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7 Surprising Foods To Combat Colds

7 Surprising Foods To Combat Colds
Infographic – herbsandhealth.net Photo sources – see foot of article

While there are plenty of diseases that medical science has been able to address, one of the most common has consistently escaped the grasp of thousands of doctors and researchers – the common cold. The term “common cold” doesn’t necessarily point to one specific disease or cause but rather a group of symptoms that typically appear together because of a virus, usually a rhinovirus. Because viruses that display symptoms of a cold are self-limiting (they resolve within a few days, sometimes without doing or taking anything in particular), you might not think a cold is anything to worry about. However, colds can become dangerous if they get worse and turn into pneumonia or an infection that affects the lungs. If anything, it is always best to be prepared – and that means having a strong immune system to help fight off unwanted viruses. [1]

Boosting Your Immunity With Food

Among the lifestyle choices that affect your health, your diet quite possibly plays the biggest role in your immunity. The food you eat on a daily basis contributes to how healthy you are, especially when it comes to vitamins and minerals that can only be taken from food. Here are a few food items you can include in your diet to give your immune system a helpful boost.

1. Sardines

You read that right! Aside from their omega-3 fatty acid content (which makes sardines great at improving cardiovascular health), sardines are also great sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient in boosting your immunity, which can help fight cancer, autoimmune disorders, and diabetes mellitus. [2]

2. Bell Peppers

Have you ever heard the saying that the more colorful a fruit or vegetable is, the healthier it is for you? There is some truth to it. Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants which help improve your body’s immunity. A study in 2007 found that differently colored bell peppers have different levels of antioxidants – with red peppers having the highest antioxidant content compared to other peppers. [3]

3. Mushrooms

Numerous studies have focused on the vitamin D content of mushrooms, finding that this nutrient was abundant in a variety of mushrooms such as button mushrooms, especially mushrooms that were grown in sunlight and exposed to UV radiation. Vitamin D is a known immune system booster. Historically, the biologically active compounds of mushrooms have been used to prevent and combat cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, and the common cold and flu. All of this was possible because of the antioxidant content of mushrooms, which help get rid of free radicals in the body. [4][5]

4. Yogurt

One of the best ways to help fight colds is to give our immune systems a boost. While including fruits and vegetables is a great way to help our immunity along, it can be difficult for people who don’t like eating either fruits or vegetables. A healthy option that involves fruit, as well as probiotics, is yogurt! Yogurt is such a versatile food item; it can be eaten alone as a snack or even mixed with salads and other dishes for a healthy kick. Various studies have focused on the benefits of yogurt, one of which is how probiotic microorganisms present in yogurt can stimulate our immune system and ward off unwanted diseases. In 2013, a study was conducted on probiotics and showed that they could help prevent and reduce cold symptoms by improving immune system function. [6][7]

5. Chicken Soup

Chicken soup has long been used as the cure-all for a cold or flu. But it’s not just a ‘comfort food’: A study by Rennard, et. al. found that the various ingredients used in chicken soup such as vegetables (and even the chicken itself!) largely contributed to its cold-fighting properties, specifically because of anti-inflammation. The study concluded that most chicken soup recipes exhibited a mild anti-inflammatory effect that could mitigate the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection or URTI. [8]

6. Citrus Fruits

Ok, I guess this one wasn’t a surprise. But it’s so valuable as to be worth including. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C or ascorbic acid, which is a potent immune system booster. High intake of citrus fruits (and vegetables) is associated with a reduced risk for degenerative diseases, heart disease, hypertension, cataract, stroke, and even cancer. This can be attributed to the high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and antioxidants in citrus fruits, which keeps the immune system up and running, as well as exhibiting potent anti-inflammatory properties that target the symptoms of the common cold. [9][10]

7. Ginger

Ginger is not only great at curing stomach pains and problems with your gastrointestinal tract, it is also amazing at helping your immune system out and fighting off colds and flu. In 2013, Chang, et. al. focused on the abilities of fresh ginger in fighting against respiratory infections. The study found that ginger exhibited potent antiviral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus that affected the respiratory system. Not only does ginger have significant antiviral properties, it can also help reduce the symptoms of a cold because of anti-inflammatory activity. [11][12]

If you want to fight off a cold, look no further than your own dietary choices. Taking supplements and exercising regularly (which can also boost immunity) can be difficult, but your diet is the one thing you have complete control over. Take the time to adjust your diet and involve these foods and see the difference in your immunity!

