10 Foods That Fight Your Cold Naturally

Flu Season 2013

Feeling under the weather?  It's been fluapalooza this year in Chicago.   Avoid getting sick this year with these natural germ fighters.  These foods are rich in nutrients that boost your immune system and fight off those colds.

1. Açaí [ah-sigh-ee] is trendy right now, but it is also good for you. The fruit is packed with poly phenol antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.

2. Tomatoes contain the rare and strong antioxidant lycopene, which is an essential nutrient for the body’s lymphatic system. Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, which boosts the body’s immune system.

3. Citrus fruits — such as grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime—have high concentrations of vitamin C and flavonoids, both of which bolster the body’s white blood cells and immune system.

4. Garlic will repel vampires but it also blocks the enzymes that lead to infection!  It has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Garlic also contains the active ingredient allin, which hinders free radicals from spreading throughout the body.  If you're spouse is complaining about the non-stop garlic breath - you can find it in supplement form.

5. Papaya contains 3 times your daily requirement of vitamin C, but also 67 percent of your RDA of vitamin K, which is necessary for healthy blood circulation and organ function.

6. Ginger is good for the intestinal track. Ginger is also a warming herb, which means it improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and soothes the respiratory system. Take note: it can also be used to reduce flatulence.

7. Avocado is actually a fruit, is rich in potassium, and is the best-known natural source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an essential vitamin that helps maintain overall health. Avocados also have high concentrations of glutathione, an important antioxidant that improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and prevents damage to cells caused by free radicals and peroxides.

8. Blueberries have the most active antioxidants of any fresh fruit  including high levels of anthocyanins — one of the most potent antioxidants.

9. Fennel is a natural expectorant, and can help clear chest congestion and soothe a persistent cough.  Fennel can be eaten raw or roasted, but you may get the best cold-fighting benefit from drinking a tea made from the seeds.

10. Red Peppers like citrus fruits, are high in vitamin C. In fact, one red pepper has 150 milligrams of the nutrient - almost 50% more than a large orange.

And as always - make sure you get enough protein. While necessary for building muscle, we also need it to fuel antibodies and fight infection in the body.  Stay healthy!

Josha Krueger is a NSCA-CSCS certified personal trainer, an AFPA Sports Nutrition Consultant, and owner of Kru Strength + Fitness.

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