What to Eat When You Have a Cold?


You’re under the weather and you find yourself searching online for what to eat when you have a cold. Don’t worry because there are foods that you can eat to relieve you from your sickness. It’s inevitable. All of us can catch a cold every once in a while. So it’s good to be prepared.

This is a very natural phenomenon and people have been dealing with it since time immemorial that we have developed some beliefs and traditions concerning the common cold. But not all of those are real and sometimes, what you know about how to relieve yourself from the cold and what to eat when you have a cold can be wrong and may do more harm than good. So take a good look at these 12 cold and flu myths to be informed.

This guide about fact or fiction about cold is also very helpful.

When to Consult a Doctor?

It’s important to remember that the tips found on this page are only for additional relief and should not be taken as a medical advice. If your cold is persistent and lasts for several days without any improvement, it’s best to consult your physician especially if it comes with other symptoms like fever and severe body pain. Your doctor will still be the best person to advise you what to do and sometimes prescribe medication to fight the cold. However, following the tips here will help you recover faster.

Home Remedies for the Common Cold

Aside from food or knowing what to eat when you have a cold, it’s also good to know the many other things you can do at home to feel better. These are very easy to follow and will make a huge difference in your symptoms.

  • Stay Warm and Get Enough Rest

    One of the simplest and easiest, as well as fastest way to help relieve the cold, is to get plenty of rest. It helps your body to direct your energy to fight off the infection. Help your body by lying down under a blanket and stay warm.

  • Gargle with Salt Water

    Another great way to relieve your symptoms when you have a cold, especially if you have discomfort or some pain in your throat is to gargle with warm salt water. This will moisten your sore or scratchy throat and bring you temporary relief. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water and gargle it four times a day. Of course, to make it even more effective, you should know what to eat when you have a cold and avoid those that will make you feel worse.

  • Hot Packs

    You can try to put hot packs on your sinuses. There are reusable ones available at drugstores. You can also make your own. Heat a damp washcloth in the microwave for 30 seconds and make sure to test the temperature first before using it on you.

  • Extra Pillow

    When you know what to eat when you have a cold, you should also take other extra precautions to avoid feeling worse. You can put an additional pillow under your head when you sleep at night. It will relieve the congested nasal passages. Place your pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.

What to Eat When You Have a Cold?

So let us take a look at the powerful foods that you can eat to help relieve your cold. It’s important that you eat well and eat properly when you have a cold because not eating will only make it worse. Your body needs the fuel to support your immune system so it’s good to know what to eat when you have a cold.

  • Chicken Soup

    This is a great traditional cure for the common cold and one that is not a myth. It works great because it has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps relieve cold symptoms. Studies show that it clears nasal passages and congestion better than hot liquids.

  • Citrus Fruits

    Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes contain flavonoids that help boost the immune system and are great for speeding up your recovery.

  • Hot Tea

    Aside from what to eat when you have a cold, you should also know which liquids to drink. Tea has natural bacteria-fighting compounds. It can also soothe a sore throat and help alleviate congestion. Freshly brewed tea is ideal to stay hydrated and will help with your stuffy nose. You could also add a little lemon.

  • Milk

    Another liquid that you can consume aside from what to eat when you have a cold is milk and other vitamin D-rich foods. In a study, it shows that people with low levels of vitamin D have reported more colds than those who don’t have vitamin D deficiency. Another great thing is that these foods can also boost your mood during a cold and the cold months.

  • Spicy Food

    Spicy foods like chili peppers can clear out your nasal passages and help you feel better. They’re very effective decongestants. Examples of what to eat when you have a cold that is spicy are wasabi and horseradish.

  • Fish

    You can also eat oily fish like salmon and tuna. This will help you take advantage of the omega 3 fatty acids. These compounds help reduce inflammation in your body that prevents your immune system from working properly.

  • Popsicles

    Yes, you might be surprised. But one of the maybe unusual things of what to eat when you have a cold is a popsicle. You need to stay properly hydrated to keep the mucus thin and lessen the congestion. Popsicles are a great way to hydrate and are very easy on the throat. But it’s better if they’re made from whole fruits. You can also make yours at home.

  • Ginger

    You can drink a cup of fresh, hot ginger tea when you have a cold. It’s also a great way to prevent it. This spicy root helps by blocking the virus.

Another important note, while you’re taking down what to eat when you have a cold, is that you should avoid caffeine and alcohol. They will dry you out instead of hydrating.