What foods should I eat to fight a cold?

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Vitamin C - While studies have shown that vitamin C isn't helpful in preventing colds, research does show that regularly consuming vitamin C may reduce the severity of symptoms and decrease the duration of a cold should you catch it.

Zinc - In a review of 15 controlled trials, zinc lozenges or syrup were shown to help reduce the duration and severity of colds in healthy people when consumed within the first 24 hours of the first sniffle.

Chicken Soup - Maybe your mom was on to something. The heat, salt, and fluid in the soup can help you feel better and fight infection.  Also, research suggests that chicken soup may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the upper respiratory tract, which can reduce the duration of the cold.

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Chicken soup is one of the best things to eat to help fight a cold. Researchers have found that this simple comfort food may reduce nasal congestion.

Drinking lots of fluids will also help you fight a cold by keeping you well hydrated. Chicken soup can count as part of your daily fluid intake. Other effective beverages include herbal tea, juice and water. Steer clear of caffeine and alcohol; both can dehydrate you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.