‘Tis the season for colds and flu. As the air gets colder and we head into the winter season many of us get sick. Whether you typically battle just a cold or you battle severe symptoms of the full blown flu, there are ways to try and avoid getting sick all together.
Here are five foods that will help you stave off cold and flu symptoms.
Berries contain the micronutrients called polyphenols, and research shows a clear correlation between high polyphenol content and an antiviral effect. Cranberries, blueberries, and black currants have all been found to be effective weapons against flu.
A resourceful home cook never discards meat or poultry bones. The marrow, cartilage, and slivers of meat in or on the bones are plentiful sources of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulphur, which your body needs to prevent an infection. As the heat slowly breaks the collagen within the bones down, it produces a potent protein called gelatin, rich in amino acids, which play an important role in monitoring the immune system.
Cabbage is an under-appreciated source of vitamin C, containing more than 50 percent of your recommended daily intake in just one cup. Specific cells in the immune system require an adequate supply of vitamin C to function properly. Vitamin C concentrations tend to decline exponentially during periods of infection, so it’s important to get copious amounts in order to prevent, and recover, from a flu or cold.
The elderberry is a species of the sambucus plant, whose berries are sold either dried, fresh, or as an extract. Concentrated elderberry juice has a long history as preventative agent against flu and the common cold. A study on mice infected with the human influenza A virus showed that doses of the juice had a powerful effect of reducing viral replication.
Using fresh garlic is a delectable way to flavor any savory dish, but the pungent cloves also contain allicin, a compound which gives garlic its signature scent when it’s chopped of crushed. Allicin is an antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage. Although evidence remains inconclusive, a short study found that people taking garlic extract reported lower incidences of colds compared to those who took a placebo.