Further Reading:

How To Make Fire Cider – A Potent Cold & Flu Remedy

Best Natural Remedies For Colds And Flu

The Top 10 Most Amazing Herbal / Natural Remedies For Colds And Flu: A Definitive Guide

References:

[1] Mayo Clinic. Common cold. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/symptoms-causes/syc-20351605

[2] Holick, M. (2004). Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/6/1678S.short

[3] Sun, T., et. al. (2007). Antioxidant Activities of Different Colored Sweet Bell Peppers (Capsicum annuum L.). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2006.00245.x/full

[4] Tsai, S., Mau, J. & Huang, S. (2014). Enhancement of antioxidant properties and increase of content of vitamin D2 and non-volatile components in fresh button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus (higher Basidiomycetes) by γ-irradiation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24941035

[5] Rajewska, J. & Balasinska, B. (2004). [Biologically active compounds of edible mushrooms and their beneficial impact on health]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15536392

[6] Ashraf, R. & Shah, N. (2014). Immune system stimulation by probiotic microorganism. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24499072

[7] Kang, E., et. al. (2013). The Effect of Probiotics on Prevention of Common Cold: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trial Studies. https://synapse.koreamed.org/DOIx.php?id=10.4082/kjfm.2013.34.1.2

[8] Rennard, B., et. al. (2000). Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11035691

[9] Silalahi, J., et. al. (2002). Anticancer and health protective properties of citrus fruit components. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1440-6047.2002.00271.x/full

[10] Okwu, D. & Emenike, I. (2006). Evaluation of The Phytonutrients and Vitamins Content of Citrus Fruits. http://www.docsdrive.com/pdfs/medwelljournals/ijmmas/2006/1-6.pdf

[11] Chang, J., et. al. (2012). Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874112007404

[12] Thomson, M., et. al. (2002). The use of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) as a potential anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic agent. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0952327802904412

Infographic photo sources:

Sardines – https://pixabay.com/en/sardines-fish-plated-food-food-1489630/
Bell peppers – https://pixabay.com/en/peppers-red-red-peppers-1947710/
Mushrooms – https://pixabay.com/en/mushrooms-brown-mushrooms-cook-eat-756406/
Alcohol beverages – https://pixabay.com/en/wine-wineglass-leisure-drink-2789280/
Chicken soup – https://pixabay.com/en/chicken-soup-ginseng-korea-asia-1346310/
Citrus fruits – https://pixabay.com/en/fruit-food-citrus-pomelo-15408/
Ginger – https://pixabay.com/en/ginger-root-radish-spice-2523758/

Science: Blueberries Demonstrated To Increase Effectiveness Of Cervical Cancer Therapy

Science - Blueberries Demonstrated To Increase Effectiveness Of Cervical Cancer Therapy
image © medicine.missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. (Jan. 16, 2018) ― According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. One of the most common treatments for cervical cancer is radiation. While radiation therapy destroys cancer cells, it also destroys nearby healthy cells. University of Missouri School of Medicine researchers studied in vitro human cancer cells to show that combining blueberry extract with radiation can increase the treatment’s effectiveness.

“Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays and other particles such as gamma rays to destroy cancer cells,” said Yujiang Fang, M.D., Ph.D., a visiting professor at the MU School of Medicine and lead author of the study. “For some cancers, such as late-stage cervical cancer, radiation is a good treatment option. However, collateral damage to healthy cells always occurs. Based on previous research, we studied blueberry extract to verify it could be used as a radiosensitizer.”

Radiosensitizers are non-toxic chemicals that make cancer cells more responsive to radiation therapy. In a previous study, Fang and his research team showed that resveratrol, a compound in red grapes, could be used as a radiosensitizer for treating prostate cancer. Blueberries also contain resveratrol.

