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Food to fight colds

Nov 1, 2012, DHNS : 21:23 IST

Seasonal trouble

sweet remedy: Honey provides relief to throat.
Has the changing season caught up with you? Suffering from cold, cough, headache and not feeling up to eating anything?

Well, there are some foods which could actually help you get rid of the condition or prevent it from happening at all. Read on to find out more.

Doctors say that the trusted citrus fruits are the best way to fight common cold. Dr Vinita Mittal, general physician at Urgent Care Centre, Vikas Marg, says, “Take proper quantity of Vitamin C in your diet. It is best to have it in whole fruits; or else, take juices of oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, gooseberry, guava or strawberries for breakfast. Have them in between meals as snacks as well.”

“Besides, stay hydrated with plenty of liquids. Instead of taking coffee, soda or sweetened beverages, drink plenty of water. Tea works better for some people. Try it with lemon, chamomile, a few drops of ginger juice, tulsi, cardamom or cinnamon. Hot lemonade also does the trick.”

In spices - ginger, garlic and cloves are excellent cold relievers. Ginger is said to be a natural pain reliever and fever reducer. Garlic contains a natural antibiotic called Allicin which fights viral and bacterial infections and acts as a decongestant. Other than these, turmeric and cinnamon are packed with antioxidants which help boost the immune system.

An irritating problem in cold is a sore throat. Take honey as it coats the throat and provides relief. Besides, it has antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties to help fight viruses.

Dr Vinita adds, “Hot and spicy food also helps fight cold. Indian curries especially help with garlic, pepper and hot sauce to break up congestion. Chicken soup is a favourite in this respect. Hot chicken soup helps clear clogged airways and the nourishing broth gives energy.

Add plenty of vegetables, onion and garlic for extra healing power.”
“If you are a vegetarian, cook a vegetable soup to boost your immune system. Boil different vegetables with garlic and a teaspoon of black pepper. Toss in a couple of tomatoes for a good measure of Vitamin C.”

“Mushrooms are also high in beta-glucans which can help fend off cold by targeting and destroying disease-causing cells, and boost immune systems which have been weakened by chronic illness. Try Salmon and other fatty fishes as well as they are high protein foods which provide energy to the body and help it fight cold.”

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