Food & Nutrition

8 Things You Should Always Eat When You Have a Cold

Each year, there are one billion cases of the common cold in the U.S. alone. Here’s what to eat when you have a cold to beat the sniffles.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Closeup of chicken noodle soup.cobraphotography/Shutterstock

Eating a bowl of steaming chicken noodle soup provides more than just comfort when you have a terrible cold. In 2000, University of Nebraska researcher Dr. Stephen Rennard published findings in Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, showing chicken soup contains anti-inflammatory agents that can ease a cold’s symptoms. Dr. Mehmet Oz agrees. “Start with a bowl of Mom’s chicken soup,” he has said. “Research has yet to show how it works (and how the heck Ma knew), but we do know that a nutrient-rich diet builds your immune system and fights inflammation.”

Milk and Other Vitamin D-Rich Foods

pouring milk into glass. filling a glass with milk.Hafiez Razali/Shutterstock

Vitamin D-rich foods like milk or fortified cereal might help combat a cold. A 2009 study by Massachusetts General Hospital found that people with low levels of vitamin D reported more colds than those who weren’t vitamin D deficient. As an added bonus, these foods may help boost your mood during cold weather months, according to researchers at Loyola University. Here are 10 foods that could actually make your cold or flu worse.

Carrots and Other Vitamin A-Rich Foods

Natasha Breen/Shutterstock

All vitamins are essential to a healthy body, but Harvard Medical School says vitamin A is a key player in maintaining a strong immune system. When you have a cold, try eating sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, spinach, or collard greens.

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