What to Eat When You Have Common Cold

Jan 19, 2009
When cold and flu season begins, one of the most common concerns that arise for many people is what to eat during illnesses. In most cases, you will probably notice a total loss of appetite. This might be explained by the fact that your body needs a lot of energy to fight off the virus. In fact, there is no need to force yourself into eating much during common cold, but this doesn't mean you should stop eating at all.

Drink a lot

During the acute period of the disease, you may have high temperature and experience fluid loss. First of all you need to drink a lot, including warm tea, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, broths like chicken soup or any kind of vegetable soup. If you drink tea, try to choose green tea or herbal tea like ginger or camomile tea. Fruit and vegetable juices are rich in vitamins and minerals that you need to fight off the cold.

Chicken soup can also become a tasty treat during cold as it contains gelatin that boosts immune system, onion and garlic that are known to be effective remedies against cold as well as high concentration of amino acid cysteine, that relieves cold symptoms. In general, warm liquids help to sooth sore throat and liquefy mucous.

Choose light food

It is advisable to avoid solid food as they require energy that is needed to fight off the illness. The best options for you are fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A(carrots, spinach, red pepper, apricots etc) which boosts the immune system.

Generally, the simpler is food the better. Opt for brown rice, eggs, oatmeal porridge, vegetable salads and soup.

You may also need food that contains probiotics that stimulate the immunity and protect against unfriendly bacteria that could cause the illness and are also good for better digestion. Probiotics are found in yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk and some supplements.

Food to Avoid During Cold

Try to avoid easily digested carbohydrates like pastries, tarts, cakes, white bread, white rice and sugar. Also avoid eating meat as high protein and high fat food require more energy and it takes longer for the body to digest. You may need to eat less dairy products like cheese, whole milk and others as they have mucous enhancing effect.