Top 5 Foods That Prevent a Cold

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You’re at work, minding your own business, when a coworker walks past and sneezes, sending his germ-filled snot all over your stuff. You rush out at lunch, heading straight to the pharmacy to buy all the germ-fighting paraphernalia they’ll sell you, hoping to ward off the inevitable cold or flu that Joe Generous is spreading around. Calm down and put your wallet away. By eating the right foods, you might not have to worry about Joe and his germs.

5 Elderberries

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Elderberries are a good source of antioxidants, which you now know are an important element to fighting off colds. The roots, leaves, stems and bark of the elderberry plant are toxic, but dried elderberries can be found as teas or extracts in health food stores, and are safe to ingest. Make yourself a pot of elderberry tea when cold season hits, and you may not have to buy stock in tissue and lozenges.

4 Dairy

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Much of the body’s immune function occurs in the digestive tract. Yogurt helps fight nasty bacteria in your belly and promotes the growth of good bacteria, which in turn boosts immune function. Many dairy products are also rich in vitamin D and protein, both of which help fight infection. According to a 2009 study published in the “Archives of Internal Medicine,” vitamin D may be helpful in regulating your immune system. Vitamin D has also been shown to increase calcium absorption. So unless you’re lactose intolerant, which sucks, put a little dairy in your diet.

3 Seafood

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It can smell strange and feel funny in your mouth, but seafood is actually pretty tasty. It also rich in the antioxidants zinc and selenium, and in omega-3 fatty acids, which help evict the flu virus from your body. Oysters in particular contain more zinc than any other food. According to “Real Simple,” just one of these slimy mollusks gives you 13 milligrams of zinc. This means that not only will oysters keep the love boat cruising, they’ll help keep germs at bay.

2 Garlic

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Garlic’s is handy for fighting off sparkly vampires, would-be beaus — and colds. Crushed garlic contains a helpful little thing called allicin, which is an antibiotic and a natural decongestant that boosts immune function. Basically, it improves the odds that your body will be able to fight off the cold that’s causing all the snot to flow around the cubicles next to you. However, before you go adding it to all of your meals, keep in mind that when you cook garlic at high temperatures, it loses a lot of its beneficial properties. So put raw garlic in salads or add it to your food after it’s been cooked.

1 Citrus Fruits

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Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons, are rich in vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system. While a cup of orange juice won’t cure a cold, it can help your body fight off germs, which can prevent you from catching one entirely or shorten the duration of symptoms. However, if you’re not a pulp fan, it won’t do a lot for you. The healthy stuff is in the pulp, so opt for fresh-squeezed juice or just eat an actual orange or grapefruit. Go on, it doesn’t bite.

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