Learn How You Can Fight a Cold with Food

Get ready for cold seasong with Living Healthy and LA Fitness

Debbie J., MS, RD contributed this article –

Here we go again…Cold and flu season is right around the corner, and prevention is the best medicine. But when you already have a bug, getting rid of it and feeling normal again is the goal, right? Well, did you know that you can fight back by eating to boost your immune system? Cold medicines generally only manage symptoms and do not actually cure the illness, but with nutritional support you can supply your immune system with what it needs to help you beat that cold or flu bug.

If taken immediately at the first signs and symptoms of a cold, supplements derived from the Echinacea herb are known to reduce severity and duration. The same is said to be true for a 1,000 mg dose of Vitamin C taken daily. The benefit of taking either supplement may lead to shortening the amount of time you have a cold and/or making it milder.

Boosting certain white blood cells called monocytes and lymphocytes may help rid a cold sooner. White blood cell production is supported by certain vitamins and minerals. The following are good food sources of these nutrients:

Citrus fruit (including orange juice) – folate, Vitamin C

Cocoa – copper

Dark green leafy vegetables – folate, copper, beta carotene, Vitamin B-6

Beans, legumes – folate, zinc, copper

Fortified cereal – folate

Eggs – Vitamin A, Vitamin D, zinc

Fish – Vitamin D, zinc, Vitamin B-6

Orange colored fruits and vegetables – Vitamin A, beta carotene

Other fruits & vegetables:

Banana, Potato, Vegetable juice – Vitamin B-6

Bell peppers, Broccoli, Tomato, Strawberries – Vitamin C

Milk & milk products – Vitamin A, Vitamin D, zinc

Nuts – zinc, copper

Meats (beef, pork, poultry) – Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, zinc, copper

Shellfish – copper, zinc

Whole grains – zinc, copper

Plant foods also provide polyphenols which are helpful in combating viruses. Green tea is an excellent source of catechins, a type of polyphenol. Significant amounts of polyphenols can also be found in black currants, black grapes, blueberries, cherries, black grapes, plums and soybeans.

To keep your immune system up to par, avoid very low-calorie diets and/or high fat intake.  Drink plenty of fluids to thin mucus, making it easier to expel along with the viral particles trapped in it.

Another line of attack is to build your internal defenses – colonic bacteria – with probiotics.  A daily yogurt is rich in probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and it just might do the trick.

Next time you catch a runny nose, turn to your refrigerator and pantry to treat the common cold.   That way you can enjoy eating the sniffles away.

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Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.

Posted on October 8, 2013, in Health, Helpful, LA Fitness, LA Fitness Blog - Living Healthy, LA Fitness Blog - Top Tips, Nutrition and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Do you know if there are any illnesses that miniature Snickers bars can ward off?

    • heatherhomefaker

      Yeah … totally thought I was commenting on my friend’s blog. But still, if there are any Snickers-curable illnesses I’m good to go.

  2. Awesome line up and so happy to see some beautiful, quality, healthy blogs up there.

  3. These are really nice tips that really works. Being fit is also being sick free.

  4. The food supplements are very much important to gain the nutritious in case of athletes because they want the instant energy and good health to perform. Food supplements help to gain the health instead of eating the quantity of food you just need to eat the small quantity of food. That is in form or small tablets and powder etc.

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