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What to Eat to Treat a Cold

Learn the best foods to fight, treat, and beat a cold or the flu.

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Try: Citrus and Berries

Vitamin C won’t prevent colds, but studies show that eating foods rich in it may get you back to normal more quickly. It also has a slight antihistaminic effect, which may reduce nasal symptoms.

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Try: Chicken Soup

Grandma’s favourite remedy contains cysteine, a compound that helps thin mucus and relieve congestion. A serving may also reduce inflammation in the lungs.

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Try: Yogourt

Cool, creamy yogourt and other dairy products are rich in zinc, which supports the immune system.

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Try: Spices

Garlic, turmeric, hot peppers, and other strong flavourings can help break up nasal and sinus congestion.

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Try: Red Meat and Oysters

Choose these for your protein; they’re good sources of zinc.

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Don’t Try: Alcohol

While you should drink lots of fluids when fighting a cold or flu, abstain from alcohol. Wine, beer, and liquor dilate small blood vessels, which makes the sinuses feel stuffed up and reduces the body’s ability to fight infection.