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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Feeding a Cold: What to Eat When You’re Under the Weather

Feeding a Cold: What to Eat When You’re Under the Weather

Like all seasons, the winter months have their ups and downs. On one hand, winter allows you to enjoy  snowboarding, skiing, or having a steaming, hot cup of cocoa with mini marshmallows. There are many, however, who would much rather be able to wear shorts all year round. One of the leading downsides to the winter season is that it is the time of year when everyone seems to have the sniffles. This year, the wicked cold weather that has brought many parts of the country way below normal temperatures has not helped to cure our runny noses and sore throats. Colds can be annoying nuisances that can stick around for awhile, especially if you don’t treat them properly. Besides taking it easy and resting, knowing what to eat to fend off a cold is just as important for getting better faster.

It is easy to drown sorrows in a pint of ice cream or at the bottom of a bag of chips, but it is important to nourish our bodies in the right way when we’re not feeling our best. Our immune systems need strength in the form of calories to fend off foreign germs. Still, consuming the right kinds of nutrients is important to load our bodies with food that enhance our overall health, not weight us down with empty calories and lack of nutrients. A healthy diet is well-known to enhance our immune systems to help fight against germs on a normal basis. Still, even the healthiest person alive is bound to catch a cold sometime in their lifetime. That is why it is important to bulk up on certain foods that will help our bodies recover when taken ill.

Drink Up
Do you know that bowl of broth your mother or grandmother used to make you when you were not feeling well as a kid? Well, it turns out she was right! With a sore, achy throat it may be hard to eat solids. Thus, stocking up on the right kinds of fluids is important. Real fruit juices, like apple and grapefruit, offer calories and other nutrients that will give energy to those who have no appetite. Hot fluids, like green tea with a dash of honey or lemon juice, can do wonders for a sore throat and/or nasal congestion. The steam from the tea can help open up nasal passageways and the honey will coat the throat for a soothing effect.

The Importance of Protein
Clear broths, like chicken and vegetable, are great foods that will hydrate the body and are easy to digest. The hot steam from the soup will help with congestion and warm the body from getting the chills. If hunger is present, consuming a meaty, hearty soup is still preferred for a good source of protein that will strengthen the body. Protein is important because it helps the body repair itself and fight infections. Chicken, egg protein, and skinless turkey breast are great sources of lean protein that add more needed nutrients for strengthening the body. When the word protein comes to mind, often we tend to think of building muscle, but in actuality we also need it to build antibodies to fight infections in the body. Are you a non-meat eater? Well, you can also get protein from meatless sources such as nuts, which are also a great source of energy.

The Power of Fruit and Vegetables
The thing about consuming fruits and vegetables is that they are just good for you. Such foods as oranges, blueberries, and leafy greens are packed with certain types of ingredients that can do wonders for a cold. When looking at veggies, the darker the greens the more nutrients that vegetable holds. Thus, eating arugula and kale that are bitter greens have much more germ fighting nutrients than just consuming iceberg lettuce. Fruit wise, most notably oranges contain the immune boosting vitamin C, which can shorten the duration of a cold by giving our bodies a healthy boost of cold-fighting energy. That is why it pays to gulp down that glass of OJ or eat a handful of berries for a source of vitamins and antioxidants that will strengthen the body.

Spice Things Up
Awakening your taste buds with certain types of spices and herbs is just as important. Consuming ginger and garlic, for instance, can infiltrate the body with plenty of antioxidants to fight germs when sick. Have you ever tried to eat something that you normally eat and not be able to taste a thing? Well, it is not uncommon for our smell and taste senses to get blocked or stuffed up when sick. A remedy to this is to spice things up and consume well seasoned foods that are spiced up with such ingredients as ginger and garlic that can help clear sinus congestion and make it easier to breathe through stuffed up nasal passageways.

Most everyone agrees that getting sick is no fun and in the fast paced world we all live in today getting back to our normal, healthy selves is key. Knowing what to eat when sick is a natural means to feeling better faster. So, when you are looking for ways to shorten a cold it is best to know what kinds of foods will help our bodies to recover. Not only are these foods great at fighting infection, but they are also healthy choices that can reduce our chances of taking ill in the future if incorporated into our diets on a regular basis!

2 comments

1 johnnie d mcclain { 02.19.14 at 12:09 pm }

vitamin c works very well

2 Ali { 02.19.14 at 11:05 am }

I will add my 2 cents:

I take Vitamin C and I literally cannot remember the last time I was sick. At the slightest sign of a sore throat or runny nose, I take a gram an hour throughout the day and evening. (Your body can absorb more when the immune system is stressed). Next morning, no more symptoms!

Vit C needs to remain at high levels in the bloodstream and since it’s water-soluble, divided doses are essential. In many cases you can have too much of a good thing…but in the case of vitamin C, your body will tell you (with loose stools) when you’ve had enough. At that point, back off just a bit. That’s what is meant by taking “to bowel tolerance”…the point at which diarrhea ensues, so by eye, use just a little less. Oral mega dosing is best done before meals and at bedtime. So the best method for oral use is to mix Vitamin C crystals (ascorbic acid) with half as much Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (contains no aluminum) and let fizz in half a glass of water. A level teaspoon supplies 2.25 grams of Vitamin C or 2250 milligrams. A rounded teaspoon is about 5 grams and a heaping teaspoon 7 to 8 grams. Exact measurement is unnecessary since personal doses must be individually titrated and maintained just below bowel tolerance.

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