Daily News: Nutrition

Foods that fight cold

Daily Monitor, The (Uganda)

03-03-14

They say you are what you eat, so it makes sense that eating healthy foods can help you stay healthy. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants— keep your body strong, and without them you are not giving your body the edge it needs to ward off infection. We are not talking just fruits and vegetables: Foods from every food group are represented and make them part of your diet for defence against colds and flu.

FishOily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, compounds that help reduce harmful inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation prevents your immune system from working properly, and can contribute to colds and flu as well as more serious diseases. Omega 3s may fight colds on more than one front.

GarlicThese pungent cloves do more than just flavour your food. A 2001 study in the journal Advances in Therapy found that people who took garlic supplements for 12 weeks between November and February got fewer colds than those who took a placebo. And of those who did get sick, those who took the garlic supplement felt better faster.Garlic packs the biggest antioxidant punch when eaten raw.

Citrus fruits Studies show that taking Vitamin C at the first sign of illness may reduce a cold's duration by about a day. Eating lots of citrus—whether that entails digging in to orange slices, or using lemons and limes in recipes—will provide plenty of this nutrient.

TeaEveryone knows a steaming hot cup of tea can help break up chest congestion and soothe a sore throat, but the benefits may run deeper. All tea including black and green —contains a group of antioxidants known as catechins, which may have flu-fighting properties. In a 2011 Japanese study, people who took catechin capsules for five months had 75 per cent lower odds of catching the flu than people taking a placebo.

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