Do you think the worst of it is over? If you do, sorry to break the news, but we’re not free and clear yet. Cold and flu season lasts from September until May.

Over 200 viruses can cause the common cold, and new strains of the flu are constantly developing. Because colds and flu don’t respond to antibiotics, preventing either one of them can be quite the tricky task.

Between folklore, family recipes and science, differentiating myth from fact among cold remedies has become difficult. But one fact that you can find comfort in is the effectiveness of food, including the long-time home remedy chicken soup. A well-known study done at the Nebraska Medical Center researched whether chicken soup works as a remedy to fight colds. The study found that chicken soup contains a number of substances with healing effects—and the researchers concluded that chicken soup actually does work.

There are other foods, in addition to chicken soup, that also possess healing abilities, including:

• 100% orange juice
• Avocado
• Spinach
• Tomatoes
• Bell peppers
• Broccoli
• Garlic
• Grapefruit
• Lean meat
• Yogurt
• Squash
• Blueberries
• Eggplant

While making an effort to consume these foods, it’s important to avoid foods that are high in sugar. Excess amounts of sugar have been found to suppress immune function. Also, avoid milk products if you are congested. Milk protein thickens mucus and can make it harder to drain from your system. Water, on the other hand, will help keep mucus thin and easier to clear.

Eating healthy is not only important when attempting to prevent catching a cold or the flu, but it is essential if you want to live a happier, healthier life as well.

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