7 Surprising Foods to Combat Colds

Are you dealing with a runny nose? Congestion? The beginnings of a cold? Did you know that eating a variety of foods can help boost your immune system and keep the germs at bay? Which ones are particularly good at protecting you?

Well, some nutritionist favorites can really boost your immunity. The next time you go food shopping, consider some of the following foods.


1. Sardines

Love them or hate them, these little fishes are packed with omega-3 fats that wil enhance your immune cell function. Sardines surpass salmon and trout with a generous 1,259 mg per three-ounce serving, compared to 840 mg and 905 mg, respectively. Whether they’re grilled or canned, consider adding this immune system booster to your diet. Sardines are also packed with vitamin D. They are a healthy protein to remember.

2. Yellow Bell Peppers

Are you a smoker? Are you elderly? If you’re either or both, then you need to up your vitamin C intake. A large yellow bell pepper has 568% of the recommended daily amount. Yes, read that again. Add it to salads or pasta and boost your immune system with this delicious, golden vegetable. As soon as people feel unwell, they often look to vitamin C supplements to feel better. Research confirms that extra vitamin C will help you get better faster and protect you too.

3. Mushrooms

Mushroom are one of the most underrated foods out there. What are they? Well, it’s good to remember that they are not vegetables — they are fungi. They are natural immune boosters packed with nutrients and often overlooked in our diets. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin B, selenium and taste darn good too. Add them to your diet, and you will be doing your health a great service. They are versatile, affordable and make for a great breakfast, lunch or supper. Explore the varieties and reap the benefits.

4. Alcoholic Beverages

If you are ill, consuming alcohol is not recommended. It will dehydrate you further and make you feel more congested. It also reacts to medication. However, drinking in moderation is actually good for your health. Red wine is rich in antioxidants, and studies have shown that people who have a drink or two a day have fewer colds. Cheers!


5. Chicken Soup

It’s not called Jewish penicillin for nothing. Science confirms that the common and delicious meal of chicken soup is healing. Chicken soup helps to loosen mucus, open airways and is anti-inflammatory. It couldn’t be simpler to prepare. Perhaps you have your own family recipe passed down through the generations. If not, simply braise four chicken thighs. Then add chicken stock, vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, celery) and simmer. When done, remove the chicken pieces and take the chicken meat off the bones. Place the meat back in the pot. Season if required. Enjoy.

6. Citrus Fruits with Peel

It’s time to zest it up. Citrus fruits are great for colds and boosting your immune system, as they are packed with vitamin C. However, there is a magic ingredient you may be skipping. The peel. Researchers have found that limonene in particular has great medicinal properties — it’s a cancer fighter and helps to treat bronchitis. You can add it to salads in a vinaigrette or include it in cookies or cakes. Ramp up the citrus and zesty flavors this winter.

7. Ginger

One of the most ancient medicinal foods, ginger has been used across the world for centuries in teas, cooking and is widely available fresh, powdered and even candied. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help if you are feeling nauseous. How much ginger do you eat? Add it to a stir fry, honey ginger tea, your spicy cookies and your baked goods. Boost your immunity with this miracle root. For colds in particular, it helps to open your chest, loosen mucus and ease congestion.