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Achoo....Achoo.....We are all familiar with the sound of sneezing, and it just seems to grow around this time of the year. The reason common cold is called so is because it is easy to catch one, especially in the winter season.
The reason for common cold being increasingly common in the winters is still a matter of debate. But the fact that low temperatures mean lower immunity and higher chances of falling sick is believable. Also, the Rhino virus which is responsible for common cold multiplies in the colder climates.
The common cold is an infection where we experience frequent sneezing, coughing and blocked nose. This virus spreads easily from one person to another.
When we come in contact with the mucus of an infected person, the virus travels through our nose and tries to gain entry into our body. Our body tries to fight it by producing excess mucus. This results in blocked nose and excessive mucus production.
We all might have heard our elders advising us to wear warm clothes while going out in the cold to avoid falling sick. Although, staying warm does not make us immune to catching an infection, it might not be completely wrong after all.
Keeping ourselves warm may decrease the virus from multiplying in our body as the virus is said to thrive on colder climes.
Have you ever wondered why our appetite goes for a toss when we are down with cold? That is because our tongue can taste the food but only the olfactory cells in our nose provide information of the flavour of the food to our brain.
These olfactory cells are situated in our nose. When it is blocked, olfactory cells receive no signal to send to the brain and hence the food tastes bland. But it is important to nourish our bodies with the right kind of nutrition.
Here are some comforting foods that will help your relieve the symptoms of cold and also provide you with all the nutrition you need for your body to recover.
1) Hot Water + Lemon + Honey-
Hot water will soothe your irritated throat. Lemon is full of vitamin C which will boost the body's immune system. Honey is a natural anti-viral which will kill the problem-causing virus. This drink will definitely work better than any over-the-counter medication.
Mix a teaspoon of honey and juice of one lemon in a glass of warm water and drink it twice a day.
2) Coconut Water-
Coconut water is full of electrolytes and helps replenish fluids. It boosts the immune system of our body and aids in fighting off infections and flu. It also increases blood circulation. Coconut water is also rich in lauric acid and caprylic acid, which has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
This age old remedy is super effective in treating cold. Its antiseptic properties help kill infections. It contains vitamin C, selenium and other minerals which specialize in treating cold. It also acts as an expectorant which opens up the nasal passages and helps to eliminate mucus.
Make a paste of two garlic cloves and mix it in a glass of water. Drink it daily till the cold symptoms subside.
4) Sweet Potato-
Sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamins C and D which boost the immune system. They also give a sudden boost of energy, which is very much needed when we are sick. Sweet potatoes are often advised to people who are more susceptible to catching cold.
Boil a cup of sweet potatoes in 3 cups of water and consume.
Turmeric is anti-septic and anti-inflammatory, which will help reduce the inflammation of the nasal cavity and also give you relief from chest congestion. It also acts as an expectorant which helps the body to get rid of the excess mucus.
Mix 1/4th teaspoon of turmeric powder in a warm glass of milk and drink daily.
Ginger is an excellent remedy for cough and cold. It is good in suppressing cough and helps relieve congestion. It is also an anti-viral which kills the problem-causing bacteria.
Add a 3-inch piece of ginger to an empty glass. To it, add the juice of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons of honey. Top this mixture with boiling water and let it sit for some time. Strain the mixture and drink.
Surprisingly, bananas are a very good remedy for fighting cold. They are rich in vitamin C, which boosts immunity, it soothes an irritating throat and also provides with a boost of energy.
Consume a banana as your mid-morning snack during cold.
8) Chicken Soup-
Nothing like a hot and comforting cup of chicken soup for a runny nose. It soothes the throat and reduces congestion. It is packed with immune-boosting minerals. The soup just makes them easy to absorb in the body. Chicken is rich in carnosine, which helps reduce stuffy nose and congested feeling in the throat. It is also anti-inflammatory.
Boil a few chicken pieces on the go and add your favourite veggies and seasoning to make a comforting bowl of chicken soup.
9) Dark Green Leafy Veggies-
Dark green leafy veggies are rich in various vitamins and minerals which will increase the immunity and help the body fight off infections. They also reduce further chances of falling sick and help the body recover faster.
Include dark greens in your diet as salads or stir fries.