By Elizabeth Nolan Brown for Blisstree.com
1. Raw garlic. Garlic contains a natural compound called allicin that’s released when garlic cells are damaged (via cutting, crushing, chewing, etc.) and has decongestant and anti-bacterial properties Munch on a raw garlic clove or add chopped, fresh garlic to your food next time you’ve got a cold to experience one of the plant world’s most potent natural remedies. Just make sure it’s raw—allicin is heat sensitive, so cooked garlic won’t be as good a cough and cold fighter.
2. Zinc. A comprehensive analysis of clinical trials on taking zinc concluded that it really does appear to be beneficial as a cold treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic. There’s also some evidence zinc and vitamin C together could be helpful for fighting colds.
3. Probiotics. Pop some probiotic supplements or eat probiotic rich foods when you’re stressed or exposed to colds this winter. Probiotics can boost your immune response to flu strains, as well as counteract the negative effect of antibiotics. When you’re sick, aim for at least one serving of probiotic-rich foods daily, or take a probiotic supplement that contains at least five strains.
4. Miso soup. Miso—a fermented rice, barley or soybean paste—is full of probiotics, which we just noted are good cold and flu fighters. Fermented foods like miso add to the “microbial flora” in your gut and help fight off bacteria. Try some miso noodle soup instead of chicken noodle next time you’re feeling ill—same warm, soothing soup benefits, plus the added power of probiotics, garlic, ginger, vitamin B12 and immune-boosting zinc, manganese and copper.
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