As winter quickly approaches, so does the dreaded common cold. Whilst there is no cure, fuelling your body with some essential vitamins and minerals could help to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms and help you to recover quickly. So, prepare yourself for the winter and see which vitamins and minerals you should be prioritising in order to look after yourself!
Foods rich in vitamin C can help to reduce the duration that the symptoms of the common cold last, as it acts as an anti-inflammatory and antihistamine. Whilst there is no set dose that is known to relieve symptoms, incorporating the vitamin in various meals and drinks throughout the day will help you. For an easy option, take vitamin C tablets, or if the whole family is suffering, make a big fruit salad with strawberries, oranges and blackcurrants to give your family a vitamin C boost!
Vitamin E is filled with antioxidants that boost the immune system and could protect you from getting a cold in the first place. Once again, of course supplements are an option, however you can also include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, berries and green leafy vegetables into your diet to access Vitamin E. Buckwheat pancakes with greek yoghurt and berries will be a great source of this immune boosting vitamin.
Zinc does wonders for your immune function, once again helping you to fight off any cold’s. It has been suggested that zinc can prevent cold viruses from multiplying to minimise the duration of suffering. Eating foods like beans, nuts, grains and dairy products will help to give your body the help it needs to overcome a cold, otherwise zinc supplements are a quick and easy option when you are feeling ill and don’t really want to cook!
This nutrient is only needed in small amounts, but the benefits it can have are huge. Selenium acts as a strong antioxidant, it is anti-inflammatory and it also encourages immunity, all of which combine to help protect your body from disease. You can access selenium by eating brazil nuts, fish and selenium fortified foods such as some breads and pasta. There are so many delicious recipes that are full of selenium to help protect your body.
Magnesium is a natural remedy to the common cold as it increases the immune system’s ability to produce antibodies, thus protecting the body from viruses like the common cold. Additionally, magnesium boosts the body’s energy production to give you some much needed energy when you’re feeling tired and lethargic as a result of your cold. Green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds contain plenty of magnesium so a salad with feta, pine nuts, sesame seeds and spinach would be perfect.
Whilst there is no cure for the common cold, protecting your body with these nutrients will help to minimise the discomfort you experience whilst fighting it off. You may have noticed that green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds are all nutrient-dense so that is a great place to start in terms of protecting yourself.