Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Can onions cure a cold or flu?

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Ever heard someone say that leaving a cut onion in your room while you sleep will cure a cold or flu? This is something I heard nearly every fold/flu season. I’m not sure where people got this idea but that’s really not how viruses work.

We catch the cold or flu through contact with infected surfaces. The viruses aren’t floating around us in the air ready to be absorbed by a conveniently located onion. If you already have a cold or flu, it’s certainly not going to be absorbed from your body by an onion while you sleep.

Your best defense against cold and flu viruses is frequent hand washing. Regular exercise, but not excessive exercise, can help to boost your immune system. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables (eat those onions instead of leaving them lying around your house) and get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

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