Foods That Fight Series-Common Cold
With cold and flu season just around the corner, I have decided to write this week’s blog on the foods that fight the common cold. The common cold is nothing new, but with all the new health related issues such as corona virus and all the overwhelming information out there on the internet, I hope this blog will help remind us of the foods that research suggests may help us fight and relieve the common cold.
What is the Common Cold?
The common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat). It is usually caused by many different types of viruses, is usually harmless in terms of fatality or lasting health conditions, and people usually recover in a week to 10 days.
Symptoms of a common cold may include runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough,
congestion, body aches, headache, sneezing, and low-grade fever.
Research suggest that there are some natural foods that may help you ward off the common cold. I have chosen three foods that research shows can have a positive effect on combating the common cold.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Usually the first food people think about when someone is sick is chicken noodle soup. Soup is made up of about 92% water per serving and is loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, and calories…all of which are necessary to help you fight that cold, ease its symptoms, stay hydrated, and give you the energy to heal. Studies even show that chicken noodle soup with vegetables has anti-inflammatory properties and increases mucus velocity thus aiding in breaking up mucus and increasing nasal airflow.
Studies show that honey is used by some children (over 12 months of age) and adults as a cough suppressant choice over some cough medicines. Honey has shown to relieve cough symptoms, upper respiratory issues, and it stimulates the immune system. Did you know that honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase and in the right conditions, glucose oxidase breaks down glucose and generates hydrogen peroxide?
Oatmeal is a high-fiber, high beta-glucan food which will help you feel fuller with smaller portions. Feeling fuller with smaller portions comes in handy when you have a sore throat and small appetite. Oatmeal’s beta-glucan content helps decrease gut inflammation which allows more of your bodily resources to help fight that cold instead of fighting your cold and gut inflammation.
What can you do with this great information I just gave you? Well, I’m so glad you asked. Provided you don’t have any allergies or health related issues with the three foods mentioned here and your doctor is okay with you eating these, your mission is to find exciting and healthy ways to eat these foods. Here are some of my favorite ways:
Chicken Noodle Soup: Chicken noodle soup is not one of those foods that in my weekly rotation, but it is one of those items that my family tends to eat when fall is approaching. I enjoy my chicken noodle soup with a sandwich in a soup and sandwich combo or just the soup with wheat crackers.
Honey: I use honey as a sweetener in foods such as oatmeal. I also eat honey, with butter, on wheat toast.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. I like mine with a dash of salt, some coconut oil (butter substitute), and sweetened with honey. I will also add some raisins and walnuts from time to time.
I hope this information has enlightened and helped you. Please “heart” this blog and feel free to comment with other ways you eat the foods listed here and other helpful information.
Brian "B-Rob" Robinson is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, Certified Life Strategies Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Youtuber, and co-founder of LEANWellonline. His YouTube channel is called thisisb-rob.
Rennard, B. O., Ertl, R. F., Gossman, G. L., Robbins, R. A., & Rennard, S. I. (2000). Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Chest, 118(4), 1150–1157. https://doi.org/10.1378/chest.118.4.1150
Saketkhoo, K., Januszkiewicz, A., & Sackner, M. A. (1978). Effects of drinking hot water, cold water, and chicken soup on nasal mucus velocity and nasal airflow resistance. Chest, 74(4), 408–410. https://doi.org/10.1378/chest.74.4.408
Shadkam MN, Mozaffari-Khosravi H, Mozayan MR. A comparison of the effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and diphenhydramine on nightly cough and sleep quality in children and their parents. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):787-93. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0311. PMID: 20618098.
Majtan, J., Bohova, J., Prochazka, E., & Klaudiny, J. (2014). Methylglyoxal may affect hydrogen peroxide accumulation in manuka honey through the inhibition of glucose oxidase. Journal of medicinal food, 17(2), 290–293. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2012.0201
Wilczak, J., Błaszczyk, K., Kamola, D., Gajewska, M., Harasym, J. P., Jałosińska, M., Gudej, S., Suchecka, D., Oczkowski, M., & Gromadzka-Ostrowska, J. (2015). The effect of low or high molecular weight oat beta-glucans on the inflammatory and oxidative stress status in the colon of rats with LPS-induced enteritis. Food & function, 6(2), 590–603. https://doi.org/10.1039/c4fo00638k