May 5, 2023|Health Lifestyle

What Are The Best Fruits To Eat When You Have A Cold?

Geez it was cold yesterday!

Since the weather has changed, many people have gotten sick with coughs and colds. Although the common cold usually resolves without specific treatment, it is highly prevalent and may be debilitating. I generally advise simple remedies to relieve symptoms, and occasionally I have to dish out antibiotics in high-risk patients. Along the way though, I also mention to people to “eat fruit”.

So, what are the most nutritious fruits to help you get better, how do they help and what’s the evidence? That’s the topic of this discussion.

In searching the internet, it seems that some studies show that taking vitamin C before the onset of symptoms may reduce the duration of a cold. However, there wasn’t too much high-quality evidence that eating fruit helps prevent the common cold. This does leave me wondering why I say it at all! And yet, having said that, I can only go by my personal experience that it definitely has helped me (and my family), and indeed, I can’t afford to get sick! That’s actually the strongest evidence I can offer.

Going on from that, let’s consider which fruits have the greatest benefits.

Vitamin C: Guava. But since no one really has much to do with guava in Melbourne, let’s go with Kiwi fruit. The kiwi fruit is packed with vitamin C. Oranges, strawberries and lemon also go a long way.

Citric Acid: Lemons or limes. The adage is true after all, a bit of lemon and honey tea goes a long way. Oranges are fairly high up there too.

Worthwhile noting that it’s not only fruits; vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach are high in vitamin C as well as other vitamins and minerals. So, if you’re sick, make sure you stack up on leafy vegetables.

To be sure, what is the idea behind citric acid and vitamin C helping with colds? Again, I return to the point that I couldn’t find much evidence at all. However, citric acid is a weak acid, and this can help directly kill some viruses and bacteria. Additionally, it is an antioxidant, and since oxidation is a part of the process of inflammation, when you’re sick, citric acid can act as an anti-inflammatory. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. It also helps your immune system and helps you absorb iron.

Hopefully, this article has stacked up to more than just my “two bobs”. What I can say is, if you are sick, doing what you can to optimise your health, including tending to your diet, resting, drinking plenty of fluids and not smoking can definitely help one way or another. And of course, failing that, if you still need help, we’re always here.

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