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Home > Diet & Nutrition > Food for Colds


To help reduce the severity of a cold, the best foods to eat are ones that are packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and zinc. They boost immunity and help with cold symptoms. Especially around this time of year, these nutrients can also help prevent you from catching colds in the first place.

Foods such as horseradish, garlic, and chili peppers move mucus and help clear it, thus, alleviating congestion. Capsaicin is a substance in chili peppers that acts as a mucus-mover. Allyl isothiocyanate, a compound in horseradish, also helps to thin mucus.  

Garlic for ColdsGarlic
Naturally occurring chemicals (allin, allicin, and ajoene) in garlic are believed to regulate mucus flow, and may be helpful for reducing congestion caused by the common cold. Leading Food Sources of garlic: Garlic

Vitamin C for ColdsVitamin C
Vitamin C is a superb immunity booster. If taken at the first signs of a cold, it may keep the cold from fully developing and may produce a faster recovery. However, taking vitamin C does not prevent colds. Leading Food Sources of vitamin C: Red Cabbage, Strawberries, Potatoes, Tangerines, Red Bell Peppers, Oranges, Kiwis

Zinc for ColdsZinc
When taken immediately at the first signs of catching a cold, zinc may weaken the cold virus, minimize the duration and the severity of a cold. Zinc is believed to promote a strong immune system by processing the essential fatty acids that encourage healing. Zinc lozenges are helpful for this purpose.
Leading Food Sources of zinc: Barley, Chicken, Lamb, Wheat, Turkey, Oysters, Crab, Beef

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