We’re right in the midst of cold and flu season, but that doesn’t mean that we have to head out and get ourselves some drugs every time it hits us.

Some of the best options for fighting off viruses are much easier than going to the pharmacy. In fact, the solutions are found right in the kitchen.chicken noodle soup 300x199 Flu and cold fighting foods

Certain foods are key for our consumption to eat while we are sick. That’s because food feeds our whole body, including our cells, with the vitamins and minerals that they need.

Here are the top food choices for staving off cold and flu during these chilly winter months. And if you already have contracted one of them? Eat up – these are helpful remedies when you’re feeling under the weather.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Yep, the old classic reigns tall. Chicken noodle soup helps fight off viruses, primarily because it’s a fluid, and one that we can consume a lot of . The ingredients in the soup also act as a powerful mucus stimulator, which will help clear up any nasal congestion that you might be experiencing. You can also add a few ingredients so it can ease cold systems and provide relief to inflammation, such as a sprinkling of turmeric.

Vitamin C… in food form

We don’t mean you need to go out and pop the vitamin C pill. Citrus fruits offer high doses of the antioxidant, but so do many other fruits and vegetables. Often when we’re sick we lose sight of our taste buds, so luckily you can pick and choose from a large variety of vitamin C-rich foods. Sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes, red bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, papaya, and broccoli are all good sources. Studies suggest that by consuming about 5 grams of vitamin C can reduce cold systems by almond 25 percent. So eat up!

Make It Stinky

Okay, well, not too stinky. But any dish – including chicken noodle soup – can benefit from loads of garlic and onions when you’re sick. These healing foods contain natural immunity-boosting compounds, as well as digestive wellness. Garlic also helps to clear up plugged-up sinuses.

Mushroom Mania

These sure can be medicinal! Mushrooms are an excellent option because they help to increase the production of cytokines. Cytokines, which are cells that help fight off infection, work hard to help you start to feel your best. They also contain polysaccharides, which are there to help support the immune system. When you’re looking for them, opt for shitake, maitake and reishi. Even better, slice them up into that soup of yours.

Bring on the Bacteria

The good bacteria, that is. Studies suggest that noshing on a cup of yogurt each day can reduce your chance of getting a cold by 25 per cent. This is due in part to the beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus reuteri, which seems to be able to effectively block the replication of viruses that invade the body when we start to get sick. Look at the labels before buying to make sure that your yogurt includes it.

Drink Up

Other than water, drinking hot tea is a soothing remedy that will help to thin mucus and keep you hydrated. hydration. Green and black tea, in particular, are filled with potent antioxidants in the form of flavonoids. You can also add some other benefits to your tea, to make it even better. Ginger, for example, not only soothes a sore throat, but contains sesquiterpenes that target colds and can help keep coughing at bay. It also aids in digestion, and is a natural pain reliever. Simmer fresh sliced ginger to make your own tea.

Sweeten Up

Honey is a natural antioxidant that has antimicrobial properties to help fight infections from viruses, bacteria, and fungi. When you’re buying it, look for buckwheat honey, which has the highest amount of cold-fighting compounds. Mix up your remedies by making ginger-infused green tea, then sweeten with a little bit of honey.

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