Thought chicken soup was the only food that helps fight the common cold? Well guess again. The viruses that cause the common cold and flu (also called influenza) don’t respond to antibiotics, and common over-the-counter cold treatments don’t actually shorten or prevent a cold or the flu.
“Think of foods as more of an insurance policy, as a preemptive strike against winter’s cold viruses,” says Karen Gibson, RD, a dietitian at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. “Unfortunately, cold viruses are very contagious, and even the healthiest of individuals can contract a cold. Even so, foods can offer some assistance in preventing a cold by helping you develop and maintain a healthy immune system.”
Fruits and vegetables help build your immune system, so “eating your colors” like red, orange, yellow, dark green and purple, works best. That means you should stock up on tomatoes, red and green peppers, squash, spinach and blueberries, among others. Nutrient-rich foods will help keep the sniffles at bay during cold and flu season which lasts from September through May.
The Top 10 foods to eat are: