Winters are finally here. And while it brings a welcome respite from the sweltering heat and humidity, it also brings along some seasonal health issues like common cold, flu, cough, and fever which affects a lot of people.
While there are numerous medicines to treat the same, our diet also plays a major role in providing our body with essential vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre, and also boosting immunity. “Some food items also have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which help us fight seasonal diseases,” says, dietician Dr Archana Batra.
Below, she suggests some foods that will help you fight common cold:
A natural anti-inflammatory, ginger is also known for its antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties. Also rich in antioxidants, it helps to fight nausea, which is common if one has the flu.
“It also helps to control vomiting tendencies; just add raw ginger to your hot soup or brew it with your tea. To avoid viral infections, you can boil ginger with other spices and have that water after cooling it down,” suggests Dr Batra.
Honey has always been used as an antibacterial as it has antimicrobial compounds in it. It also plays a vital role in improving the immune system and hydrating the body.
“The antibacterial properties in it help to suppress coughing and relieve a sore throat. You can start your day with a glass of warm water with honey and lemon, or can add honey to your tea and milk,” says the dietician.
Enriched with antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, garlic helps to boost the immune system and is also medically proven to reduce the chances of catching a cold.
“In fact, garlic extracted supplements also help decrease the severity of cold by enhancing immune functions. If you have severe cough and cold, you can have raw garlic every morning in your soup or broth. It will give relief to sore throat and warmth to the body,” says Dr Batra.
A healthy and yummy option, not only is it easy to digest but is also rich in all the necessary minerals, vitamins, protein and calories. It is a rich source of electrolytes and fluids which gives relief from fever and help clear the nasal mucus, thus acting as a natural decongestant.
It is packed with calcium, vitamins, minerals, protein and beneficial probiotics. All these nutrients help to boost the immune system and lessen the chances of getting affected by the common cold.
Dr Batra adds, “However, dairy products do not suit all during the cold. You have to be cautious about the effects of yoghurt on your body. If you feel it thickens your mucus, then you must skip it from your diet.”
It is more than just a breakfast option. This highly soluble fibre helps in boosting cardiac health, and the zinc in it helps in improving the immune system. The dietician adds, “It also provides necessary fibre and helps to reduce the inflammation in guts which causes bloating, cramping and diarrhoea.”
“While the soluble fibre in it helps to boost the digestion, it also provides all the nutrients and calories to fight a cold. People have a misconception that bananas deteriorate cold; it is false,” says Dr Batra.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines