7 Foods that Help Relieve the Common Cold

It is very common to confuse a cold with the flu, because of the similarity of their symptoms, but they are illnesses caused by two completely different viruses. In this article, we will tell you how to fight cold symptoms
7 Foods that Help Relieve the Common Cold
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Reviewed and approved by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Relieving a cold is a fundamental necessity since it is a very common viral illness among people. It is very common when we are in cold climates. This viral illness is known to cause:

  • nasal congestion
  • sneezing
  • throat pain
  • coughing
  • other symptoms

What do I actually have?

Despite the frequency that colds and the flu are confused for one another, because of their similar symptoms, we should remember that they are two illnesses caused by two completely different viruses.

  • Flu: a respiratory infection caused by influenza, in which the patient has a fever over 38°C as well as muscle and joint pain.
  • Cold: a viral respiratory infection that can be caused by different viruses (Rinovirus, Parainfluenza, etc.). When an individual has a common cold, it is normal to have a runny nose, dry cough, sneezing or throat pain.

Fighting cold symptoms

In many cases, although it is recommended to eat natural foods on a daily basis to keep us healthy, it is important to keep in mind that we can eat these foods to relieve cold symptoms.

1. Ginger

According to a study published by the American Medical Association, this plant is one of the most recommended by professionals for alleviating cold symptoms. This is because it possesses properties that fight nasal congestion and strengthen our immune system.

A natural recipe for alleviating a cold is preparing a ginger infusion, to do so you will need:

  • Ginger root (10 g)
  • Water (250 ml)
  • Lemon and honey (optional)

To prepare it, you just need to chop up the ginger and add it to a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Once it is ready, strain it and add the lemon juice and you can sweeten it with a little bit of honey.

2. Garlic

It is considered one of the most important home remedies because of its natural antibacterial and expectorant properties. Its constant consumption helps to reduce nasal congestion, and noticeably helps to relieve colds.

3. Onion

Even if we blame it for making us cry when we are cooking, this vegetable contains nutrients that disinfect mucous, calm cough and alleviate pulmonary congestion. 

By periodically consuming it, or placing half of one on our night stand so that we smell its aroma, we will be able to strengthen our immune system.

4. Eggs

This food, which is full of vitamins and minerals like zinc and selenium, helps to keep us healthy and strong. The natural proteins in eggs are essential for building muscle mass, keeping our body’s defenses working and alleviating cold symptoms. 

5. Pumpkin

In order to keep our defenses strong, and to keep any harmful microorganism from entering the body, it is necessary that we eat pumpkin.

By possessing a large amount of beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A when consumed, it is highly recommended by nutritionists and health professionals. All because it helps to keep our immune system strong, thanks to the properties that it has that prevent respiratory system illnesses while also removing mucous from the throat, bronchi and lungs. 

One of the most recurring pieces of advice that we are given when we have a cold is to eat pumpkin soup because it strengthens our defenses. To prepare it you will need:

  • Pumpkin cut up into pieces (250 g)
  • Onion cut up into pieces (1 onion)
  • Peeled garlic cloves (3 units)
  • Water (2 l)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To make it, first cook all of the vegetables in a pot over a low flame for 45 minutes. When they are tender, transfer them to the blender with a cup and a half of the broth that is in the pot, process it for 5 minutes at medium speed until you have a smooth, homogenous texture.

6. Lemon

Thanks to its curative properties and high concentration of vitamins, lemons are very popular when it comes to treating colds. In fact, they are a powerful antibiotic, depurative and antibacterial. 

Their high vitamin C content helps to strengthen your defenses. This helps you avoid and fight disease and cold symptoms. 

When we are trying to relieve a cold, it is recommended to add juice from half a lemon and a few teaspoons of honey to a cup of hot water. You should drink it in the morning on an empty stomach right after waking up until your throat pain has gone away.

7. Beans

According to a study published by the Institute of Agrifood Technology of Spain, beans, along with onions and garlic, act as a natural anti-flu thanks to their properties that strengthen the immune system. Among the most popular are:

  • Lentils
  • Refried
  • Garbanzo

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • De La Flor I Brú, J. (2009). Resfriado común. Pediatria Integral. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1134-2072(08)70804-1
  • Rosas, M. R. (2008). Gripe y resfriado. Clínica y tratamiento. Offarm.
  • David, A., & Wagner, G. R. (2001). APARATO RESPIRATORIO. In Enciclopedia de salud y seguridad en el trabajo. https://doi.org/10.1

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.