You might be aware that half of the diseases that affect our immunity system can be cured by simply eating the right food items. One such disease is a common cold. Although considered as something not fatal, it does interfere with our daily life. For instance, when you are in a silent meeting and then suddenly you start coughing non-stop. All eyes turn at you leaving you all embarrassed.
Foods to eat when you are down with a Cough and Cold
Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, it is the best food to consume when you are having a cold. It’s the easiest source of all the essential nutrients required by the body- vitamins, minerals, calories, and protein. Your body requires fluid and electrolytes when you are sick. A bowl of hot chicken soup will help to cure nasal passages and decongest your nose.
The best way to avoid colds is to get enough vitamin C. But the truth is you won’t be able to dodge cold completely. During a cold, you don’t feel like either eating or drinking anything. In situations like these, having oranges, lemons, limes are another way to cure colds. And the best part? It is tasty too!
Foods such as broccoli, kale, green tea, red onions, blueberries have anti-bacterial effects. These contain an antioxidant known as quercetin that is actually known to cure a common cold. These are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Hot and Spicy!
Spicy foods loosen up the mucus in the nasal passage and clear them out. This helps you to breathe properly. Spicy foods such as chilli pepper contain a compound known as capsaicin. You can also get relief from the cough in the throat if you eat spicy foods. But don’t overeat spicy foods if you already have an upset stomach.
You feel nauseated when you have a cough stuck in your throat. A cup of fresh tea with some ginger is just the thing you want when you have a cold. It soothes out the pain in the throat and decongests the throat also. Known for its anti-nausea effects, ginger also has antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-cancer effects. Take a piece of ginger and keep it in your mouth if you feel like throwing up.
Also read: How ginger helps in treating sore throat?
This stem-vegetable is beneficial for the overall enhancement of health. If you add one or two cloves of garlic in the chicken soup or broth, it adds flavor as well as prepare the body to fight off a cold or flu symptoms. This is an age-old remedy that has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal effects.
Your body tends to dehydrate when you have a cold with a cough. It is important that you replenish your water level. If you don’t feel like drinking hot water, take sips of coconut water. Apart from being sweet and flavorful, it is rich in glucose and electrolytes needed to fight off the harmful germs.
Doctors recommend eating honey when you are sick, especially when your throat is sore due to a bacterial infection. Honey is rich in antimicrobial compounds, thereby it is known for its antibacterial effects. Drink a warm glass of milk, water or tea with half a teaspoon of honey to get relief.
Also Read: Honey can help in curing sore throat
When you are sick you don’t feel like eating anything. So that the body is not devoid of any nutrients, eat bananas. These are rich in calories and nutrients as well as the soluble fiber which makes sure that bowels are clear even when you are sick.
Leafy, green vegetables
When you are sick, it’s important that you get all the vitamins and minerals. And the best way to get the essential nutrients is by eating lots of green vegetables. Dark green vegetables are loaded with an important plant-based compound that protects the cell from damages reduces inflammation in the body. While just green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Foods to avoid when suffering from cough and cold
It is best if you avoid dairy products such as milk, ice cream, cheese when you have a cold. This will make your nose stuffy or runny making it more difficult for you to breathe. Although there isn’t sufficient evidence to back this information.
Caffeine and alcohol
Both of these food items will dehydrate your body. So when you are already losing fluid from the body as mucus, you’re better off these. Alcohol prevents the immune system from functioning properly prolonging the cough and cold in your body. Replace that cup of coffee with a tall glass of herbal tea.
Deep-fried foods tend to make the condition of cough worse. The fatty acids from butter, lard and omega-6 fatty acids can make the body produce more mucus. Eat healthier foods that can boost up the immunity.
Histamine Dense foods
Histamines are produced by the body to get rid of harmful particles, including allergens. This chemical works by triggering the body to make more mucus. This makes the runny or stuffy nose. Hence, a person who is already suffering from cough and cold should avoid foods that are rich in histamines. Some foods to avoid are avocados, mushrooms, strawberries, dry fruits, alcohol, yogurt, vinegar and fermented foods.
Similar to alcohol, sugar can also trigger inflammation. This can make the symptoms of cold including cough worse. Although it can be comforting, avoid sweets as much as possible.
Proper rest, keeping yourself hydrated and proper nutrition is of the utmost importance when you want to feel better and recover faster. When your nasal passages are congested, there is a constant feeling of irritation. But remember that nasal passages can be blocked for other reasons such as sinusitis. In such cases, you need to undergo sinus surgery. If you are having a cold that just won’t get better, visit an ENT doctor immediately.