Healing Kitchen

Foods containing beta-carotene, vitamin C, and zinc contain immune repairing and boosting properties, and can help to reduce severity of cold symptoms. Consuming foods high in these nutrients may also impede susceptibility to catching colds. Some foods such as horseradish, garlic, and chili peppers act as "mucokinetic" (mucus-moving) agents, and can help to alleviate congestion caused by the common cold. Capsaicin is a substance in chili peppers that acts as a mucokinetic agent. Allyl isothiocyanate, a compound in horseradish, stimulates the endings of olfactory nerves and induces tears, and also helps to thin mucus.

We believe that it's possible to manage and/or improve certain conditions through what you eat. When we create "Mega-Recipes" for an ailment, we strive to include the maximum number of the nutrients that are shown to have benefit for that ailment. We also expect the Mega-Recipe to contain at least 25% of recommended intakes for those nutrients. See the list of recipes that have met our criteria for this ailment.

What You Should Eat & Why

Naturally occurring chemicals (allin, allicin, and ajoene) in garlic are believed to regulate mucus flow, and may be helpful for reducing congestion caused by the common cold.
Leading Food Sources of garlic: Garlic

vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster. If taken at the first signs of a cold, it may keep the cold from fully developing and may produce a faster recovery. Taking vitamin C doesn't prevent colds, however.
Leading Food Sources of vitamin C: Cabbage, red, Strawberries, Potatoes, Tangerines & other mandarins, Peppers, bell, red, Kiwi fruit, Oranges

Zinc, an important trace mineral for proper immune functioning, may weaken the cold virus, minimizing the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms when taken promptly, at the first signs of illness. Zinc is believed to promote a strong immune system by processing the essential fatty acids that encourage healing. Zinc in the form of lozenges is helpful for this purpose.
Leading Food Sources of zinc: Barley, Chicken, Wheat, Lamb, Crab, Oysters, Beef, Turkey

Date Published: 05/03/2005
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