Cold and flu season is here (as I sit with my box of tissues and cup of hot water with lemon and honey).
I know you may have heard of many tips and tricks to fight cold and flu, but do any of them actually work? Test your knowledge below!
True or False…
Vitamin C will help you avoid a cold.
This is false as it is written. Vitamin C will not help you AVOID a cold but it may shorten the duration and reduce the severity. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables. You need about 200 mg/day to help fight colds. You could get this from ½ cup of red pepper and an orange; or 1 cup of strawberries and 1 cup of broccoli. Remember you can do too much of a good thing, current evidence recommends staying below 2000mg/day.
Feed a cold, starve a fever?
This is false. To help your immune system fight off a cold or flu, it is important to eat well and nourish your body. Even more important is proper hydration, especially if you have a fever or are vomiting. Dehydration may actually worsen your symptoms.
Eating chicken soup can help relieve cold and flu symptoms.
This is true! All liquid broth soups can help with congestion and are hydrating. Some research suggests chicken soup in particular can help reduce inflammation associated with colds and flu, providing symptom relief.
Taking a zinc supplement can help reduce cold symptoms.
This is true! Taking a zinc supplement within 24 hours of getting a cold may help you have fewer symptoms. For the proper dose, talk to your pharmacist. Evidence says not to go over 40 mg/day. Zinc is a mineral found in foods such as oysters, fish, seafood, beef, pumpkin seeds and baked beans.
Eating foods with probiotics can help fight a cold.
This is true, BUT there are some stipulations. The dose needs to be 10 billion active probiotic cultures per day. To help fight colds you have to have probiotics every day for at least 3 months before the cold season begins. You should buy products that contain the 2 main types of probiotic bacteria – lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
Remember nothing beats good personal hygiene! Proper hand washing is key, getting enough sleep, being active and reducing stress – all help to build a healthy immune system.
I am super passionate about helping people understand the science of food and making it work for them. I love coming up with healthy and tasty meals for my family and sharing them with you!
Have a question? Need nutrition advice? Want a meal plan designed just for you? Just ask me!Contact Laurie