As the winters approach it brings with it the season of cold and flu. With this decrease in temperature outside, there is a decrease in our immunity levels inside. The immune system of our body helps us fight various virus and bacteria. For building our immune system strong, our nutrition plays a very important role. As the weather changes the food that we intake should also be changed, for example, buttermilk which acts as coolant is mostly consumed during summer and helps in lowering the body temperature. Likewise, for winters to fight against cold and flu, here are the top 10 foods that must be taken.
Garlic has been used in Ayurveda due to its medicinal properties for over centuries. It has a compound called allicin, which becomes allicin when crushed and increases the immune function. Garlic, when crushed, releases sulfur compounds which have healing properties. It also reduces the severity and duration of cold and flu. It is also beneficial in opening the nasal passage. Research conducted for 3 months showed that people who ate garlic had a decrease in common cold.
The yolk of eggs contains a high amount of vitamin-D, which helps in regulating and strengthening immunity. According to research taking vitamin-D in winters leads to fewer chances of having respiratory infection and cold.
Apples are a great source of soluble fiber, which helps in strengthening the immune system. It’s been found on research the soluble fiber causes positive change in the immune system by elevating the production of inflammatory protein interleukin-4 and helps in faster recovery from infections. They are also a great source of antioxidants.
4. Red peppers
Red peppers contain twice the amount of vitamin-C than citrus fruits and also vitamin-E and beta-carotene that helps in increasing the immunity. According to the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, the capsaicin present in red peppers show an anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting the inflammatory cytokine production.
Ginger has many medicinal properties and has been used by man for centuries. It has high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which, protects against infectious disease. Fresh ginger has a compound called gingerol, which shows anti-cancer properties.
6. Green tea
Green tea is the most popular tea these days. It contains antioxidants like catechin, quercetin and amino acids L-thenine which enhances the immune system. Green tea also helps in fighting against influenza and gastrointestinal infections.
Mushrooms have hundreds of species and they offer a unique health benefit. They are the fungi which are easily available and helps improve immunity. The white button mushrooms are effective against respiratory tract infections. The other species like shiitake have shown beneficial against cancer cells. They help in the formation of T-cells which reduce the inflammation.
Spinach, which is considered as a superfood for reducing weight also is packed with vitamin-C. This vitamin-C helps in prevention of common cold and other illness.
9. Dark chocolate
Yes, dark chocolate is a powerful food in fighting the cold, as it contains a high concentration of theobromine which is an anti-oxidant. It helps in reducing cough and bronchitis in some people.
Oranges contain vitamin C which is a protective antioxidant that boosts the immune system and decreases the susceptibility to illness. Therefore, citrus fruits like lemons, limes, grapefruits are must have in winters to fight against cold and flu.
All these food can be consumed to reduce the systems and might help in providing relief but in case of increased infection and sinusitis problem consulting a physician is important.