Foods For Colds

It’s not called “common” for nothing. Before long, millions of people will be affected by the common cold or the flu. Some people use traditional methods to stay healthy. You may want to try some of these super foods to keep colds at bay this winter.

Colds and flu are similar in that they’re both respiratory illnesses. They also have some of the same symptoms. While there are similarities, such as both being viral infections, there are also differences. Symptoms from colds generally begin slowly and consist of runny or stuffy noses, wet or productive coughs, mild fatigue, and slight body aches. Flu, on the other hand, makes itself know quickly (often within three to six hours); symptoms include fever, more severe body aches, chills, moderate fatigue, dry or burning cough, severe chest congestion, and headache.

Obviously, preventing a cold is preferable to treating one and you can do much to reduce your chances of catching a cold: washing your hands with hot soapy water, avoiding touching your eyes or nose, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and maintaining a healthy diet. In fact, adding vitamin and mineral-rich super foods to your daily diet can be your front line to avoiding a cold this season.

Start by incorporating more immune-boosting foods such as garlic, onions, mushrooms, fish, oats, tea, and even Mom’s home-made chicken soup. You could also include vibrant fruits such as blueberries, oranges, raisins, and kiwi fruit. California avocados, ginger, horseradish, and turmeric round out the foods you’d want to add to increase your immune system. Of course, you’d be hard-pressed to find a recipe that incorporated all of these foods at once, and you probably wouldn’t want to.

It’s also important to eat more magnesium-rich foods, and adding them into your diet really isn’t difficult. These would include dried apricots, leafy green vegetables, sesame seeds, black beans, broccoli, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, cooked spinach, whole grain cereal, and whole wheat bread. Having enough magnesium is essential for over 325 different biochemical reactions in your body, including producing energy from the foods we eat, enabling muscles to relax, and regulating blood pressure.

When taking magnesium, it is also helpful to increase calcium intake as calcium will enable more of the vitamins and minerals to enter the bones. Calcium-rich foods such as almonds, tofu, plain yogurt, oats, and seafood can easily be used in a daily diet. If you have a cold already, you may want to avoid the obvious calcium food – milk – as it can make post nasal drainage worse.

Don’t forget to include foods such as carrots, garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tuna, natural peanut butter, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, citrus fruits, brown rice, oatmeal, flaxseed, black beans, and lentils. These are high in vitamins B6 and B12 which may help you recover from a cold quicker.

Many people believe it’s easier to get the vitamins and minerals they need from over-the-counter products. You can do that, but you can also eat some of these super foods to keep colds at bay this winter. Let’s face it, super foods taste better than the nutrients which come out of a bottle, so you’ll also be able to enjoy getting and staying healthy during cold season.