There’s no doubt about it, its officially cold and flu season, and while it’s a great idea to go out and get a flu shot there are also many foods that contain properties that can give your immune system a boost when you need it the most. Here are just a few foods that can ward off a cold and keep you feeling your best in the cold weather.
One of the most common symptoms of a cold or flu is that horrible stuffiness that comes from nasal congestion. Chilies naturally contain a chemical called capsaicin which works as a pain reliever, expectorant and decongestant all rolled into one. Capsaicin is what gives chilies there heat and what makes your eyes and nose run when you take a bite of hot pepper. It reduces swelling by making the body produce more collagenase and prostaglandin and as a final bonus; one chili pepper contains 4 times the vitamin C as an orange. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the duration of a common cold.
Garlic contains a chemical compound called allicin which helps your body kill bacteria. According to a study conducted by the Garlic Center of East Sussex, England, people who took a allicin supplement were 50% less likely to come down with a cold than those who didn’t. Adding a few cloves of garlic to a meal each day can make a big difference come cold season.
Mom was right. Eating chicken soup really is good for a cold. Researchers studied all of the components of a common chicken soup and found that it was the chicken stock that gave the soup its cold fighting properties. The stock slows down the production of mucus which can make it easier to breathe when you are under the weather.