Read Full Report From University of Missouri School of Medicine

The Shocking Story Of Transgenic Crops In Argentina

The Shocking Story Of Transgenic Crops In Argentina
Photo – Michael Fischer – pexels.com

In Argentina, both humans and livestock are suffering the consequences of herbicide exposure – in a serious and tragic scenario that has received too little press coverage. Genetic malformations and disease run rampant across the country; congenitally deformed children and rapidly dying livestock are the result of dangerous herbicides sprayed on genetically engineered crops in Argentina – despite claims made by manufacturers saying otherwise. [1]

According to the Library of Congress, Argentina is the “third largest grower of biotech crops in the world“, right next the United States and Brazil. The LOC reports that Argentina was one of the first countries in the world to use genetically modified crops, specifically in 1996 with the introduction of genetically modified soybean plants that didn’t die when sprayed with the herbicide, glyphosate. If glyphosate sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s currently being sold on the market as Roundup, a herbicide manufactured by Monsanto. [2]

Monsanto doesn’t have a squeaky clean image when it comes to safe agricultural products. In fact, if you’ve brushed up on your history, you will discover that Monsanto was one of the manufacturers of Agent Orange, a deadly herbicide used during the Vietnam War that has been discovered to cause various cancers such as: soft tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myelomas, bladder cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, brain cancer, and breast cancer. The American Cancer Society reports links to these cancers and the dangerous dioxins found in Agent Orange, though not all results were seen in people exposed to the herbicide during the Vietnam War. [3]

Transgenic Wars, a French investigative film by Paul Moreira, exposes the reality of raising transgenic crops in Argentina. Not only has it affected the livelihood of Argentinian farmers (transgenic crops require a reduced amount of manpower to manage them, hence many Argentinians losing their jobs), it may also be costing them their lives. Moreira visited Avia Terai, a rural village smack-dab in the middle of fields of GE crops. The local doctors report numerous children are born with congenital diseases that they attribute to herbicide exposure. This was covered in a BBC news report in 2014, with a leading scientist in Argentina, Dr. Carrasco, reporting congenital deformities in an experimental study he conducted with Monsanto’s glyphosate and chicken and frog embryos. Dr. Carrasco notes that the congenital deformities were very similar to the congenital deformities in children born in places surrounded by GE crops. [4]

Livestock are likewise affected. Moreira’s film also reported the effects of GE soy products eaten by pigs in a Danish farm. Pig breeders reported an illness they called “the yellow death”, wherein piglets suffered from severe diarrhea and eventually died – 30 percent of the piglets born each year were affected. Pigs in the farm were being fed GE soy and once the farmer cut out the GE soy from his pigs’ diet, he noticed the sudden stop in diarrhea among his animals. The farmer, Ib Pedersen, reports that his GE soy came from Argentina and that moment he stopped feeding his livestock with it, “the yellow death” stopped.

Moreira’s film raises many questions about the safety of herbicides used on crops sold in America and all over the world each year. While there isn’t a definite answer regarding the role of herbicides in disease-stricken Argentina, we can’t be sure that it isn’t the cause either; not yet. With Argentinian farmers adding more chemicals and mixing together different herbicides to fend off weeds that are resistant to glyphosate, it is becoming harder and harder to pinpoint what exactly is causing Argentinian children to become sick. The real question now is, how do we stop it?

Here’s the trailer from the documentary film:

Further Reading:

Liver Cancer Deaths Are Skyrocketing As Food Becomes Increasingly TOXIC Due To Pesticides And Herbicides

Fears As 93% Of Americans Tested Positive For Glyphosate And Children Found To Have The Highest Levels

California’s Decision To List Glyphosate As Cancer-Causing Upheld By Courts

Pay Up! Monsanto Found Guilty of Chemical Poisoning In France

Monsanto Is Suing California For Stating That Roundup Causes Cancer

References:

[1] Premiers Lignes Television. Transgenic Wars.http://www.pltv.fr/en/transgenic-wars/

[2] Library of Congress. Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms: Argentina. https://www.loc.gov/law/help/restrictions-on-gmos/argentina.php

[3] The American Cancer Society. Agent Orange and Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/agent-orange-and-cancer.html

[4] Pressly, L. (2014). Are pesticides linked to health problems in Argentina? http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27373134