health

7 foods to help keep colds away.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Nyal

 Chocolate helps keep colds away. We repeat, chocolate helps keep colds away.

I feel like I’ve lost several layers of skin from the sides of my nose, and we’re not even halfway through winter yet. This does not bode well for my plan to avoid all serious illness this year, having already had to deal with the kids’ whooping cough, bronchitis, upper respiratory infection and ear infection, in that order.

They can get sick. I CAN’T get sick. That’s the rule. Everything rests with me. I’d feel flattered if I didn’t feel slightly overwhelmed (and a tad panicked).

I’m doing all the obvious things like taking my vitamins, trying to get plenty of rest, drinking lots of water and staying warm (I don’t even want to see my electricity bill this quarter), however there are so many (less than obvious) foods that can help keep colds away that most people have never even heard of.

Let me enlighten you.

1. Kale.

Look, I’m the last one to hop on a food trend but there is something to this whole ‘kale is magical’ thing. Kale is a green leafy vegetable which means it’s already a winner because we all know that green leafy vegetables are full of all the good things, especially the dark ones like kale.

However according to Everyday Health kale also has antioxidants in it which help fight off infections because antioxidants don’t just make us look young, they regenerate the parts of our bodies that fight off illness. So grab some green juice or a smoothie or put it in soup. It really can be delicious.

“Kale also has antioxidants in it which help fight off infections because antioxidants don’t just make us look young, they regenerate the parts of our bodies that fight off illness.”

2. Horseradish.

The only time I ever eat horseradish is when my Mum makes her smoked salmon dip that contains horseradish. I never use it for anything else but now that I know it helps to relieve nasal congestion and runny noses (thanks, Dr Oz). to I’m going to have to rethink a few recipes. It belongs to the mustard family so think of adding it to salads, sandwiches and soups. And dips.

3. Elderberry tea.

You may have heard of elderberry wine, however elderberries can be taken in lots of ways and the University of Maryland Medical Centre says they’re really great for colds, because they help relieve headaches, runny noses and even coughs. You can buy elderberry tea or buy actual elderberries and use them in dishes or drink them in smoothies. They are tart and delicious.

“You can buy elderberry tea or buy actual elderberries and use them in dishes or drink them in smoothies.”

4. Zinc.

The Mayo Clinic claims Zinc boosts your immunity and can be found in several foods, including oysters, beans and nuts. You can also find zinc in spinach which you can put in soups and smoothies, garlic and egg yolks, so keep all the yolks in your omelette when you have a cold. Zinc can also found in cold and flu medicines such as Nyal.

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5. Soup.

Okay, so we’ve all heard of soup as being helpful for colds, however certain kinds of soups are more beneficial than others. If possible, add garlic, ginger or spices to your soup and serve it hot. Add kale, spinach and anything else you can think of that fights colds and then sip it slowly across the day. Soup will clear your nose, soothe your throat and keep you warm, as well as delivering lots of vitamins and minerals in one, single bowl. And the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha found that chicken soup really did have healing benefits – so your mum was right.

“Add kale, spinach and anything else you can think of that fights colds and then sip it slowly across the day.”

6. Dark chocolate.

Medicaldaily.com says dark chocolate contains the superhero of antioxidants called polyphenols which protects our cells, body chemicals and tissue from damage. It comes from plants, and gives dark chocolate and teas that slightly bitter taste. Best excuse ever to eat chocolate, right? Or you can buy cocoa tea. But I’d rather eat the chocolate.

7. Protein

I remember Jennifer Connelly, the actress who starred in the movie A Beautiful Mind with Russell Crowe, telling a story about how she arrived on set with a cold and Russell got her some almonds, telling her ‘she needed protein’ to fight off her cold. Protein? Really? The last thing most of us feel like eating when we are sick is protein. It’s all about toast and crackers and soup, right?

Except there is something to this, according to Web MD. Apparently protein is still important because protein is how our bodies make cells and we need lots of white blood cells to fight off colds. Stick to the healthier proteins like fish and chicken and avoid the really fatty kinds like steak and bacon.

Would you like to win a Thermomix this winter? Thanks to Nyal, you could. Just click here for details.

What foods do you use to prevent colds?

We know we caught your attention at the mere mention of chocolate…

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