Feeling that you are prone to catching colds or that you often pick up somebody’s cold? Then, wouldn’t it be great if you can prevent colds by choosing the right foods?
Causes for catching and aggravating colds have a lot to do with your body’s internal environment. Therefore, you can prevent colds by choosing the right foods.
Today, we would like to introduce some foods effective for cold prevention.
If you are susceptible to catching colds, try to eat in a positive way those foods introduced in this article.
1．To begin with, why do we catch a cold?
Most of the time, a virus invades the body, which causes a cold.
The common cold virus is more likely to invade your body when the mucus and other fluids inside your body (nose and throat in particular) are frail.
Meanwhile, when the body’s resistance and immune system is down, the body’s defense against virus invaders weakens and the virus grows, until it causes the common cold symptoms.
Not eating healthily, being in a dry room, being tired, being under chronic stress, not getting enough sleep and aging, etc. can all contribute to a weak body resistance and immune system.
2．Foods to prevent colds!
Here are seven foods to prevent colds and their cooking recipes.
2-1． 7 foods to prevent colds
To prevent colds, try to eat foods rich in the following nutrients.
・Vitamin A or β-carotene
(β-carotene is to be converted into vitamin A in the body, and works as such. ）
The nutrients listed above help boosting the mucus functions of the throat and the nose, preventing invasion of the cold viruses. Also, they enhance the body’s resistance or immune system, so that your immune system can work well and prevent infections.
The essential rule is to eat a healthy well-balanced diet. Especially, try every day to consume those foods introduced below.
When it comes to protein, many of you may think of “meat”.
Among various types of meat, those especially rich in protein are chicken tenderloins, chicken breasts, pork tenderloins and pork legs.
Chicken meat is known to be low in calories, and effective or improving rough skin conditions.
Among other foods rich in protein are beef and processed meat products such as salami, bacon and ham.
Sardine is also a good source of protein.
Apart from protein, sardine contains Vitamin E and D. Those vitamins have the potential benefit of improving your immune system by stimulating the blood flow and warming up the body.
Other than sardine, the red-fleshed fish is also rich in protein, such as horse mackerel,
Bell peppers contain more than double the vitamin C than the young immature green bell peppers.
Vitamin C boosts the resistance and the immune system to fight against the cold virus. Therefore, vitamin C intake is effective even after you come down with a cold.
Red bell peppers are especially rich in vitamin C, and also a good source of carotene among the bell peppers of different colors.
Acerola juice is also a great source of vitamin C.
Aside from the cold prevention, vitamin C is reported to be highly beneficial in cases of preventing acne, spots and blemishes
Acerola can be eaten fresh. Because it spoils rapidly, however, you may have hardly any occasion to eat it fresh.
Still, try eating fresh acerola if given the chance. It will provide you with a great supply of vitamin C.
5)Mulukhiya (Jew’s mallow)
Having a high nutritive value, mulukhiya is called “the king of vegetables”.
Mulukhiya is rich in vitamin A (carotene). It helps strengthen the throat and nasal mucus, and prevents bacterial invasions. Therefore, mulukhiya has a beneficial effect on preventing infections, such as cold or flu.
It enhances self-healing properties, and it continues to fight a cold even after you caught one.
Not only in vitamin C, mulukhiya is also rich in vitamin E, which can stimulate blood circulation as well as boost antioxidant activity of the body. Therefore, mulukhiya has an anti-aging effect and protective effects against lifestyle-related diseases and cold intolerance.
Spinach, “ashitaba” (agelica keiskei) and “shungiku” (chrysanthemum coronarium) also have carotene, content of which is less than that of mulukhiya, though.
Garlic chive is also rich in carotene, effective for some mucus reinforcement.
Aside from carotene, garlic chive is rich in vitamin C, E, calcium and dietary fiber, etc.
The unique smell of garlic chive derives from a component of “allicin”, and it has a strong effect on boosting the bactericidal power and the immune system.
Onion and garlic also contain “allicin”, the component of this unique smell.
Another effect of “allicin” is to warm up the body, and it is beneficial to combating colds, too.
7)Natto (fermented soybeans)
Natto is rich in a variety of nutrients, such as protein, vitamin E and B-complex vitamins.
Therefore, it has a potential power to build the strong body by boosting the antibacterial power and the immune system..
Especially, eaten at the onset of cold symptoms, natto will help the body to recover.
2-2．Recommended cooking recipe to prevent colds
Here is a “Cold Fighting” recipe with ingredients to prevent colds.
Ratatouille with chicken tenderloin
3 chicken tenderloin strips, 1/2 each of red and yellow bell peppers, 1 eggplant, 1 zucchini, 1 onion, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, 1 canned whole tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, 2 stock cubes, and olive oil for pan frying
* Change the vegetables and their quantity to taste.
1. Peel and horizontally slice cloves of garlic.
2. Cut chicken tenderloins and vegetables into bite-size pieces.
3. Heat olive oil in a pan. Then, add the garlic and fry.
4. When you smell the garlic scent from the pan, add the chicken tenderloin and fry them.
5. When the chicken is almost cooked, add the vegetables and fry.
6. When the vegetables are almost softened, stir in the canned tomatoes, breaking them up.
7. Add the stock cubes. Then, cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes.
8. When the liquid is reduced, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
3． Tips to prevent colds
Aside from the foods to prevent colds, here are some other preventative measures
Hand washing and gargling
Frequent hand washing and gargling should be a common practice to prevent colds, and make it into a daily habit. It will prevent the cold virus invasion.
Especially when you come home, make sure to gargle and wash your hands thoroughly. Try to keep them clean.
You may not realize it, but when you wash your hands, you often miss hidden germ spots.
If you don’t do it properly, you cannot get enough hygienic effects. Therefore, try cleaning thoroughly your wrests, between your fingers, your fingertips, underneath your fingernails and your thumbs.
As hand towels easily get germs to develop, replace them frequently.
Another tip to prevent the common cold is to gargle with water or lukewarm green tea.
Green tea contains catechin with antibacterial actions, which is effective for the treatment of colds, as well as for the prevention.
On the other hand, mouthwash can unnecessarily dehydrate your throat, having strong antibacterial effects. So, you had better avoid mouthwash for purposes of cold prevention.
Drinking fluids to maintain hydration
The mucus, which normally prevents cold viruses from invasion, declines its functions when dehydrated.
Then, the cold viruses easily find their way into your body. So, it’s important that your body keeps rehydrated.
Try to take in 1 to 1.5 litters of fluid every day.
Sleep deprivation can cause physical fatigue and psychological stress.
They can result in immune deficiency. So, sleep well and allow your body to rest.
Measures against air dryness
In winter, air gets dry as humidity in it decreases, and this contributes to high rate of cold virus infection.
Regarding the measurements against seasonal flu, it is effective to maintain high humidity. This is because the flu viruses which go on the rampage during winter do not thrive in hydrated environments.
It would be a good idea to use a humidifier or to place leafy foliage plants in your room.
Eating healthily is one of the most effective ways of preventing colds.
Keep it in mind that you should consume the foods introduced in this article in a positive way, and maintain a well-balanced diet. That is how you can build a strong and healthy body without being invaded by the cold virus.
This article was last updated on April 25th, 2016
No two individuals are alike. Please note that your results and experiences may vary from what is described in this article.