Wednesday, January 28, 2015

6 Common Cold Symptoms You Can Relieve with Food

The last thing anyone wants during the holidays is to feel sick. But it never fails: As the temperature drops and the season calls for stressful rushing, our immune systems have trouble fighting off infections. Before you know it, that simple cough will turn into a heaving, hacking one and your nose will feel like someone left the faucet on. Even when you’ve done everything you can to ward off a cold, sometimes that pesky disease hits you where it hurts and you are stuck dealing with the symptoms. Instead of waiting for your over-the-counter medicine to kick in, try lessening the blow of cold symptoms with natural food remedies.

Runny Nose
Unquestionably one of the most annoying symptoms of a cold, a runny nose can drive a sick person crazy. To get rid of it, a few wives' tales suggest inhaling mustard oil vapors and drinking ginger teas to dry out nasal cavities.

Sore Throat
When your throat is achy, the thought of food can make you wince in pain. But believe it or not, there are a few foods that can help alleviate throat irritation. Gargling warm salt water can reduce inflammation and breakdown mucus. For the same effect with a more pleasant taste, try drinking warm tea with honey to soothe and coat your burning throat. Even chicken soup can help, since it is believed that its sodium-rich broth has anti-inflammatory properties.

Feel like a ram is battering your brain? You may be able to eat the pain away, depending on the type of headache you have. Dehydration can often cause headaches, so make sure you drink and eat fluid-rich foods. Watermelon has tons of natural water components to ease the pain of a headache. And food rich in calcium, like yogurt, may be what your brain is craving. Or maybe you need to just lower your blood pressure, in which case spinach is the food to do the job!

Achy Muscles
Feeling cramped and helpless on the couch? Your muscles could just be in need of some antioxidants. Blueberries are said to ward off muscle fatigue, while cherries and pomegranates have anti-inflammatory properties that give muscles relief.

If a cough is haunting your chest, you may be able to chase it out with a few food remedies. Thyme has flavonoids that relax tracheal and ileal muscles and reduce inflammation. For fast-acting relief, sucking on a lemon sprinkled with salt and pepper may relieve a constricted chest.

The last thing a nauseous person can think about is eating, but nibbling on certain foods may bring the relief they crave. Try eating dry, light foods like crackers and toast to absorb some of the nausea-inducing "wet" foods sitting in your stomach. Doctors also recommend staving off nausea by eating cold foods like chilled salads and Popsicles to soothe a grumbling stomach.

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