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20 Food Combos That Prevent Common Colds

Ditch the chalky vitamin C tablets and dive into one of these dishes instead!
20 Food Combos That Prevent Common Colds

Did your mother ever hand you a glass of orange juice if you had a cold as a kid? Mine did, but it turns out she should have opted for a warm cup of antioxidant-filled green tea over the sugar-laden juice. Not only is OJ not as powerful as formerly believed, it's not enough by itself. Get this: Numerous studies have popped up indicating that vitamin C can prevent and ease the symptoms of the common cold if and only if it's paired with zinc.

Below, we've come up with a bunch of ideas on how to get your C and Z at the same time. Because as much as you know you need your vitamin C, a study from The Journal Of International Medical Research in Switzerland revealed that two billion people worldwide have some degree of a zinc deficiency. And that's a shame—because when zinc is paired with an antioxidant like vitamin C, its effects unlock a new gear that helps heal wounds throughout the body and boosts immunity.

It's important to note that while these two don't necessarily cure the common cold, they do ward off symptoms from arising if consumed in considerable amounts. If you already are infected with the cold, pop a supplement of vitamin C and another of zinc. When taken simultaneously, a plethora of the virus-fighting nutrients will surge through your bloodstream and ease the symptoms and life of the cold in your body. But to avoid getting sick in the first place, why not indulge in these delicious meals? Read on to see which of the ingredients in the dishes below are heroic vitamin C and zinc agents and make sure to avoid 40 Habits That Make You Sick and Fat so you aren't setting yourself up for failure.


Strawberry and Spinach Salad

This salad may be light in calories, but the nutrition it provides sure isn't. While spinach doesn't have the most significant amount of zinc in it, it does provide the body with iron, another essential mineral. This is an interesting thing to note because when spinach is paired with strawberries, aka one of the most vitamin C-stacked fruits out there, it enables the iron to be absorbed more quickly. Why? It's simple: vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron, which is also vital for immunity—and maintaining energy levels— because it produces hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is another name for red blood cells which is essential for transferring oxygen from the lungs to tissues. Pretty important stuff! Drizzle some balsamic vinegar and feta cheese atop this powerhouse to receive a fancy (and delicious) aesthetic.


Chickpeas and Tomato Salad

Did you know that one ½ cup serving of chickpeas provides two grams of resistant starch? In addition to being chock-full of fiber, healthy fats, and a bit of protein, it also has zinc to boot! Pair these earthy legumes with its vitamin C counterpart, the tomato, and you've got yourself an awesome side dish. In addition to their juicy savor, tomatoes are rich in lycopene which not only gives the fruit (or is it a vegetable?) it's red pigment, it also has antioxidant-like properties that can help fend off cancer. Grab your spoon and keep that cold away with this sweet and filling duo!


Beef and Potato Stew

Beef may not be classified as one of the superfoods—however, for this article's purpose, it may as well be. Just three ounces of beef provides a whopping 7 mg of zinc which nearly fulfills the whole 8 mg that's the all the recommended dietary allowance for non-pregnant women. Men, on the other hand, need around 11 mg of zinc per day; so, a second serving of this stew may not be a bad idea if you're of the male persuasion. Let's not forget about the potatoes, i.e, the vitamin C component! Together, the two make a cold-combatting pair, and it also gives you an excuse to dust off the ole' crockpot. Warm the house with this stew and refer to 35 Healthy Crock Pot Recipes for more inspiration!


Roasted Pork with Sauteed Broccoli and Mushrooms

Speaking of meat, pork is another excellent source of zinc. While it's content isn't as impressive as beef's, there's another ingredient in this dish that contributes a substantial amount of zinc. Shiitake mushrooms not only add to the savory essence of this dish, a single cup packs on another 1.9 mg of the mineral. Broccoli sweeps in a provides a hefty amount of vitamin C, 42 mg per half cup to be exact! To put this into perspective, this serving constitutes for roughly 70 percent of your daily needs of vitamin C. Not too shabby! Dig in and you'll shoo that cold away in no time.


