It’s that time of year, colds and flus are being passed around. From the office to the playground, there is always SOMEONE getting sick and you don’t want to be next! If you’re trying to avoid the seemingly inevitable sick season, here are 10 cold fighting foods that can help.
10 Cold Fighting Foods That Will Help You This Season
You know the feeling. You’re a little achy, your head kind of hurts, and there’s just a little tickle at the back of your throat – you’re coming down with the cold. Don’t fret, we’ve got some ideas of foods to try to help prevent a cold, and potentially get rid of it quicker once you’ve got it.
Cold Fighting Foods Like Fish
Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in your body. If you suffer from chronic inflammation, this could prevent your immune system from functioning properly, leading to the colds and flu.
Another bonus of fish oil, whether you eat the fish or just take the supplements, is that it can lead to lower anxiety.
Red Bell Peppers
Did you know that red bell peppers are high in Vitamin C? It’s true! One red pepper has twice the amount that is recommended for women daily. However, during cold and flu season, you should be eating around 400 to 500 milligrams of vitamin C throughout the day!
If you are looking for cold fighting foods that really pack a punch, peppers are a great way to get the nutrients you need!
This is pretty much common knowledge. How many times have you been told to drink more orange juice when you start to feel under the weather? Whether it’s a glass of OJ, a grapefruit for breakfast, or a good squeeze of lemon in hot water, will give you that extra punch to boost your immune system.
Though citrus fruits aren’t as preventative as the supplement companies might have you believe, studies have shown that if you take lots of Vitamin C at the first signs of an illness, it can reduce the cold duration by about a day! When you’re sick in bed or taking off work, a day can feel like a lifetime!
Yogurt is great when you’re sick because it is a probiotic, another ingredient that can reduce your inflammatory response. Beneficial bacteria found in yogurt can reduce the amount of time you’re sick and help your symptoms feel less severe.
If you have to have flavored, search for a low carb option, or try plain with a dash of raw honey.
The important thing to remember when drinking hot tea is that you can never have too much of it when you’re sick. Both green and black tea are rich in antioxidants and can boost your immune system.
Plus hot drinks are a great comfort when you’re stuck in bed and can reduce sore throats, chills, sneezing, and grogginess.
Oats are great because they keep you full and they are packed with beta-glucan, a type of fiber that can speed up the healing process and also strengthen your immune system.
Oatmeal also lowers cholesterol and can prevent upper respiratory tract infection, so really you should eat cold fighting foods like oatmeal more often!
You’ve heard us rant and rave about the benefits of turmeric and why it’s one of our favorite ingredients. But honestly, turmeric is often for a quick immunity boost because its high in antioxidants and is considered a natural anti-inflammatory.
If you take it on a daily basis, it helps relieve the body of toxins and those people are also less susceptible to colds and congestion. Several of our juices at Well Pared have this awesome ingredient, and we even have a Turmeric Shot to give you that jump when you feel like you might be getting sick.
Coconut water is delicious, hydrating and can replenish electrolytes if you have a fever or are sweating from the cold or flu. Our quick tip, add a splash of lime to your coconut water for an extra immune-boosting vitamin C.
You’ve heard that old song. You put the lime in the coconut and drink them both up?
Dark Leafy Greens
You probably have already heard that we think you should be eating (or drinking!) dark leafy greens on a regular basis. But especially during the cold and flu season, where you’re looking for cold fighting foods, leafy greens are great for added nutrients.
Spinach, kale, arugula, and Swiss chard are full of vitamin C and are great raw and cooked. Come check out some of our smoothies or juices or meals to help you get on the right track!
Chicken Soup for the Cold Stricken Soul. A fan favorite, but for a good reason! A remedy as old as time, the hot broth soothes your throat, helps you stay hydrated, raises your temperature and loosens your airways. Lots of protein, lots of vegetables, chicken soup is a super-vitamin with healing powers.
Bonus Cold Fighting Foods: Garlic
People who eat garlic or take garlic supplements have fewer and less severe colds than those who don’t. The major active component found in garlic is allicin, which has antibacterial properties!
The next time you feel the sniffles coming on, or you heard from a friend of a friend that the cold has made it’s way to your office, start stocking up on some of these cold fighting foods and nip that cold in the bud before it affects you. Remember that the best way to build your immune system so that you get sick less often and less severely is with an ongoing healthy diet.
When you eat healthier on a daily basis, your body is stronger and more capable of protecting itself. Let us know if you need help fighting off a cold or flu – better yet, stop by the store! We have some recommendations of what to order so that you start feeling better right away!