The Nation's Health + fruit

What foods can I eat when I have a cold?

Drink plenty of hot liquids. Water, tea, fruit juice, fruit drinks, warm gelatin or broth based soups. Hot liquids help thin mucous secretions and drain mucous secretions faster. Cold liquids like iced carbonated beverages slow the draining of mucous secretions. Chicken noodle soup has been shown to be better at thinning and draining mucous secretions. Remember to hold your head over hot, steaming liquids while you drink.

Fruit juice or drinks can be thinned with more water to increase tolerance. Drink dairy products like cream based soups, ice cream, pudding or milk as they don't increase phlegm or upper respiratory tract symptoms. Eat spicy foods when you have the cold. Although this may have an uncomfortable effect on your throat if it's already sore, spicy foods are excellent for clearing out the sinuses and helping to reduce overall congestion. Wasabe, for example, can have a profound effect on congestion.

healthy foodIf 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.

Any other foods are allowed as long as you tolerate them. Tolerate means a food does not cause vomiting, diarrhea or allergic reaction. As your cold symptoms lessen, gradually increase your food intake back to normal for you. 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. Your appetite for food should increase as you get better.

appetite, food, and more:

Relevant to: What foods can I eat when I have a cold? + fruit