As polar vortexes, nor’easters and monsoons ensue across the country, people are more likely to stay indoors, which also means that germs can circulate more easily.Cue the sniffling, sore throats, coughs and congestion — classic signs of the common cold. If you’re feeling under the weather, food might be the last thing on your mind. “Some people may lose their appetite [when they’re feeling sick] due to diminished sense of taste or smell or lack of energy,” says Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Founder of DiabetesEveryDay.com.
Turmeric – This flavorful spice is considered a superfood for a good reason. It’s rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests these qualities make turmeric a strong defense against colds, coughs, and congestion. Try it in a turmeric latte, aka golden milk, or use it to season lean meats, grains and other healthy foods.
Vitamin C can be found in high quantities in citrus fruits, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Dark leafy greens, butternut squash and avocado are excellent sources of vitamin E. Pairing these and other fruits and vegetables with adequate protein intake will help supercharge your immunity, says Smithson.
“Try to avoid sweetened beverages, like sports drinks and juice, as too much sugar in your body can cause inflammation… which further weakens your immune system.”
The Ultimate Cold Remedy- When you’re trying to fight off an illness, focus on consuming foods that are packed with nutrients. “It’s not what to avoid, but what to include in your diet that is important for immunity,” says Smithson. And of course, the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” always applies. “The best way to stave off the cold and flu is try to stay as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active and practicing good hygiene,” says Yeung.