5 Foods to Combat Your Winter Cold

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I woke up this Monday with a runny nose, achy limbs and a headache that just won’t quit. With January comes my annual cold– my least favorite part of winter!

I’m sure you know the feeling. While browsing the internet for miracle cures, I found some tips that you might appreciate. Check them out!

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Mushrooms

These fungi are high in vitamin B, which is proven to increase your immune system’s fighting powers.

“Maitake and shiitake mushrooms, in particular, contain plant nutrients that seem to have immune-boosting ability. Saute shiitake mushrooms and stuff them in an omelet with a little goat cheese and fresh herbs, or sprinkle fresh maitake mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then grill them and serve on a salad or top with an egg,” said Jackie Newgent, RGN in recent Livestrong research.

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Yellow Bell Peppers

Surprisingly, these veggies have more vitamin C than your glass of orange juice.

One of the best sources of vitamin C is a yellow bell pepper — with one large one providing 568 percent of your daily value of vitamin C.

“Studies suggest that regular vitamin C supplementation at levels well above the daily value may help shorten a common cold’s duration and lessen symptom severity,” said Jackie Newgent, RDN.

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Sardines

Salty fish? It’s not my go-t0 comfort food, but it’s high levels of omega-3 might be a good start.

A recent study from the Journal of Leukocyte Biology shows that omega-3s may help boost your immune system by enhancing the functioning of immune cells.

And surprisingly, sardines are ahead of typical fish when it comes to omega-3s: A three-ounce serving of canned sardines provides 1,259 milligrams of omega-3s, while the same amount of rainbow trout has 905 milligrams, salmon has 840 milligrams and canned tuna has 196 milligrams.

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Ginger

It’s not only good in holiday cookies or to treat a hangover– ginger can ease discomfort from a winter cold or flu!

“Ginger has been recommended to cold-sufferers for thousands of years in Japan, China and in Ayurvedic medicine. Ginger tea is thought to be helpful at the beginning of a cold with no fever, and it may also help with nausea. Plus, having a warm cup of fresh ginger tea with honey and lemon juice can be a soothing way to loosen mucus and ease discomfort and nausea,” said Caroline Kaufman, M.S., RDN, a Los Angeles-based nutrition expert and health blogger at Caroline Kaufman Nutrition. 

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Citrus Fruits

Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are all high in vitamin C, which is essential for immune cell function. Use a juicer to mix multiple fruit juices together for added vitamins!

“Antioxidants like vitamin C boost immunity by fighting cell-damaging free radicals,” said Caroline Kaufman, M.S., RDN.

“A natural chemical found in citrus fruit peels, limonene, could play a potential role in the treatment of bronchitis, though more research in this area is needed,” said Jackie Newgent, RDN.

I hope your cold (and mine) go away soon! Try these tips and let me know how they worked in the comments below.