The constant drip-drop coming from the faucet. No way to turn the knob to off. Not enough tissue to soak up the mess. It’s almost like a lesser form of Chinese water torture… only it’s coming from your nose, not the sink. Cold season is upon us, and before you shove a baby doll sock up your nose to stop the flow, know that there is hope to ease your discomfort! Pair these immune-boosting foods with at least eight to ten glasses of water a day, and your body will be well-equipped to fight off those pesky cold bugs this season.
Yogurt: It’s jam-packed with probiotics, which keep the intestines and gut free of disease causing bacteria. It is a delicious and versatile snack, if you can get your toddlers to share. Try adding it to smoothies and parfaits, or even substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream in dips and on baked potatoes. Just make sure you buy brands that boast “live active cultures” on their packages; That’s where the good bacteria live. Consume a cup a day to help keep the doctor away.
Oats, Barley, Rye and Wheat: These fiber-rich grains contain one particular variation (beta-glucan) with intense antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Beta-glucan regulates the immune system and helps it run more efficiently. Not to mention that beta-glucans help enhance heart health, contain cancer-fighting properties and help eliminate body infections! These super grains are essential to a healthy diet. You can eat oatmeal for breakfast, switch to whole wheat bread and flour for baking, and even add cooked barley to quinoa dishes and soups. The possibilities are delicious and endless!
Chicken Soup: Not only is it comforting to the taste buds, but it also actually contains healing properties! There is truth in this old home remedy after all! Soup that uses broth made with chicken bones contains B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and zinc. All of these nutrients boost your immunity to colds and flu. The soup’s salty broth also helps keep mucus thin while adding flavors like ginger, garlic, onions and shiitake mushrooms that increase the immune-boosting effects of the soup. So, put on your chef’s hat and whip up a delicious pot with that leftover rotisserie chicken. If you’re looking for a great chicken soup recipe, try this one!
Black and Green Teas: These have amazing capabilities to boost your immune system because of the polyphenols and flavonoids that they contain. These powerful antioxidants destroy free radicals, keeping your immune system operating at 100 percent. You can drink decaf or regular varieties to achieve the same results. Flavor with a sweetener of your choice, but skip the milk; its proteins counteract with the tea’s polyphenols, so you won’t receive the immune boost you are expecting.
>> Recipe: Green Detox Tea
Shiitake Mushrooms: Although these lack the vibrant colors that usually identify nutrient-packed veggies, these delicious fungi are jam-packed with essential vitamins. Around the world, mushrooms have been used for centuries in alternative medicines. They have the power to increase white blood cells in our bodies which help heal infections. They are also packed with antioxidants, B vitamins, riboflavin and niacin, which empower them with antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Sauté them for steak, toss them in salad or add them to pasta sauce. They add great flavor, texture and cold fighting strength. Win, win, win.
One last tip to tickle your fancy: If you have a stuffy nose that won’t clear, try a saline spray. Yes, the same spray that your baby can’t stand. However, you are a grown-up, so you’ve got this. Rinse that sniffer like there’s no tomorrow!
If that cold does happen to catch up to you anyhow, check out these home remedies you can use to knock it out!