You have a cold and you want it to be gone as quickly as possible, which is why it’s understandable that you’d immediately reach for a pill or two to get rid of your cold. But before you do that, have you considered what you can eat when you have a cold? The one thing that most of us are unaware of is there is a completely natural way in which you can fix your cold, and all it involves is adding a few extra food items to your daily diet.

What to Eat When You Have a Cold

Not only do the following foods help your body create healthier cells, but also boost your immunity which in turn helps you fend off infections.


Garlic contains an immune-boosting compound called allicin, which helps your body greatly in curbing your cold. You have to consume it on a daily basis, and if you feel eating, chewing or swallowing it raw is not something for you, then how about adding it to the food you cook? Or even to your favorite homemade sauce! You can go so far as to eat pickled garlic. Yes, it’s a thing.



These berries have an unbelievably high number of antioxidants, which help you with your cold. Eat them raw or add a cup of yogurt or cereal to it, and consume it as a one-time meal!


Sweet potato

Pumped with vitamin A, sweet potatoes help strengthen your mucus membrane, including your gastrointestinal tract as well as your nose. What most people don’t even realize is that your skin is your first line of defense against infections, which is why keeping it strong and healthy is important. However, when creating a list of what to eat when you have a cold, do remember that sweet potatoes are high on carb, which is a death knell for those on a keto or low carb diet.


Coconut water

Hydration is necessary, especially if your body is excreting more liquid like sweat, vomit or pee. So if you’re tired of hydrating yourself from water, try some coconut water instead. It contains a high number of antioxidants and electrolytes which not only ease your stomach pains, if you have any, and control your blood sugar levels, but also make you feel instantly energized.



Ginger not only has a high amount of antioxidants, but also has anti-micro bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Oh, and it’s super fantastic for colds, especially thanks to its anti-nausea properties. So if during your cold you feel like throwing up, just make yourself some green tea and add half a tsp. of ginger juice or extract to it, and you’re good to go!



Ah, turmeric, the wonder spice! It has every property that ginger has, and maybe a 100 more! It’s always smart to incorporate a little turmeric in your diet on a daily basis, because its health benefits are stupefying. And for when you have a cold, cough or congestion, you can easily add a pinch of turmeric and a little juice of ginger to your green tea and sip it. Or if you’re not into teas, then how about a homemade turmeric latte?


Cold green tea

We’ve talked in detail about what to eat when you have a cold, but what about what to drink when you have a cold? Sure, a piping hot of tea is awesome when you have a cold, especially it’s during the winters. But have you ever tried a cold cup of tea? The thing is, we all know that the high number of antioxidants in green tea boosts your immune system, but what many of us don’t know is that antioxidant levels are higher when the tea is consumed cold, as opposed to consuming it hot.



Oatmeal not only helps your immune system fight infections, but also keeps your blood sugar levels in check. In fact, independent studies have shown that oatmeal can also reduce any inflammations you may be having in your gut. But be careful when purchasing oatmeal from the market – prefer the raw version to the artificially flavored versions which have a lot of unnecessary sugar in it. Eat it with blueberries or yogurt instead!


Vitamin A rich foods

Foods, like carrots, squash, collard greens or spinach which have a high amount of vitamin A in them, are great for your immune system.



Everybody likes bananas – they’re easy to chew, tasty to boot, have a high number of nutrients in them, but, best of all, since they can easily be broken down by your stomach, your digestive tract does not have to work extra hard on breaking it down! This means your stomach gets to rest too. Also, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t "feel" like eating when sick, then know that 2 bananas can easily give you a boost of energy and nutrients to your body, not to mention how they can curb your tendency to nauseate during a cold! Bananas are definitely what to eat when you have a cold.


Dark leafy greens

Love them or hate them – the truth is that the more green veggies you include in your diet, the overall healthier you will be, both inside and out. Leafy veggies like arugula, spinach and kale are great sources of vitamin C, which helps you in combating cold and infection. To spice things up, add garlic and turmeric to your veggies and cook them the Indian style!


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