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8 Foods that Fight a Cold8 Foods that Fight a Cold


8 Foods that Fight a Cold

While there is no cure for the common cold, these eight foods can build your immune system to help fight the cold virus and other seasonal bugs.


The skin of almonds contains natural compounds that may boost immunity and reduce inflammation. Research suggests these compounds help white blood cells identify viruses and prevent them from spreading.


Cabbage contains the amino acid glutamine, which assists in the proper function of the immune system. The body makes glutamine, but if you regularly perform strenuous exercise or frequently get colds, COVID-19, or the flu, you may need extra glutamine from food sources.

Chicken Soup

It turns out that this time-trusted remedy has scientific research to back it up. Chicken soup does have anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial when you are down with a cold. With a few creative twists to your basic recipe, it also provides a good way to eat many other foods that help prevent colds, such as garlic, cabbage, and mushrooms.


Garlic contains the sulfur compound allicin, a powerful antioxidant believed to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. While more research is needed to support garlic’s role in preventing colds, you should consider increasing garlic consumption due to its many health benefits.


Ginger root contains phenolic compounds called gingerols that have anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic can also help ease nausea and motion sickness.


Mushrooms contain B vitamins that help boost immunity. Even the standard white button mushroom in most grocery stores provides health benefits. Recent animal studies show that these mushrooms enhance cell activity in the immune system and may increase the production of antiviral proteins.


This green leafy vegetable provides a potent cocktail of antioxidants (including vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc). Together, these nutrients help boost your immune system and work to resist infection.


The live active cultures in yogurt are probiotics that strengthen the immune system and help the body fight off infection. To be sure your yogurt contains these cultures, check the label for the Live & Active Cultures seal from the National Yogurt Association.


Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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