We’ve all heard that you need to feed a cold, but the real question is: what do you feed a cold?
The answer: drink an abundance of fluids and eat nutrient-rich foods that have proven to fight the pesky cold virus. There may not be a cure for the common cold, but the following foods and beverages will minimize its impact on your body.
Juice – Those afflicted with a cold often lack an appetite, but it’s important keep the calories coming so your body has the energy to fight off that cold. Orange juice and other juices have a surprisingly high calorie count. What’s more, juices contain the vitamins your body needs to fight a cold and the fluid aids in flushing toxins out of your body and bringing nutrients to your cells.
Green tea – Not only will tea soothe your throat and tummy, the antioxidants in green tea stave off harmful elements in the environment. Additionally, the amino acid L-theanine in green tea has special immune strengthening qualities too.
Red grapefruits – Although you may want to eat less when you have a cold, you are actually doing your immune system a favor by eating. When you eat, you prompt your body to create energy. Hence, eating a red grapefruit – the official Texas fruit – between meals might just be what your body needs for that added immune boost.
But more importantly, vitamin C (red grapefruits and oranges have quite a bit of vitamin C) might just prevent a cold and reduce the life of a cold by 10%. Studies on the subject are not conclusive, but eating citrus fruit certainly can’t hurt your cold.
Mushrooms – Selenium helps to reduce the length of a cold, and mushrooms are packed full of selenium. You can also find selenium in seafood and meats, especially liver and kidney.
Hot peppers – This one is easy, since hot chile peppers abound here in Austin. By heating up your food, you’ll get your nose to run and work toward clearing the sinuses. Peppers are a nice addition to soup, tomato sauce, and rice dishes.
Nuts and beans – Some research indicates that zinc can cut the length of a cold in half. Zinc is responsible for cell growth and proper hormone production too. In addition to eating nuts and beans when you have a cold, drink a zinc fortified juice for an even bigger cold fighting impact.
Warning: Too much zinc may raise copper levels in your body. Don’t stray too far from the recommended daily allowance of zinc. If you choose to take a supplement, follow the instructions carefully.
If you are interested in taking supplements containing zinc, selenium, vitamin C or another vitamin/nutrient listed here, speak to your doctor about which supplement is right for you. Understand that supplements never replace food. The nutrient quality is almost always better when consumed through food.
This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Austin, Texas. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit http://www.Chefs.edu/Austin for more information.
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