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Can Broccoli Help Fight Flu And Common Cold Symptoms?

The common cold and flu are the two frequently occurring infections and the main cause of fever, sore throat, running nose, cough and sneezing. The common cold is caused by around 200 different types of viruses while influenza virus is the main cause of flu.

We know that consuming a balanced diet and "eating clean", is extremely necessary for good health. A balanced diet must consist of all the essential nutrients like carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, vitamins, omega-3 and folate.

Several fruits and vegetables are packed with the aforementioned nutrients which are famous for their excellent medicinal properties to treat and prevent various diseases and ailments naturally.

Among them, broccoli is considered a superfood to treat common cold and flu symptoms in a short period. Let's discuss the benefits of broccoli for cold and flu.

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Nutritional Profile Of Broccoli

According to a study, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are an excellent source of phytochemicals, including sulforaphane, glucosinolates, phenolics, dietary minerals and antioxidant vitamins.

Vitamins in broccoli include vitamin C, A, E, K; minerals include selenium, zinc and iron while polyphenols include quercetin, isorhamnetin and glucosides. These nutrients are responsible for the strong antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing activities of broccoli. [1]

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Broccoli For Common Cold

The common cold is a common-occurring viral illness. A majority of colds is caused due to rhinovirus, a virus type that can also aggravate the condition in asthmatic and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. There are no FDA approved drugs to treat rhinovirus infections. Medicines are available just to lower their symptoms and boost immunity.

Plant-derived bioactive phytochemicals have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory therapeutic potential for humans. Quercetin, a plant-based flavonol is known to reduce the viral load by inhibiting the replication of viruses in the airways epithelial cells and prevent airways congestion. It is also known to decrease the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improve the functionality of the lungs. [2]

Broccoli is a rich source of quercetin and thus, can help treat the rhinovirus infection. Pretreatment with this superfood can also help block endocytosis of rhinovirus, or say decrease the viral particles or genome which is penetrated in the human cells at the time of infection.

Another study talks about the presence of vitamin C in broccoli, which is a potent antioxidant vitamin. This vitamin along with vitamin E, A and K and beta carotene cause a protective effect at a cellular level and reduce the risk of cold and other illnesses. [3]

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Broccoli For Flu

Flu is caused by the influenza virus - it may proceed to severe complications such as pneumonia. Though vaccines and antiviral drugs for flu are present, mutation of the viruses and resistance to drugs are the cause the virus is still prevalent worldwide.

Flu can hinder with day-to-day activities of a person and cause a lot of discomforts. Also, flu, unlike common cold that mostly occurs during the cold season, can occur at any time of the year. This is why maintaining good immunity all the year-round is very important by the consumption of nutritional foods like broccoli.

Both steamed or cooked broccoli can help reduce flu symptoms in just a few days. It is a great source of sulforaphane that can effectively reduce nasal inflammation and prevent the virus replications. Also, glucoraphanin, a precursor of the prior have protective against many chronic and infectious conditions. [4]

Broccoli is enriched with vitamin K, folate and antioxidants, all of which can help strengthen the immune system to fight the disease-causing agents more efficiently. In conclusion, broccoli can reduce flu symptomsnaturally.

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To Conclude

Diet plays an important role in preventing chronic diseases as well as short-term illnesses. Broccoli, being a superfood can help prevent the cold and flu symptoms due to its enormous content of nutrients. However, it is just a small factor in treating the condition as other lifestyle factors like exercise and consumption of other fruits and vegetables also play an important role.

Common FAQs

1. Is broccoli good when you're sick?

Yes, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli can help when you are sick with flu or the common cold by reducing the symptoms and boosting the immune system.

2. Is broccoli good for cough?

Broccoli's rich nutritional profile can help reduce the common cold and flu symptoms such as cough. It contains vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, double the levels found in oranges and lemons.

3. What vegetables are good for colds?

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are good for colds and related symptoms such as cough and fever.

Story first published: Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 17:30 [IST]