Foods That Could Help You Fight A Cold
The Common Cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that results in a runny nose often accompanied by nasal congestion, sneezing and sore throat.
Treatment of common cold has always been a challenge. More than two hundred types of viruses have been found to cause the disease and the antibiotic drugs that are used in treating bacterial infections are of no use in treating viral infections.
An episode of common cold lasts for seven to ten days and I am happy to share some dietary prescriptions that shall help you in such cold episodes.
Foods rich in Vitamin C offer excellent remedy for cold episodes. Common citrus fruits like lemon, sweet lime and oranges are rich sources of this antioxidant vitamin. Amla also known as an Indian gooseberry is an excellent source of compounds called ellagitannins that have antiviral properties. Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes, pineapple, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli and red pepper are known reservoirs of Vitamin C.
Foods that have Vitamin D in abundance boost the immune system and help you fight a cold. Sardine, salmon and mushroom are rich sources of Vitamin D.
Recently Vitamin E has been found to improve lung functions. Sun flower seeds are the best available sources of Vitamin E.
Omega-3 fatty acids are compounds that help reduce harmful inflammation associated with infections. Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are Omega-3 fatty acids rich dietary sources.
Garlic with its numerous sulfa derivative compounds is useful as a bronchodilator in cold episodes. Fennel is useful in relieving respiratory congestion and bronchitis. Anise seeds have been recently found to be effective in controlling cold episodes.
Tea is a natural source of catechins. Catechins are known antioxidants and have antiviral properties. Cocoa is one of the best sources of polyphenol antioxidants. Moderate intake of chocolates is thus, beneficial. Caffeine found in coffee is a proven bronchodilator that can help ease congestion during a cold episode.
Beta-glutan is a compound available abundantly in oats and has been found to improve respiratory functions and white blood cell activity that is vital for the cellular immune functions. Zinc is a proven mineral that helps fight cold. Pumpkin and oysters are rich sources of zinc.
In this context, I am obliged to inform you the benefit one derives by breast feed during infant days. Yes, human breast milk has several components such as lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, proline and antibodies that help fight viral infections. Compounds like Interferons that act against viral infections have been detected in human colostrum (the first milk).
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