immune system with the following superfoods and see a dramatic reduction in the number of colds you have to suffer through…
An important component of your anti-cold defense system is water. When your body is dehydrated, it’s at an increased risk of germs latching on and not letting go. So be sure to drink plenty of water and decaffeinated drinks to help your body stay hydrated and ready to defend itself. Try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to a cup of water to cleanse your digestive system of mucus as well.
Just one cup of yogurt a day may work to keep the gastrointestinal track healthier, which can help ward off colds. Remember that it has to be yogurt with live cultures, as this is the key ingredient that helps keep the GI track ready to rumble. And an added bonus to eating yogurt – recent studies suggest regular dairy consumption helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. I recommend mixing plain Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries. Greek yogurt has more protein than the regular kind and strawberries are loaded with zinc which will help to keep the common cold at bay.
Garlic contains allicin, an antibiotic that has been shown to prevent complications from a cold in some research. Garlic can be added to many of your favorite dishes to spice them up and help you suit up to do battle against cold germs. Adding minced fresh garlic to your salad dressing will add flavor along with the protection it offers your immune system.
It’s been said an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, so can an orange. One orange a day provides your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Oranges are also abundant in flavonoids, which helps your body’s cells regenerate and stay healthy and strong. Citrus fruits are also a natural anti-histamine and can help to reduce the symptoms of a cold or seasonal allergies.
Green Bell Peppers
Green bell peppers are the vegetable family’s best vitamin C source. Add them to a salad, or simply slice one up and eat it raw. Flavonoids are also found in peppers. You may even want to prepare a green pepper dip seasoned with garlic for an added germ-kicking effect. I like to use pieces of raw bell pepper to scoop up fresh, homemade hummus too. This combination is flavorful, filling and packed with nutrients.
Lean Ground Beef
Lean ground beef, especially when prepared with a bit of garlic, can maintain cell health and fight off illness. It’s a good source of protein, selenium and zinc, and when eaten with a bit of tomato, is a great defense during cold season.
Pineapple, especially its juice has been found to be more effective than cough syrup in treating mild to moderate coughs. Pineapple also helps to clear mucus from the system and thus may help to shorten the duration and the severity of a cold.
Last, but not least, the perennial favorite – chicken soup. The heat from the broth helps to loosen congestion. The broth is also hydrating. And if you add garlic and black pepper to the soup, that cold doesn’t stand a chance.
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