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12 Super Foods that Fight a Summer Cold Like Crazy (You’ll Love #8!)
There is not a person on earth who is immune from a summer cold. There are more than 200 viruses, constantly changing, that can cause a cold, with the rhinovirus being the most common culprit.
Colds are highly contagious and can be passed from one person to another simply by being in the same room! It is spread mainly through physical contact: a handshake, a kiss (even on the cheek), and touching a common public item such as a doorknob or handrail.
This viral infection spreads mostly through the upper respiratory system and includes symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, stuffy nose, runny nose, headaches, body aches, and slight fevers.
Most people fully recover from a cold within 10 days, but there is no cure. The best you can do to avoid a cold is to wash your hands to prevent infection, avoid touching your face, and avoid persons who are obviously infected.
Otherwise, if you should catch a summer time bug, there are plenty of natural foods and drinks that can seriously help to shorten the duration of a cold and lessen the symptoms.
Keep reading and find out the top 12 super foods, herbs, and drinks that will help you to naturally fight off that nasty summer cold.
Ginger can seriously help you to fight off a summer cold because this root is a natural antiviral. Drinking ginger tea can help remove phlegm from the respiratory tract. It is also one of the most efficient stuffy nose remedies as it dries up the nasal passages. Boil a cup or two of water and add a few slices of fresh, organic ginger root. Allow to steep for 10 or 15 minutes, strain into another cup, add a tablespoon of raw organic honey, and let ginger do its work.
2. Green Tea
This is another great way to drink away a summer cold. Green tea is well known for being loaded with antioxidants that naturally fight disease, as well as antiviral and antibacterial compounds that will help to kick that cold to the curb. In fact, green tea contains a special type of antioxidants known as catechins, which have been shown in studies to arrest the activity of the common cold and the influenza virus. Drink some green tea at least three times each day to help prevent and fight a summer time cold. Try adding some lemon juice and honey to help make your throat feel better. Be sure to breathe in the steam from your cup of tea, to help get some of those antioxidants into your nose!
This well-known herb has been shown to increase an immune response in the body. Native Americans have long used this beautiful flowering herb for healing. This is perhaps one of the best known immune boosting herbal remedies in America today. Be certain that you are buying a high quality supplement from a well-known company and avoid products made in foreign countries such as China. Many of these products have been shown to have little or no actual Echinacea in them and often contain questionable ingredients.
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This strong tasting and smelling herb has long been used for its antibacterial and antiviral compounds. Garlic also contains alllicin, a sulfuric compound that is responsible for many of its medicinal benefits and what gives garlic its powerful disease fighting antioxidants. Garlic is one of the best immune improving foods you can eat to naturally help your body fight off viral infections, and avoid them to begin with. One study, published in 2001 in the journal Advances in Therapy, discovered that those who took garlic supplements every day got fewer colds than those who didn’t take garlic.
You can add garlic to your foods, salads, vegetable dishes, add a few drops of garlic oil in your foods, or simply eat a few raw cloves each day to help your body naturally fight off a summer cold. Or, try a little garlic “tea.” Boil a few chopped cloves of garlic in a cup of water for 5 minutes. Allow to cool a bit and add a teaspoon of honey. Drink two or three cups of this tea each day until your cold symptoms disappear. This drink will really clear out your sinuses! Read more how to avoid mistakes using garlic medicinally.
5. Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers have so much going for them, it’s hard to know where to start. These veggies are simply packed full of nutrients, disease fighting antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help build up your immune system. Something most people don’t realize is that they are also loaded with vitamin C, which is vital to a strong immune system, which can naturally help to protect you from a summer cold.
Red bell peppers are sweeter than the green peppers and a very versatile. Try them roasted, grilled, steamed, added to any soup or vegetable dish, or simply cut them up and eat them raw in a salad. Just one cup of red bell pepper will give you all the vitamin C you need for the day.
Speaking of vitamin C, oranges are, as are all citrus fruits, loaded with this vital immune boosting vitamin. You might not realize it, but vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that keeps your immune system strong and working properly. Drink one or two glasses of orange juice, grapefruit juice, or eat a few pieces of the fresh, organic citrus fruit of your choice to be certain your immune system gets plenty of vitamins C.
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7. Pumpkin Seeds
One thing about a summer cold– they can’t stand up in the face of zinc. Think of zinc as kryptonite to a Super summer cold. Pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc! They also contain antimicrobial compounds, which can also help to kill off even more of these viruses. Just a handful a day will give you all the zinc you need each day so grab a handful as a snack, or add them to some salads, soups, or sprinkle them over some vegetable dishes for a cold fighting taste treat.
Talk about a tasty way to kick a cold! Blueberries are simply overflowing with antioxidants that naturally help the body fight off a summer cold. You know those disease-fighting antioxidants blueberries contain? They only increase when this fruit is frozen! These little blue jewels also pack a compound called quercetin, which are known to help your body stop from picking up those ugly little germs to begin with. It only makes sense, then, that you should keep a nice big bag of frozen blueberries in your freezer at all times. Sprinkle those little berries on everything and grab a handful now and then so you can enjoy munching on them just as they are.
9. Brazil Nuts
These big, creamy tree nuts are high in a mineral called selenium, which is known for improving the immune system as well as fighting off influenza and cold viruses. This mineral also helps to kill free radicals, which cause damage on a cellular level. Selenium also helps to form T-cells, which help to fight infection in the body naturally. Brazil nuts also have other important minerals, such as iron and zinc. Don’t overdo it, though. Just one or two Brazil nuts each day gives you all the selenium you need.
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Traditional Chinese medicine frequently uses mushrooms to help fight all types of infections, including the common cold and flu virus. Eating mushrooms will increase your body’s production of cytokines, which fight off infection. They also contain polysaccharides that support a healthy immune system. Many types of mushrooms also contain antibacterial and antiviral compounds. The best mushrooms for fighting off a cold naturally are Portobello, maitake, shiitake, and white button mushrooms.
About 90 percent of our immune system lies in our belly. With more than 10 trillion bacteria living in our guts, it only makes sense that if we want a healthy immune system; we need to feed those little suckers. You can do this by eating plenty of probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, and yogurt to your daily diet. Studies show that eating just a half a cup (about 4 ounces) of yogurt each day can help you reduce the number of colds you get each year as well as shorten their duration. Be sure you buy yogurt that states it has “live and active” cultures.
12. Carrot Juice
This is not a well-known home remedy but it works like the dickens! Carrot juice is loaded with those disease fighting antioxidants and when you drink the juice it has an almost magical effect on a nagging cough. Try to drink about 4 ounces of carrot juice twice per day to stop an annoying cough.