How this 25p vegetable can boost your immune system against common cold

NHS advises how to treat a common cold

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Britain is currently in the grip of the ‘worst cold ever’ as many snotty-nosed and sore-throated Brits suffer from the seasonal cold. There may be no cure for the common cold, but there are natural remedies that have been shown to reduce your symptoms and speed up your recovery.

After 18 months of on and off isolation from Covid, many people are finding their immune systems are not as fighting fit as they used to be.

Luckily, by adding one inexpensive and delicious ingredient to your diet, you can offer your immune system a natural boost.

So, what 25p vegetable can help your immune system fight the common cold?

Garlic is a beloved ingredient for its pungent and aromatic flavour, adding punch to pasta, curry and meat dishes.

But this flavourful bulb can also help your body’s natural defences against colds and flu.

In Ancient Greece, garlic was even considered to be a performance enhancer and was given to the original Olympians.

These days, the consensus from researchers is that garlic has many health benefits, including reducing the nasty symptoms of the common cold.

What gives garlic its medicinal properties?

The compound that gives garlic its wonderful and unmistakable taste and smell, is the same substance making it such an effective remedy.

This substance is called Alliin, and when a clove of garlic is crushed or cut the alliin becomes allicin.

Allicin is both antibacterial and antifungal, in short: it’s definitely worth the strong-smelling breath.

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Studies have suggested taking garlic supplements can make you less likely to catch a cold, and if you’re unfortunate enough to catch one, garlic can help you to recover faster.

Allicin isn’t the only nutrient you’ll get from garlic. Fresh garlic also contains antioxidants and amino acids.

Garlic has also been credited with improving your heart health by lowering your cholesterol, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding.

If you can get your hands on some, the rarer variation of black garlic is said to have even more potent healing properties.

Black garlic is a regular bulb of garlic that has been fermented.

The process of fermentation turns the bulb black, and tones down the flavour, making the garlic sweeter and more tangy.

Because of the fermentation, black garlic contains even higher levels of antioxidants than regular garlic.

But, if you are not a fan of the smell and taste of garlic in food, don’t worry.

You can also take garlic supplements, which even come in ‘odourless’ varieties – much to the joy of your nearest and dearest.

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