What to Eat to Treat The Common Cold

The common cold affects the glandular, digestive/detoxification, and respiratory immune centers.

“I like good soup, not fine words,” said Molière, good advice that goes double if you have a cold, which ranks as humanity’s leading physical illness. Besides rest, stress reduction, high-level hygiene, and plenty of fluids, eating nutrient-dense salads, fruits, and vegetables can be part of the protocol that pulls you through. You’ll need all three, in fact, if you spend the typical ten to fourteen days with a rhinoviral infection.

The common cold (so called because year in, year out there are one billion cases of it) can make you uncommonly uncomfortable. Symptoms include (but are not limited to) head and nasal conges­tion, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, aches and pains, and fatigue, and a slight fever is also a possibility. hT e window of opportunity for getting or escaping a cold is also slight. The virus gains entry to your body usually by attaching itself to the back of the adenoid area. It manifests itself eighteen to twenty-four hours later, keeping you contagious for five days after.

The rhinovirus can remain live for eighteen hours on hard surfaces. The cold is a close cousin of more serious and potentially chronic conditions, including bronchi­tis, sinusitis, otitis media, and influenza. The flu is a winter phenom­enon because of cold air and relative humidity. Dry air enables the virus to be airborne longer. The respiratory system also works more slowly, say researchers, during the dry winter season. It’s nothing to sniff at and reason enough to become immune-food savvy.

What to Eat

Anti-Inflammatory Vegetables. Your get-better bowl or plate doesn’t have to be filled with chicken soup either. According to recent studies, the miraculous “chicken soup effect” is not due to chicken at all, but to the anti-inflammatory action of the vegetables that go with it, such as onions, garlic, carrots, parsnips, and everyday parsley. As a bonus, these are all alkalizing foods that help the body defend against pathogens. Ideally, the body should be 75 percent alkaline and 25 per­cent acid. (Acid foods that can make a bad situation like a cold worse include cheese, coffee, sugar, and animal proteins.)

In fact, from see-through broths to chunky chowders, soup is a superior delivery service for the breathe-easy nutrients that restore the integrity of the respiratory system (lungs, sinuses, throat). All soups help thin the mucus in the bronchial tube, but some are espe­cially formulated to ease or even reverse a cold by supplying the key nutrients that help mobilize the killer white blood cells that a virus depresses or incapacitates. In each bowl, you get vitamin C (plus bioflavonoids), which can reduce cold symptoms up to 30 percent; vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, to strengthen and safeguard the mucous membrane; zinc, which directly attacks the rhinoviruses in the tissues of the throat and the mouth; amino acids, which pro­vide protein for healing; and allium, the sulphurous detoxifying com­pound found in garlic and onions. What’s the dosage for these soups when you’re sick? It’s up to you. Depending on the stability of your stomach, try downing three or more mugs or glasses, diluting the serving with filtered water when needed. If need be, ingest less and inhale more—you’ll still benefit.

Berry Up. Berries are the number one source of antioxidants in the diet. Eat all kinds, spoon them on cereals, or juice them.

Jean-Paul Marat

Many tips are based on recent research, while others were known in ancient times. But they have all been proven to be effective. So keep this website close at hand and make the advice it offers a part of your daily life.