Although food may be the last thing on your mind when you’re sick, it can make a difference in how you feel and may even affect how quickly you recover. Here’s what to eat with a cold.
When your head is stuffy and your throat feels like fire, the last thing you may want to think about is food. But diet can be an important factor in determining how you feel and how quickly you recover. What are the best foods to eat when you have a cold?
Best foods to eat with a cold: Liquids are critical
If you’re running a fever with a cold, it’s important to stay well hydrated. Although you may not feel like drinking, you need to replace fluids lost through sweating and through nasal secretions. In addition, fluids can help to thin out nasal secretions so you feel less stuffy. Hot liquids are more beneficial for opening up the sinuses than are cold ones. Keep some white tea on hand which you can brew at the first sign of a cold. White tea has been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral activity which may help to shorten the duration of a cold, although you’ll have to drink at least several cups per day. White tea may also be helpful in reducing the risk of contracting colds and flu in the first place. Fruit juice rich in vitamin C such as orange juice and cranberry juice may are also good choices when you have a cold.
Best foods to eat with a cold: Grandma was right
Grandma may have been right when she served chicken noodle soup to you when you had a cold. Chicken noodle soup has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which may help reduce some of the inflammatory changes that occur in the sinuses and airways. Plus, the warm liquid can also help to thin out nasal secretions and clear the sinuses. For even greater benefit, add a little garlic to your chicken soup. Garlic is thought to have anti-viral and immune enhancing properties.
Best foods to eat with a cold: Add a little spice
If stuffy sinuses are your main symptom, you may get some relief by eating hot and spicy foods. Foods that contain chili peppers or curry can help to open up clogged nasal passages so you can breathe a little easier. They may not provide the cure you’re looking for but they may at least ease some of your stuffiness and congestion.
Best foods to eat with a cold: Add some honey
If you have a sore throat or cough, honey can be one of the best ways to soothe the pain and irritation. Try mixing a tablespoon of honey into some warm tea to stop cough and ease the discomfort of an aching throat. Keep a jar of honey on hand during cold and flu season so you’ll be prepared.
Use these natural food remedies to help relieve your symptoms but see your doctor if your symptoms fail to improve or if you develop a high fever or headache.