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5 Foods That Can Help Fight Colds

Sometimes, staying healthy is challenging, especially during the cold and flu season. No one wants to attempt to function with symptoms like a stuffy or runny nose, chills, aches, and possibly a fever. Thankfully, you don’t have to as long as you have a diet rich in immune-boosting nutrients that can help keep the common cold at bay. Add these five foods to your meal plan rotation and see if you experience fewer colds this year.


Almonds & Nuts

For a filling snack that’s also a boon to your immune system, reach for a handful of nuts or seeds. Not only do they have magnesium, but they’re rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that’s been shown to improve the body’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  If eating almonds does not appeal to you, try drinking almond milk or using it as a substitute for other recipes, such as smoothies.


Chili Peppers

Just bite into one of these bad boys, and you will know why chili peppers are good for clearing the sinus passages. This is because the capsaicin contained within these peppers breaks up mucus. Also, eating peppers will raise the body temperature, which enables you to fight off fever.



Garlic is savory and delicious, and the smell of it can raise the appetite. That is a good thing because eating it can help prevent a cold. The allicin compound found in garlic fights bacteria and viral infections such as the cold.



Oranges may not help prevent a cold, but they can help shorten it if you catch one. They are high in vitamin C, known for boosting the immune system. Be sure to get your daily dose of vitamin C by adding oranges or other citrus fruits to your diet. Besides fruits, you can get vitamin C through broccoli, leafy greens like kale, and bell peppers. Enjoy these foods in raw form when possible to help retain vitamin C in your food. Vitamin C is heat sensitive, so cooking can reduce the amount of this nutrient that your body can take in,


Peppermint Tea and other Warm Teas

Peppermint tea does not actively fight the cold but helps alleviate symptoms. Its mentholated qualities help relieve nasal congestion and soothe the throat. Tea also contains polyphenols. These natural substances found in plants have many potential health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects boosting your immune system.


It is never any fun to catch a cold. Why not do all you can to prevent one by adding these foods to your diet? If they do not entirely prevent one, they help shorten the duration. You have nothing to lose by enjoying these foods and plenty to gain.


Works Cited

Millard, Elizabeth. “7 Foods That Fight Back: Immune System Boosters | Everyday Health.”, 23 Sept. 2023,

National Institutes of Health. “Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin C.”, 22 Mar. 2021,

National Institutes of Health.  “Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin E.”, 22 Mar. 2021,

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