Fortified Cereal with Blackcurrants

Who would have thought cereal would provide zinc? The cereal with the most zinc in it would have to be Kellog's All-Bran complete wheat flakes. It provides nearly 350 percent of your daily needs (per 100 g, based off of a woman's needs of 8 mg/day). Additionally, blackcurrants hold a wealth of vitamin C. Just one cup of this fruit contains as much vitamin C as three large oranges! Take a break from your morning bowl of oatmeal and pour yourself a bowl of this cereal with at least a half of cup currants.


Curried Cauliflower with Cashews

The C's own this dish, and vitamin C isn't even mentioned in the title! Cauliflower holds a substantial amount of the vitamin, whereas, cashews brings some zinc to the table. Not only does zinc help keep your immune system strong, it also promotes the production of collagen, which helps with the formation of hair, skin, and nails. Don't be shy with the cashews in this dish!


Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa

Calling all connoisseurs of healthy chicken recipes, Eat This! has another idea to add to the list! Chicken, specifically the dark meat portion, houses 2.4 mg of zinc per three ounces and just one cup of a ripe, juicy mango, offers about 60 mg of vitamin C. That's 100 percent of the daily value of the antioxidant! Cut into this refreshing and protein-packed chicken for a sweet rendition of a savory meat! Also, make sure to refrigerate your mango! It is meant to grow in warmer climates and will actually adapt a different, not-so-appetizing flavor if you place it in a cool environment. If that threw you for a loop then read up on 11 Surprising Foods That You Should Keep in the Fridge!


Chocolate Covered Cherries

It would be a downright crime if there wasn't any mention of a dessert in here, especially because dark chocolate is loaded with zinc. A 100-gram bar gives women over 100 percent of their daily needs of the mineral, whereas it just falls short of meeting a man's needs of 11 mg at about 9.6 mg. Cherries, of course, are full of vitamin C, especially the acerola or barbados cherry which houses a whopping 134 percent of vitamin C. Imagine that, one singular cherry can pack that much of an antioxidant. Pretty impressive!


Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Red Bell Pepper

If you're a person who does a lot of cardio such as running and/or swimming, then you need to refuel your body with a sufficient amount of carbs. If you do this during the winter time, you also need to make sure you load your body with a surplus of vitamin C and zinc because running in the cold weather or leaving the indoor pool with wet hair while it's below 30 degrees makes you more susceptible to catching a cold. This dish solves all of your problems in one warm, delicious meal. Sun-dried tomatoes house the zinc while the red bell pepper houses a great amount of vitamin C. If the word pasta scares you or you're trying to drop a few pounds, check out the 25 Best Carbs for Weight Loss for some other variations!


Lobster with Satuéed Asparagus

Talk about a fancy meal! And this is supposed to combat the common cold? Believe it or not, yes. It should. Why? Three ounces of cooked, tender lobster provides about 32 percent of your daily needs of protein, it also contains an adequate amount of zinc and vitamin B12, as well. Asparagus offers a bit of vitamin C to the plate, too; so if you need an excuse dine like royalty, this is one easy reason!


Kale and Pumpkin Seed Salad

Unless you've been stowed under a rock for the past decade, you'll know that kale is praised to an outstanding degree in the health world, and for good reason. This bundle of green not only gives you an outrageous amount of vitamin K per cup (like over 1,000 percent in case you were wondering), it also gives you 80 mg of vitamin C, which is over 100 percent of the daily value. Pumpkin seeds also clock in high with nutrition, most notably in zinc. Enjoy this nutrient-filled salad with wild caught salmon for a complete meal.


Crab with Sprouts and Spicy Papaya Salad

One can of blue crab meat contains over half of a woman's daily needs of zinc (8 mg/day) clocking in at 4.7 mg. This also makes a considerable dent in that of a man's needs of zinc, who needs to eat 11 mg to ensure that enough testosterone is produced. As for the lentil sprouts, they also add a dash of zinc to the mix! Finally, the sweet yet spicy papaya dressing brings a wave of vitamin C to this Thai/coleslaw creation. Shake up your lunch menu with this light meal!


