The common cold is a frustrating illness to deal with. There is no one miracle cure, so all that we can do is treat the symptoms and wait for our body to fight the illness for us. Leading a healthy lifestyle and choosing the right food for colds can help us to get better more quickly. The good news, for those of us that follow the Paleo diet, is that many traditionally Paleo foods have medicinal and mood-lifting properties that can help you to recover from your cold more quickly.
Chicken soup is a traditional cold-fighting food. It helps to thin and break up mucus, clearing your head. It warms you up, and it boosts your energy levels. Stay away from canned soups and try to make your own using fresh ingredients.
Garlic is rich in allicin, a compound which breaks down to produce powerful antioxidants that boost your immune system and help you recover from your cold more quickly. Eating garlic when you’re healthy can help to prevent you from catching more colds in the future.
The idea that drinking orange juice to load up on vitamin C will prevent colds is an old wives’ tale, and recent studies suggest that vitamin C isn’t actually that useful in preventing colds. However, studies do suggest that taking vitamin C as soon as you notice cold symptoms appearing can help to reduce the duration of your cold by a day. So if you start feeling run-down and get a runny nose, feel free to eat that grapefruit.
Fennel is a powerful expectorant. This means that it can help to soothe your cough and clear up a congested chest. Typically, fennel is eaten roasted, but you can also make it into a drink by boiling a couple of teaspoons of fennel seeds in a cup full of water and letting it stew for 15 minutes. Sweeten it with honey for even more cold-fighting magic.
Brazil nuts are a true super-food. They contain protein and healthy fats, and are also rich in selenium. According to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina, mice infected with the flu demonstrate greater levels of inflammation if they have a selenium deficiency. Selenium is important for good immune system function, so eating a handful of nuts is a good way to back up your immune system and help it get rid of that cold.
Sweet potatoes are a rather controversial food for Paleo diet followers. They are more acceptable than traditional potatoes, but some purists still feel that they should be on the “not allowed” list. One reason to consider eating them is that they contain vitamin A, a nutrient which helps to keep the mucous membranes in your nose and throat healthy. If you enjoy eating sweet potatoes, then use the fact that they’re a good food for colds as an excuse to indulge. Otherwise, why not try eating carrots or other orange-coloured vegetables, which are similarly rich in vitamin A?