What Is The Common Cold?

The common cold is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system.  Symptoms of the common cold include: runny nose, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, fatigue, and muscle aches.  The average person suffers 2 to 4 colds per year.  Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for the common cold.  The only way to defeat the common cold is through your immune system.

There are numerous over the counter treatments to lessen the symptoms of the common cold. However, rather than taking a series of pharmaceutical medications, many people choose to treat the common cold naturally.  One way to fight the common cold naturally is with what you eat.  Check out the information below in order to learn about what to eat in order to fight the common cold.

What To Eat When You Have a Cold

Chicken Soup

Growing up, practically everyone was given chicken soup by their mom when they were sick, but did you know that chicken soup is more than an "old wives tale" and there are actually medical studies that reveal that chicken soup can help fight a cold.  Chicken soup is not only full of nutrients and vitamins that fight the common cold, it can also thin mucus secretions.  Chicken soup also has anti-inflammatory properties.


Garlic is superfood that is a natural remedy for numerous ailments one of which being the common cold.  Allicin is a cold-fighting compound found in garlic the benefit of which is maximized by eating raw, crushed or chopped garlic.  In order to fight a cold, eat raw garlic hold or drink hot water with crushed garlic.  You can also add lots of garlic to chicken soup and get double up the fight on the cold.

Vitamin C Rich Foods

Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells which are the vital component of the immune system that fights infections.  Further, research has shown that increasing Vitamin C intake can reduce the length of time cold symptoms last and also reduces the severity of cold symptoms.  Examples of Vitamin C rich foods include: citrus fruits, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, cabbage, and tomatoes.

Chili Peppers

Chili peppers are natural remedies for many health problems mainly due to its capsaicin components.  Capsaicin helps fight a cold because it thins mucus and helps eliminate germs from the nasal passages.  Chili peppers are also effective in breaking up congestion in the lungs and sinuses.


Ginger has many medical properties that will help to fight a cold, including anti-inflammatory properties.  You can eat ginger raw or steeped in a tea in order to treat the common cold.


Honey is another popular natural remedy that can be used to shortened the length of a cold.  Honey treats a cough because it coats and soothes an irritated throat.  Relief from a cold's cough will help you to sleep better at night and therefore, have the energy to fight your cold.


Bananas will fight a cold by helping to maintain the health of organs that make infection-fighting white blood cells


Oatmeal has many benefits and fighting the common cold is one of them.  Oatmeal not only will give you energy to fight a cold, but also helps to maintain the health of organs that make infection-fighting white blood cells.


A cool popsicle will help to soothe a sore and dry throat caused by a cough and a cold.  It is also another source of liquids which is key to thinning mucus and lessening congestion.  Be sure to look for popsicles made from real fruit or 100% fruit juice and avoid popsicles with added sugar.


Turkey is a good, lean protein which will give your body energy to fight a cold.  Turkey also has properties that are essential to maintaining the health of the organs that produce white blood cells. 

Vegetable Juice

Vegetable juice is a great source of immune-boosting antioxidants and will help keep you hydrated--both are essential to fighting a cold.


Fish is a lean protein that will provide the energy to fight a cold as well as help to maintain the organs that produce white blood cells.


Apples have many health benefits, that's why they say "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."  An apple a day will also help to boost the immune system and fight a cold.


Cranberries contain flavanoids which have anti-inflammatory properties and will boost the immune system.

Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes are a superfood with many health benefits.  Tomato sauce contains flavanoids with their anti-inflammatory properties that fight cold symptoms and boost the immune system to fight the common cold.


Another popular natural remedy, cinnamon, can be used to treat the common cold.  Cinnamon is believed to ease the pain of a dry or sore throat.  You can consume cinnamon in a by mixing cinnamon powder into a glass of boiling water or by adding cinnamon oil to food and drinks.


Tumeric is a superfood that has curcumin, a polypheol with strong cold fighting properties.  Curcumin is also believed to have immune-boosting properties.

Foods To Avoid When You Have A Cold

Dairy Products

Dairy products can thicken phlegm, making you uncomfortable and irritating your throat when you have a cold. The exception to the no dairy rule is yogurt which provides healthy bacteria that can help strengthen your immune system and help speed up recovery.

Junk Food

There is a reason junk food is referred to as "junk food."  Sugars, refined carbohydrates, fried foods, and artificial sweeteners put stress on your body and interfere with your health and immune system.  While junk food should be avoided at all times, if you have a cold or other illness you should definitely avoid junk food to give your body the strength and energy to heal itself.

Extremely Cold Food

If you have a sore throat or cold, very cold foods or drinks can aggravate the condition.  Therefore, if you have a cold yous hould avoid cold food and drinks and instead focus on hot broths and drinks which can open your sinuses and thin mucus.