Sautuéed Oysters with Pork and Brussels Sprouts

Satuéed oysters taste a bit tastier than raw, however, eating just six of these lil guys in their raw state gives women 400 percent of their daily needs of zinc! Additionally, just four cooked brussels sprouts provide 108 percent of your daily needs of vitamin C. But beware, eating brussels sprouts are not going to help you get rid of bloating, it actually will cause the bloat. Maybe opt for looser clothing around the waistline before giving this greens a lick.


Pineapple, Avocado, and Spinach Smoothie

If you're in need of some smoothies for weight loss then you have clicked on the right article. Pineapple may be loaded in vitamin C, but it also provides the body with another very important element called, bromelain. This enzyme actually helps to reduce inflammation in the body that was caused by infection and/or injuries. In addition, it helps alleviate the pain that's caused by acid reflux. Avocados, on the other hand, not only make this smoothie creamy and laden in zinc, it also aids in blasting the pooch, or lower abdominal fat. This smoothie may as well be called a potion for all of the magic it bestows upon the body!


Raspberry and Kiwi Layered Chia Smoothie

Maybe slurping on a smoothie isn't your forte, which is why this recipe idea is perfect for you! Between the layers of raspberry, kiwi, other assorted fruits lies a healthy serving of chia seeds. Talk about an antioxidant-rich treat! Raspberries offer a bit of zinc to the mix, while just one kiwi offers 85 percent of the daily need for vitamin C. This parfait beats them all!


Dates and Orange Smoothie

Just when you thought you read enough about smoothies, we're throwing one more into the mix because it's health benefits—and it's flavor—are just too immense to neglect. Dates are actually used a lot of vegan desserts because it's richness and density acts as a sufficient stabilizer, which makes up for the lack of eggs and butter in something like a cookie. The dried fruit provides the zinc and as you know, the orange houses good old vitamin C. Sip on this creamy shake for a boost in immunity, stat!


Fig and Nut Oatmeal with Cantaloupe

There's a lot going on in this meal, and while figs and cantaloupe are the star contestants of this dish, every component featured here is an all-star for combating that ferocious common cold. Apricots actually provide more zinc than figs, but when paired together on the same plate their effects are unstoppable. Cantaloupe is loaded with vitamin C and pairs well with plain Greek yogurt! Deck out your next Sunday breakfast with these nutrient-dense dishes.


Tuna Poké Bowl with Red Cabbage and Black Sesame Seeds

Poké is all the rage now in sprouting health eateries, and it's no surprise after viewing its nutritional profile. One serving, or four ounces, clocks in at under 150 calories! What it lacks in calories and fat (as if that were a bad thing), it replenishes in protein and zinc. But those black sesame seeds aren't just for decoration, either. Just ¼ cup provides 25 percent of your daily needs of zinc, based off of the adult woman's standard needs of 8 mg/day. Finally, the vibrant red cabbage houses an astounding 50.7 mg of vitamin C, which conquers 84 percent of your daily need. Join the trend and fight off the virus while you do it.


Sweet Potato Wedges with Roasted Garlic

If you're on the prowl for some sweet potato recipes and are feeling the onset of a bothersome cold, look no further. This simple, yet powerful remedy will do just the trick for you. Sweet potatoes not only provide vitamin C, they also house a large amount of beta-carotene, another antioxidant that helps fend off heart disease, cancer, and a multitude of chronic ailments. As for the savory contender in this dish, garlic contributes a splash of zinc to the mix as well as, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Ultimately, this good ole spice makes for one incredible, health-driven detox.


Curried Lamb with Bok Choy

What a combination! A half cup of cooked bok choy provides nearly 30 percent of your daily needs of vitamin C, which is equivalent to the 33 percent of the daily value of zinc the four ounces of lamb provides. Jazz up the meat and veggie with a generous addition of curry powder for a delicious savor and inflammation-fighting effect!

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