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To Shut Down Your Next Cold, Eat Some Southeast Asian Food

Chilis are one hot secret

Red chili peppers and green chili peppers are staples of Thai and Indian cuisines, and thespices conveymany reportedhealth benefitssuch asadding years to your life.Well, now you can addhelping to ease coldsto the list. What makes these spicesso special? Capsaicin. Research, including a review of studies published in 2015 in the journalOpen Heart, suggests that the compound, which is found in hot peppers, has antiviral andanti-inflammatory properties. If youve ever taken a bite of a spicy dish, youve feltcapsaicin in action. It can cause a runny nose and watery eyesand thats why itworks. These reactions will help release the locked mucus and open the nasal airways, saysDavid Greuner, MD,managing director and co-founder of NYC Surgical Associates in New York.

Garlic, ginger and more

Southeast Asian cuisine features other commonly used ingredients that also are believed to have decongestant and antioxidant powers. A review of studies, published in 2014 inCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,suggests that garlic may be helpful inpreventing the common cold. Other research, including a review of studies published in 2019 in the journalFoods,shows that gingera staple in Thai and Indian disheshaspowerfulantioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Turmeric

One of the most common ingredients in Southeast Asian cuisine,turmeric, is a wonder drug in itself. When combined with ginger, its like a one-two punch to the common cold. Both turmeric and ginger have been standard components of traditional Indian home remedies for colds and coughs, saysAnil Bathwal, executive chef and managing director of The Kati Roll Company in New York, New York. The combination is meant to have synergistic anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiseptic properties. Keep in mind, this ishow much turmeric you should have in a day.

How hot can you go?

So, when it comes to these beneficial spices, is there a limit to how much a person can take? There is a measurement called the Scoville Scale, which measures the quantity of capsicum in a pepperthe more capsicum, the spicier the pepper is and the more irritated the mucous membranes will become if it is ingested, saysRebecca Lewis, RD, head dietitian at the meal delivery service HelloFresh.One of the spiciest peppersis called bhut jolokia and comes from India. Thejalapeo, a pepper most often used in Mexican foods, actually rates pretty low on the Scoville scale. Cayenne pepper falls somewhere in the middle.If you eat spicy food regularly, you candevelop a tolerance to the peppersand theyll no longer irritate your mucous membranes so much. In that case, says Lewis, only the spiciest of peppers with the highest capsicum quantities will cause your nose to run.

Go hot, not just spicy

Spicy foods that are prepared in warm broth are like a double whammy, as consuming warm liquids can help open and drain sinuses, ease breathing, expand the lungs, and relieve congestion, says Dr. Greuner. Spicy foods also increase body temperature and perspiration, which may help the body fight against viral and other infectious agents.

Simmering to salvation

Cooking down spicy foods like peppers, horseradish, cayenne, and crushed red pepper, into a sauce allows for a better release of the active ingredients than consuming the foods alone, providing improved immune system support, explains Lewis. Try your favouritecurry recipe, or mix it with traditional chicken soup for extra cold-fighting power. (For another cold remedy, try this immune-boostingFire Cider Brew.)

All chilis are not created equal

Southeast Asian cooking is not the only cuisine to employ chilis, so why is it so effective at fighting colds? The difference between cuisines like Indian/Thai and Mexican food is that Indian/Thai actually have more of these main ingredients in raw form as opposed to being mixed with foods like rice and beans that cool down these strong flavours, says Dr. Greuner. The more rawthe ingredient, the more potentit will be in clearing your congestion.Now that you know Southeast Asian food is an effective cold remedy, next find out how zinc can soothe your sniffles.

The post To Shut Down Your Next Cold, Eat Some Southeast Asian Food appeared first on Best Health Magazine Canada.

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