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Foods to Help You Fight Off Colds

By Sara Butler

It’s that time of year again – time for the aches, congestion, sneezing, runny nose and sore throat that only cold season can bring. Cold symptoms are not the same for everyone since they are caused by over 200 different kinds of viruses. But there are ways you can set up your immune system to win against colds this year – and one of those ways is your diet. Here are some foods you should add to your diet to help your body fight off colds and keep you healthy this winter.

Yellow Peppers

People who are feeling under the weather are known to reach for orange juice in order to get a dose of Vitamin C, but you’d be better served by munching down on a yellow pepper. Just one large yellow bell pepper has 568 percent of the Vitamin C your body needs in one day. You should know that Vitamin C doesn’t actually help you prevent a cold if you already have one, but it can help to relieve the symptoms you do have. Research has shown that regular Vitamin C consumption might help to reduce the length and severity of symptoms you experience with a cold. Vitamin C also helps to support a healthy immune system, so making sure you get enough every day may just help you from getting that cold in the first place.


Mushrooms have been found to have antiviral effects, and consuming them during cold season may help to increase the number of immune cells your body uses to fight off infection. The niacin and thiamin contained in mushrooms help to keep your immune system healthy. In particular, shiitake and maitake mushrooms seem to be the best boosters of health. So, incorporate these mushrooms into your diet this season and see where they take you!

Chicken Soup

It’s not just a rumor – chicken soup really is good for the common cold! When you break it down, the warm liquid helps to keep you hydrated when you’re sick, loosening up mucus and helping your sore throat to feel better. But chicken soup may have other medicinal purposes. Current research is looking into the anti-inflammatory properties of chicken soup. These anti-inflammatory effects might just reduce the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection. So the next time you start to feel under the weather, add in some chicken soup to help you feel better and get you back on the road to good health!

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