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(E) Prevent a cold
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  01/3/2004 | Community | Unrated
(E) Prevent a cold

 

Eat This. It Just Might Prevent a Cold

News flash! Mom was right! Some foods really can cure what ails ya.
Sneezing? Sniffling? Head for your refrigerator instead of your medicine
cabinet.

The best way to prevent a cold is to wash your hands regularly and
thoroughly, but beyond that there are numerous scientific studies that
show certain foods really can help fight the severity and duration of a
cold. Special recognition and thanks to the Orange County Register,
WebMD, HealthScoutNews, and Reuters Health for the following food tips:

Chicken Soup: At the first sign of a scratchy throat or the sniffles,
make a pot of chicken soup. "It works every time," Jyl Steinback, author
of "Superfoods: Cook Your Way to Health,"http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click?bfmid=2181&sourceid=39421887&isbn=1928998402
told the Orange County Register. But you have to eat it on the first day
of the cold--just as you start to feel sick. Chicken soup has been used
for more than 2,000 years as a medicine for respiratory disorders,
including colds, flu, and asthma. According to Dr. Irwin Ziment, a
pulmonary specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, the
magic ingredient is most likely cysteine, an amino acid that is abundant
in chicken soup. It works much like the chemical acetylcysteine that is
used in medicines prescribed to combat congestion. The Orange County
Register also notes that chicken soup may be a mild antibiotic that
could help the body fight infection.

Broccoli, Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, and Avocados:
These very colorful foods have one thing in common: They are packed with
vitamins A, C, and E which give these foods a supercharged boost to help
fight the severity and duration of colds. They are also rich in
antioxidants, which may slow down cold and flu viruses.

Wine: One to seven glasses of wine a week--and red wine is best--could
prevent you from coming down with a cold, reports HealthScoutNews of a
research study from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
The protective effects are even stronger with eight to 14 glasses a
week. But it has to be wine; beer and spirits don't have the same
protective effect.

Garlic: Garlic not only boosts the immune system, but also contains a
substance that kills the rhinovirus that causes colds and flu. It has
anti-inflammatory powers as well.

Onions: They're rich in sulfur compounds, which have antiviral properties.

Citrus Fruits: They're packed with vitamin C, which can help fight the
cold infection.

Yogurt: Eat just 6 ounces of yogurt a day to help reduce your
susceptibility to colds by 25 percent, reports WebMD of several
scientific studies. Why? The bacteria in yogurt might stimulate
production of immune system substances that fight disease. Yogurt can
also minimize the symptoms of hay fever.

Jalapenos: Some like it hot enough to make their eyes water! And when
they're that hot, jalapenos and other peppers can help break up
congestion, as well as boost the immune system.

Almonds, Pistachios, and Cashews: These nuts are good sources of protein
and omega-3 oils, which will boost your immune system.

Ginger: This spice is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can also soothe
nausea and vomiting.

Apples: Yeah, an apple a day really can keep the doctor away.
Apples--including the peel--have a protective effect on the lungs.
They're rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.

--Cathryn Conroy

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