Top 10 Foods to Help Fight the Common Cold

Brandon Kim '23, Contributor

As much as everyone hates catching them, colds appear every year, disrupting our lives with a day or two of irritating pain. While medicine may be a reliable solution, pills may not give you that extra boost of energy you want. In fact, eating the right foods can help relieve us from the dreadful symptoms and help lead us back on track to full health.

Here are the top ten foods that can help you beat the cold.

Hydrate or Diedrate! When you have a cold, there’s nothing more important than to drink as much water as possible. Since the body tends to lose water and other fluids while sick, hydration is necessary for a fast recovery. Drink up! (Doubt if water is a food? Search it up on Google)
Anything Spicy
Ever feel that steamy sensation after finishing a spicy bowl of chilli, buffalo wings, or ramen? Capsaicin, a chemical inside these foods responsible for the burning sensation on your tongue, has multiple benefits, including helping clear your sinus passages.
Chicken Soup
If you have ever been in one of the health center’s rooms, you’ve probably seen a bowl of chicken noodle soup along with some saltine crackers. Arguably the most classic dish during a sick-day, chicken noodle soup’s combination of fluids, proteins, and other nutrients effectively alleviates symptoms including stuffy noses, fever, and coughs.
Another sick-day favorite! Taking a cup of tea is a great method to stay hydrated and soothe painful symptoms. For instance, ginger tea eases nausea, chamomile tea increases antibacterial activity, and peppermint tea clears runny noses and nasal passages. But be careful: many store-bought teas contain high amounts of sugars that may cause more harm than good.
Surprised? While many believe that cold foods like a popsicle might cause even greater problems when sick, these treats can offer a great method of hydration. Not only can you feel better after slurping one, you can also enjoy the fun of eating a popsicle!
Green vegetables
Have a cold or not, there’s no harm in eating vegetables. Vegetables are stacked with vitamins and antioxidants that boost immunity, kill harmful bacteria, and contribute to hundreds of other body functions. Some of the best are kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and broccoli. Eat yo’ veggies!
Vitamin C in citrus fruits—oranges, grapefruits, lemons, mango (to name a few)—is said to boost the immune system, reducing symptoms and shortening recovery time. To optimize the effectiveness of your vitamin C, regular consumption of relatively-high concentrations is recommended. So go on and grab yourself some OJ from the dining hall!
Yogurt is a great source of protein that won’t upset your stomach or throat because of its smooth texture. In addition, probiotics in yogurt are well-known for boosting immunity and digestion. Luckily for all of us, the dining hall offers yogurt for every meal!
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! This statement is actually kind of true when it comes to the common cold, since apples contain special antioxidants that help boost the immune system. In cases where apples are not an option, applesauce is a great substitute for the fresh fruit.
Things that are not hard to chew
With a feverish headache and a loss of appetite, many struggle to eat something chewy or with texture. Eating foods such as rice (porridge), oatmeal, and bread is much less painful and easy on the stomach while still offering plenty of nutrients.

Although providing your body with good nutrition is a key aspect to a faster recovery, do not force yourself to eat. Your body will let you know when you feel like eating or not. When you do feel hungry, try one of the foods from the list.