Foods That Help Fight Colds

It’s that time of year again, you sniffle, he sneezes, she coughs and then you wonder, am I getting a cold?  With the fall in full swing, kids back in school, doors, and windows are closed and furnaces are starting to recirculate the household air, cold and flu season is here.  

Is there something that you can do to try to stay healthier?  There sure is.

When I started researching this topic some of the results were not what I expected.  Some I have known about for years and others were a pleasant surprise.  The best news is that the more you can incorporate into your diet, the better the chances of fighting off that cold.

So when you are doing your meal planning, plan to put some of these super healthy foods into your daily routine.  


  • Fish and Oysters

It’s the omega-3 fatty acids and the zinc that are working here, helping to reduce inflammation in the body and reducing symptoms like headaches.

  • Garlic

Garlic is a known antioxidant.

  • Anise seeds and Fennel

Anise seeds are licorice-flavored seeds, which have antibacterial properties, have been shown to ease coughing and help clear congestion. Fennel, which also tastes like licorice is also a natural expectorant. Fennel can be eaten steamed or better yet, raw in a salad.  Anise seeds can be used in baking, but both are delicious ground and made into a tea.

  • Tea

Aside from the soothing feeling you get from tea, it actually has healing properties.  All tea black, green, or white contains a group of antioxidants called catechins which boosts overall immunity and metabolism.

  • Citrus fruits and Red peppers

So recent studies have suggested that vitamin C may not be as potent at preventing colds as we once believed, but, it looks like it is powerful once a cold has begun.  It looks like it may reduce the cold’s duration, hmmm.  Citrus fruits and red peppers are full of that Vitamin C, so eat up and feel better

  • Milk and Yogurt/kefir

Dairy products such as good old milk, yogurt, and kefir are rich in vitamin D.  Vitamin D is a builder of our immune system and the yogurt and kefir keep your gut healthy with helps ward off tummy issues.

  • Mushrooms

This was a new food for colds for me.  But surprisingly mushrooms are full of antioxidants, potassium, vitamin B.  Shiitakes even contain lentinan, which has been known to have anticancer properties.  Who knew?

  • Leafy greens

The darker the greens, the higher the nutrient content. So choose the darker leaves like kale, rather than iceberg.

  • Blueberries

Another powerful antioxidant fruit.  If you can find them, look for wild blueberries they contain anthocyanins—one of the most potent antioxidants

  • Dark chocolate

Ounce for ounce, pure cocoa contains more of the disease-fighting antioxidants known as polyphenols than most berries—and it's loaded with zinc.  Are you seeing a trend?  Antioxidants.

  • Brazil nuts

These nuts are high in protein, healthy fats, and selenium, a mineral that's essential for proper immune function and may help guard against infections and flu.

  • Carrots and sweet potatoes

Orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in beta-carotene. When we eat these foods, our bodies convert this organic compound into vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining a strong immune system.

  • Sunflower seeds

These crunchy snacks are among the best natural sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects cell walls from damage.

  • Oats

Oats contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan, known for its cholesterol-lowering and immune-boosting properties.


Health is not valued till sickness comes. – Thomas Fuller



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