Flu got you down? If you’ve got a fever or the flu, doctors recommend that you rest instead of exercise. If you’re feeling too sick to hit the gym, rest and eat these disease-fighting foods!
1. Low-Fat Yogurt or Skim Milk
Dairy foods are the best source of calcium and have tons of protein, vitamins, and minerals. But did you know they can fight the flu? Recent research show that people who had the lowest levels of Vitamin D were far more likely to get the flu than those with the highest levels. Now we don’t know yet if this is causal or correlating evidence, but eating some low-fat dairy evidently doesn’t hurt!
It’s a myth that Vitamin C can prevent a cold, but it’s true that taking it at the first signs of a cold can help you feel better faster. The best way to get Vitamin C – citrus fruits. So add some lemon to your tea or eat an orange!
Garlic does so many great things for the immune system, it’s hard to list them all. Garlic’s 70 active phytochemicals may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 30 points, and it lowers rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Garlic contains allicin, a chemical compound that destroys bacteria and makes it seriously hard for viruses to stay alive. A 2001 study found that people who took an allicin supplement were half as likely to catch a cold than those who did not. You don’t need to take a supplement, just eat garlic! Remember cooking does diminish garlic’s potency, so you may want to add more than one clove to your pasta sauce to get the full benefits.
4. Cayenne Pepper and Hot Chilies
The chemical that make chilies hot, capsaicin, acts like a decongestant, expectorant, and pain reliever in one. Remember when you bit into a jalapeno and your eyes, nose, and mouth ran? Then imagine that effect when you have a cold. Capsaicin encourages your body to thing down all your mucus so you can cough it up and get rid of it.
It’s also a pain reliever. It deadens nerves when it’s applied. Capsaicin depletes the neurotransmitter “substance P,” which relays pain signals to the brain. I also causes the body to produce more collagenase and prostaglandin – they reduce pain and swelling. So start chugging that Tabasco.
5. Chicken Soup
This is one old wives tale that works. Doctors at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken stock, the base for the soup, slows down mucus production allowing you to breathe easier during a cold. They even tested 13 different store-brought chicken soups. Nearly all suppressed mucus to some degree.
What do you Rockheads do when you’re sick? Let me know in the comments!