There is no cure for the common cold. Despite advances in modern medicine, you still have to wait this one out. However, as with most other health concerns, the right foods can make a big difference. Although a change in your diet is not a miracle drug, some foods can soothe your symptoms, or even enhance your body's natural immunity. Consult your doctor for specific recommendations, or if your symptoms persist or worsen.
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Even doctors admit that soup can help with your cold. According to alternative-medicine and home-remedy resource website Health Bulletin, physicians not only acknowledged the power of soup in a 2000 study, but also pegged what kind of soup helped most. The warm liquid in soup has an anti-inflammatory effect, which can soothe the throat irritation that causes many dry coughs. Micronutrients in soups' ingredients, meanwhile, can strengthen immune response. Although researchers couldn't say exactly why, the 2000 study concluded that chicken soup is best for coughs.
Capsaicin is the chemical responsible for the heat in spicy foods; one effect of capsaicin is thinning mucus, acting as a natural expectorant. In his book "Alternative Cures," Bill Gottlieb recommends spicy soups to combine the soothing power of soup with spicy foods' expectorant qualities.
Health-maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente reports that vitamin C is essential to your body's immune system. The body does not store vitamin C, however, so increasing your intake can speed your recovery from a cough. Foods high in vitamin C include broccoli, bell peppers of any color, kiwi, fresh and processed tomatoes and citrus fruits.
- Health Bulletin: Soup for Colds
- "Alternative Cures"; Bill Gottlieb; 2008
- "Healthwise Handbook"; Kaiser Permanente; 2010