What to Eat When You Have a Cold

Does chicken soup do anything other than warm you up?


Carrots are loaded with beta carotene, which helps keep our immune system strong.

When the common cold strikes (as it tends to do this time of year), as the saying goes, you should "feed a cold and starve a fever," right? Or is it "feed a fever and starve a cold"? Either way, there are a whole host of foods that are hugely helpful when we get sick, and we’re not just talking about chicken soup. We’ve rounded up 10 foods that you should definitely seek out next time you feel yourself coming down with a cold.

What to Eat When You Have a Cold (Slideshow)

When we get sick, the first things we tend to reach for are the over-the-counter medicines like Sudafed or Tylenol Cold, or possibly more homeopathic options like Cold-EEZE, which is basically just a whole lot of zinc and has been proven to shorten colds. But did you know that you could get more zinc from three oysters than you would from a Cold-EEZE? For thousands of years humans have been shortening their colds naturally, and there are plenty of foods out there that are quite effective, for a variety of reasons.

Think about it: everyone knows that you should load up on vitamin C when you’re sick. You could either take a vitamin supplement, or you can eat citrus fruits, which are loaded with the vitamin. But there are lots of other vitamins and minerals that are essential for shortening a cold, and they can all be found in everyday foods.

So the next time you feel a cold coming on, there’s no need to reach for the drugs if you know where to look. When we’re sick, we need to load up on the healthy stuff, including omega-3 fatty acids, protein, probiotics, antioxidants, and vitamin A, and certain easily obtainable foods are loaded with these. So read on to learn about 10 foods that will help you conquer your cold, and do it naturally.



This story was originally published on January 10, 2014.