7 Foods to Help Overcome A Cold or Flu

The following appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Junior Baseball.

by: Linda Helper

Years ago, doctors didn’t understand how important it was for our health to eat nutritious foods. But today, thanks to research on nutrition and health benefits, doctors now know that a good diet goes a long way in keeping you healthy. A good diet can even help athletes with better performance!

Certain foods can also aid you in fighting infections like colds and flu. Here are how some of the top cold and flu busters work:

1) Garlic contains an oily substance called allicin. Allicin produces the garlicky odor that you smell when a garlic clove is being chopped to put into the spaghetti sauce. It is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals or other nutrients that can fight off harmful molecules in your body that interfere with your immune system (your body’s protection against illness). By reducing the damage of harmful molecules, antioxidants give your immune system a boost. Chop up garlic to put on pizza, in soups, stews or sauces.

2) Drinking a cup or two of tea each day works to keep you hydrated. It also helps to thin the mucus in your nose, which clears the germs out. Try decaffeinated green tea for a powerful punch of antioxidants. Peppermint tea is a good choice, too, because it contains vitamin C, which reduces congestion from colds or flu.

3) Put a splash of honey into your tea to coat and soothe your sore throat. Honey works well for coughs, too! January is National Soup Month. National Soup Month is celebrated each year in the United States. It’s a good time to learn about the history of this first “fast food.” Soup has been popular for hundreds of years. Historians say that soup used to be called “sop.” It was originally a piece of bread with broth poured over it. After the bread soaked up all of the liquid, it was eaten. Over time, sop was served in bigger bowls with more broth and less bread. Meat, vegetables, and noodles were added to make soup as we know it now.

4) Crazy for hot peppers? Hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is what heats up the pepper. It also causes a runny nose, which clears out your nasal passages and helps you to breathe better. Hot peppers are great on pizza, in soups, and on salad.

5) Soup is wonderful when you have a cold or the flu. Not only can it help to hydrate you, but it helps to thin out nasal secretions, reducing congestion. Broth and noodles also have carbohydrates for energy, and veggies in soup have antioxidants to help support your immune system.

6) Have a chicken sandwich with your soup. Lean meats such as chicken, fish and shellfish contain lots of iron to keep
your immune system healthy. They also contain zinc, which activates white blood cells that help to fight infection.

7) Strawberries, oranges, sweet red pepper, and broccoli all contain lots of vitamin C. Research shows that this vitamin may reduce cold and flu symptoms and shorten the length of illness. Some scientists even believe that vitamin C may help to prevent colds. These fruits and vegetables – as well as all fruits and vegetables – also contain immune boosting antioxidants.

Campell’s Soups are probably the most recognized soups out there. The Campbell
Soup Co. was founded in 1869. By 1897, a chemist named John Dorrance, who
worked for the company, had invented condensed soup. Before this invention, soup was sold in very large cans. The cans were bulky and heavy and cost a lot to ship. They also cost a lot to buy. Dr. Dorrance made condensed soups by taking the water out of the soup. This made it so that the soup could fit in a small can, which lowered the cost of shipping and buying. While canned soups are easy to use, they often contain lots of salt. You can make a healthy, lower salt soup on your own (or with a parent’s help).

Here’s a recipe using left over chicken:

• 1 tablespoon butter
• ½ cup chopped onion
• 1 clove chopped garlic
• ½ cup chopped celery
• 5 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth
• 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
(breast or dark meat)
• 1 ½ cup dry pasta
• 1 cup sliced carrots
• ½ teaspoon dried basil
• ½ teaspoon dried oregano
• salt and pepper

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion and celery in butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1 minute. Pour in broth and add chicken, pasta, carrots, basil, and oregano. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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