If you’re feeling under the weather, your first instinct may be to reach for the cough syrup or a pain reliever. However, there are things you can do to alleviate your cold symptoms in a more natural way, including eating the right foods. Your diet plays a role in how you feel physically, and just as you can load up on nutrients to help prevent sickness, you can also eat certain foods that can help you feel better when you’re feeling ill.
If you have the sniffles or are feeling a bit weak, try eating one of these seven foods that can help relieve cold symptoms.
1. Chicken Soup
A nice bowl of grandma’s chicken noodle soup not only sounds soothing, but it can actually help relieve your symptoms as well. Studies have found that chicken noodle soup can help clear up mucus, prevent you from getting dehydration, and even help fight inflammation.
Fruits like oranges, lemon, and grapefruit contain vitamin C, and although the nutrient can’t cure your illness on it’s own, it can reduce severity of symptoms. You may even be able to reduce your duration of sickness by a day.
Drinking hot tea not only helps clear up congestion and sooth your throat, but it can help fight a cold with its antibacterial properties. Tea can also help keep you hydrated, which is essential when you’re trying to get over a sickness.
Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural medicine — and for good reason. The root can help with nausea, inflammation, and even an upset stomach. Brew a ginger tea for extra relief, or shred it up to put into smoothies or in a stir fry.
Yogurt contains probiotics, which according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, can help reduce severity and duration of cold symptoms. Probiotics help reduce your body’s inflammatory response to a virus, which helps quell your body’s immune system response.
Oysters are the best source of zinc, which according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, can shorten the length of a common cold. When choosing oysters, opt for the cooked, wild variety, as they contain the most zinc.
Like ginger, garlic has traditionally been used for the years to help fight the common cold. Studies have found that people who took garlic supplements experienced less colds, and when they did get sick, their symptoms lasted for a shorter amount of time.
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