Garlic: Helps fight the common cold?

What a way to bring in the new year… SICK for New Years and my first week of classes! I hope that isn’t foreshadowing the year ahead! Paulo was sick for Christmas, and I just had to be close to him, so now I am sick too! All I wanted was to wrap myself in warm blankets and slurp up hot soup and tea for days.

Good thing my family knows me so well and opted to buy me loads of teas for Christmas! I have been able to try almost all of my 12 new teas this past week!

Tea: Check!

During my Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals class, my prof sparked my interest in immune boosting garlic. How many of you know someone who eats garlic or takes a garlic pill every day to prevent a cold? Or how many of you have seen garlic pills on the shelves?

According to my professor, garlic elicits an antimicrobial effect with the compound allicin, which is responsible for disrupting bacterial cell membranes.Once the cell membrane has been disrupted, bacteria poisons made by our good bacteria in our body can now help fight off the bad bacteria better.

I have grown up thinking that garlic will prevent a cold, and help me feel better during the course of a cold. The theory makes sense, but what does the evidence say?

An online resource for dietitians called PEN (Practice-Based Evidence in Nutrition) focuses on evidence-based practice, and is an invaluable resource when you are unsure of the recommendations on a nutrition-related topic. This is what PEN has to say about garlic and the immune system.

“There is inadequate evidence available regarding the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold.”

Sorry guys! There is only one randomized control trial on the effects of garlic on preventing the common cold, which does describes a positive relationship. So, more evidence is needed to come up with recommendations.

But, I was sick, and there must be something to the theory!

It was the first day of class, and dead silent. I could barely breathe and was fighting blowing my nose the whole class, so I starting thinking about what I could do with garlic to help get rid of this darn cold!

I made egg drop soup for Paulo when he was sick with a whole head of garlic between the two of us. The soup tasted great, but besides the garlic, there really wasn’t anything else to be said for nutrition. So, I decided to amp it up, and make it for myself to nurse my cold. Between classes I was able to come home for lunch and make this delicious soup.

Soup: Check!

Erin’s Amped Up Egg Drop Soup

1 medium carrot, grated

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup tomato (this is for acidity, so a splash of red wine vinegar or lemon juice would also work)

4 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch Spanish smoked paprika

Squirt Sriracha chili sauce (to taste)

Salt to taste

Enough chicken broth to cover veggies and extra if you like a thinner soup

1 egg, scrambled with 2 tbsp water

In a medium-sized pot with lid, add the olive oil, grated carrots and tomatoes. Cook on medium heat and stir occasionally for 5 minutes or while you prep the other ingredients. Add the garlic, paprika, Sriracha and salt. Add chicken broth and simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes, or until carrots are tender.

If the broth you are using is high in sodium, you don’t need to add salt, or add very little.This is the chicken broth I use.

With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. More broth can be added at this point to adjust consistency. I like a thinner soup for this, so the egg becomes the texture. Keep the soup at a simmer and add the scrambled egg in a thin stream, and in a circular motion. Leave the egg to cook for 1 minute without stirring.

This is for one serving, so factor up if you would like to make it for more.

Serve with some of your favourite crusty bread, or parmesan coated COBS Bread Country Grain Vienna loaf like me!

I hope this garlicky soup will help to sooth your winter colds!

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6 thoughts on “Garlic: Helps fight the common cold?”

  1. I could use a bowl of this heartwarming soup to get me through these winter days. Even if there is not enough research to prove the effects of garlic on our health it is an immune booster so can I have a large bowl please.

  2. Welcome Erin to our wonderful world of blogging. IC you have your mom’s touch with the camera (that’s a compliment) and really looking forward to hearing and reading more about nutritious eating.

  3. Welcome to blogland. I feel I know you quite well through your mum, such a sweet lady and one of my first friends in blogland.

    I do hope you feel better soon. Soup is a great place to start.

    Jac
    x

  4. Hi there, Melissa here from Food Bloggers of Canada. Just popping by to check out your blog and to let you know we’ve added you to our Membership Directory. Welcome aboard – glad you could join your mom! I think I could’ve used this soup a few weeks ago… :)

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