The Facts and Myths of Immune Boosting Nutrition
When cold and flu season hits, there is no shortage of opinions floating around as to what immune-boosting foods you should be eating to prevent illness.
At the same time, just one sniffle or sneeze and chances are the person in line behind you is already offering the latest nutritional advice they found on Instagram for shortening a cold.
The problem is, most of these common tips, whether they have been engrained in us since childhood or just hit the news, may just be fiction.
If you are sick of being sick and sick of not knowing if the advice you are receiving is a fact or actually just fiction, keep scrolling.
1. Fiction: Vitamin C will prevent a cold
Brace yourself… the most classic recommendation of vitamin C supplementation as an effective method for cold prevention may be somewhat of an oversimplification. The first thing to know about vitamin C is that it is a water soluble nutrient, meaning that any amount consumed over your body’s basic requirements is just going to be excreted in your urine.
Research shows that a vitamin C deficiency may be linked to reduced immune function, but at the same time, supplementing with vitamin C has shown no effects in cold prevention. So, getting adequate vitamin C is, of course, beneficial for maintaining your health, but if you’re trying to avoid catching whatever your roommate has just by eating a bag of oranges, it might be time to consider a backup plan. Instead of focusing on citrus alone, strive for a well-rounded diet rich in many vitamins and micronutrients; including vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, and zinc for the best immune-boosting results.
2. Fact: Fight your cold with chicken noodle soup
If you’re not reaching for a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, are you even sick? Yes, chicken soup is good for the soul, but it turns out it is also good for when you’re feeling under the weather. Not to burst your bubble, but the chicken and noodles may not necessarily be the key here. Almost any soup can offer beneficial hydration, steam, and nutrients that may help combat a cold. In addition, just the scent of a soup alone can help clear your sinuses and offer temporary relief. Experts agree that while a piping hot bowl of soup may not be the cure all, it is definitely worth trying. If all else fails, the beneficial hydration and nutrients it can offer certainly won’t hurt. If you just took a break from reading this to blow your nose, check out this simple recipe for slow cooker chicken noodle soup that even a sick person could make.