On average, children have six to eight colds per year. As flu and cold season approaches, it may be wise to stock up on some old time remedies and maybe introduce some new ones. Though you can't actually "cure" a cold, you can improve the way you feel with some simple foods --- see below for some tips that may be worth your while.
Chicken soup is a traditional favorite that has been used to soothe colds and the flu as far back as the 12th century. Studies have shown that chicken soup can ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, including congestion, stuffy nose and cough. Hot fluids also help to keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration and soothe a sore throat.
An exotic food once reserved for royalty, mushrooms contain powerful substances including antioxidants and vitamin D that help support the immune system. The majority of mushrooms contain immune building compounds but the Maitake and King Trumpet variety are especially high in these compounds. Use mushrooms as a pizza topping, add them to an omelet or pasta sauce, or include in soups for virus-fighting benefits.
Laboratory evidence indicates that garlic contains antimicrobial and antiviral properties, however, research proving the effectiveness of garlic against the common cold remains limited. Still, it may be worth a try, especially if garlic-infused foods helps improve a stubborn appetite and gets a child to eat.
Drinking hot tea is soothing to mucous membranes while spicy tea such as ginger tea, may temporarily help “open” nasal passages making it easier to breathe.
Flu and cold season have arrived. Is your kitchen pantry cold-remedy ready?
Image via Discover Magazine
Contributed by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, MS, RD, Nutrition Management Services