Foods to fight colds

Maria Papadopoulou By Maria Papadopoulou, 29th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Cold & Flu

There are foods that can help you effectively fight colds, with minimal effort.

Fighing colds

Cold season lasts from September to May. Most people get sick with cold at least once a year. Good news though, is that there are certain foods which can help speed the recovery.

Chicken soup

Chicken soup thins mucus secretions. Cysteine, an amino acid chemically similar to acetylcysteine, a bronchitis drug, is released by cooked chicken and helps significantly in reducing inflammation. Furthermore, chicken soup helps reducing neutrophils,the white blood cells whose activity in the upper respiratory tract is linked to congestion, as well as other symptoms, associated with colds. Broth and noodles widely used in chicken soup, provide carbohydrates which give a much needed energy boost. Adding tomatoes, eggplant and spinach, can help in the strengthening of the immune system even more.


Allicin, the heart of garlic, is an oily substance which blocks the enzymes leading to cold infection. it is recommended to eat raw garlic, because cooking reduces its potency. The consumption of 2 whole cloves of garlic on a daily basis, is generally considered to be the ideal amount your immune system needs to fight cold effectively, however you can also try 3-4 cloves of garlic on a daily basis, if symptoms are too persistent, or if you want a more speedy recovery. if you can't stand the garlic smell, you can try using garlic while cooking, specifically a head of minced garlic in pasta sauces, salads, and guacamole. Instead of garlic cloves, you can also use garlic oil, garlic tablets, garlic capsules, garlic powder, or even aged garlic extract.

Yogurt with live and active cultures (well known as probiotics) and important additions

Live and active cultures (probiotics) are living micro-organisms, which work by replacing bad bacteria. Yogurt with active cultures (probiotics), helps fighting cold symptoms, most specifically Stonyfield farm yogurt, which contains lactobacillus reuteri. You can eat 2-3 cups of yogurt on a daily basis, added with strawberries (which give a vitamin C boost) and/or nuts and seeds (which are rich in zinc and selenium). Alternatively, you can add 3 -4 tablespoons of dark raw honey , a great source of protective antioxidants, in your yogurt. As far as kids are concerned, the recommended dose is 1/2 tablespoon of honey for kids aged 2-5, 1 tablespoon of honey for kids aged 6-11 and 2 tablespoons of honey for kids aged 12-18. Honey has been proven to effectively fight cough, since it soothes irritated throats. If you don't like yogurt, you can have probiotic milk instead. Digesta-Lac dairy, which contains lactobacillus bulgaricus, is an excellent choice, since it gives the immune system a much needed boost.

Whole grains

Whole grain products are made with 100% whole grain, without the addition of white processed flours. There is whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, whole grain brown rice, whole grain wild rice, whole grain corn, whole grain buckwheat, whole grain wheat, whole grain spelt and whole grain oatmeal. Whole grains are all rich in vitamins and minerals, including zinc and vitamin E, helping your immune system stay healthy. While being sick, you can have whole grain cereals or whole grain bread for breakfast, and whole grain rice or pasta for lunch and/or dinner.

Citrus fruits

While all fruits contain some amount of vitamin C, citrus fruits are especially rich in vitamin C, well known to substantially increase the fighting power of the immune system. In order to get good and fast results while being sick, it is important to include at least 2 citrus fruits a day on your diet while you are sick. Drink orange or grapefruit juice for breakfast, have a couple of mandarins or clementines for snack and add tangerine or lemon slices to your salad. It is important to note that heavy smokers need to consume a bigger amount of vitamin C, as smoking weakens the immune system and increases the risk of catching a cold.

Honey & Ginger

Honey and ginger are well known to boost the immune system, as they are both very rich in anti-oxidant properties. Try adding honey instead of sugar to your coffee, milk or tea, as well as drinking ginger tea.

Recommended diet while you are sick with cold


Orange or grapefruit juice, oatmeal with probiotic milk and whole grain toast.


Chicken vegetable/noodle soup or whole wheat rice/pasta with green salad, and tomato/lemon juice.


A citrus fruit and probiotic yogurt with dark raw honey and/ or strawberries, nuts/seeds.


Chicken Soup, Citrus, Diet, Foods To Fight Colds, Fruits, Garlic, Ginger, Whole Grains

Meet the author

author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
I am a certified health visitor and i also hold two bachelor degrees in translation as well as a bachelor degree in subtitling.

I have been working successfully as a professional freelance translator and proofreader with several prestigious transl...(more)

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author avatar Denise O
29th Sep 2010 (#)

Good article.
I too use honey when sick but, I cut it half with vinegar and take 3 tablespoons, 3 times a day.
Well researched article.
Thank you.

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author avatar LOVERME
30th Sep 2010 (#)

a warm blanket should do and u know what i mean by warm.......

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author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
1st Oct 2010 (#)

Thanks Denise!
Loverme, yes, i know what you mean, but i don't think that is enough.LOL

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