We have all suffered through a bad cold every now and then. While getting a cold every once in while is normal, did you know there are actually cold fighting foods that you can eat that will not only help prevent colds, but also help you combat a cold if you are already sick?

The first step getting better and staying healthy is to make sure you are eating nutrient dense foods. These nutrients will help your cells grow and reproduce which will help your body fight off germs that cause you to get sick. Great examples of nutrient rich cold fighting foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and high-quality lean meats.

Water. So, this isn't necessarily a food, but it is just as important. When your body is dehydrated, it is weaker and less equipped to fight off germs. It is vital that you stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. A great rule of thumb is to drink water before you are thirsty. If you are already thirsty, it is a sign that the effects of dehydration have already set it. (A special note is to avoid excessive caffeine, since that is actually dehydrate you).

Yogurt. We've all heard the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", but how about a cup of yogurt a day? Yogurt is packed with live cultures which keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy. A healthy gut is important to keeping germs at bay. Plus, regular dairy consumption can help maintain your body weight.

Oranges. Don't forget about oranges, one of the best cold fighting foods around. Oranges are not only packed with cold fighting vitamin C, they are full of flavonoids. Flavonoids help your body cells stay healthy and strong.

Green Peppers. If you are looking for a vegetable that has the health benefit of oranges, try some green peppers. Green Peppers are a great source of vitaman C and have flavonoids, just like oranges do.

Garlic. This is may surprise you, but garlic contains antibiotic known as allicin which can help prevent colds. It is an easy spice that be added to many dishes. If you find garlic to be too strong for daily use in your cold fighting foods arsenal, there are a number of garlic pills available that provide all the benefits with the strong aroma.
Cayenne Pepper (Chillies). Feeling like your head is going to explode? Eat some chillies. They have a chemical known as capsaicin (this is what makes them so hot). It works to help decongest a stuffy nose and sinuses. Remember a time when you ate something hot with chillies in it and it made your nose run? It works.

Lean Meats. Eating meats like lean beef can also help. In addition to being a great source of protein, a vital building block in staying healthy, beef also has selenium and zinc. Studies have shown that a diet lacking in zinc can leave you more prone to infection. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that can help you stay healthy.