Cold and flu season is fast upon us, and although there's sadly still no cure for the common cold, there are many food remedies that can both help prevent a cold or help you get over a cold quickly. Here are a few, along with a recipe.
Chicken Soup is the most well known home remedy for a reason! The hot broth will help you decongest, as well as slow the congestion process, and while the chicken itself isn't that important, a good homemade soup is full of all sorts of ingredients that will help stave off a cold.
A few great ingredients to add are:
- Garlic: Studies have shown that garlic helps the immune system fight off infections.
- Parsley: Parsley is full of flavanoids, which are both anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories.
- Thyme: Thyme contains thymol, an ingredient used in many cold medicines.
- Cabbage, broccoli, or bell peppers: All of these are Vitamin C rich and are a great way to boost your immune system.
- Ginger: Ginger actually has anti-bacterial properties! It's also a great sure for nausea.
Here's a recipe I like to use. If you're vegetarian or vegan, you can use tofu or beans and veggie broth in place of the chicken.
No More Cold Chicken Soup
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/2 onion, cut in strips
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cubed
- 1/4 head cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup brocolli
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Pour chicken broth into a large pot. Add in hot pepper flakes, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic poweder, black pepper, and onion. Boil over high heat, AND then reduce the heat to medium-low, keeping it at a simmer. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in cubed chicken, and cook until no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes. Stir the chicken and cabbage into the soup.. Simmer till cabbage is tender. Take your pot off of the heat and stir in the egg, parsley and thyme. Cool, and then serve. Makes 4 servings.
As mentioned above, both ginger and hot liquids are great for preventing or getting over a cold. Instead of flavoring your tea with milk or sugar, try adding lemon and honey. Honey can soothe a sore throat and is rich in enzymes, while lemon contains over 80% of your daily recommended value of Vitamin C.
Live Culture Yogurt
Yogurt is full of beneficial bacteria that will help strengthen your immune system. Though hot liquids are great for curing a cold, make sure you don't heat your yogurt- the heat will kill off all of the healthy bacteria.