23 Best Foods For Cold And Flu

Top 23 Immunity-Booster Foods: To Fight Off The Cold And Flu

Feeling under the weather or crummy?

Don’t feel up for eating?

But, you must eat just a bit to keep your immune system up and running to get better soon!

A strong immune system is supported by meals that are particularly high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Having foods rich in nutrients will help you feel refreshed by reducing some of your worst symptoms.

So, you will need to boost your food game if you want to get rid of colds and dry coughs more quickly.

Don’t forget about staying hydrated!

Hydration is essential to battle illnesses and stay healthy!

Warming up your water is more beneficial to your health because it activates your digestive tract and helps your intestines contract to speed up the process of elimination and flush out toxins.

We all need to be on high alert about our health as the cold and flu season approaches, not to mention that COVID-19 infections keep rising!

It’s better to be prepared than sorry right?

Continue reading to see the 23 best foods for cold and flu.

Come on and stock up on immune-boosting foods like vibrant fruits and vegetables all year long to stay healthy!

Of course, remember to clean your hands, get enough sleep, and get the flu vaccination to help stave against colds in the first place!

An Ultimate List Of 23 Best Foods For Cold And Flu

In addition to staying hydrated by drinking water or electrolyte-rich liquids or herbal teas, here are 23 best foods to consume if you have a cold or flu.

Foods rich in fiber are enough to keep you satiated and to help make your digestion process easier so go for foods rich in fiber.

Also, protein-rich foods help boost your immune system so make sure to add protein to your diet.

1. Salmon


Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids and can aid your fight against the flu and cold in two ways:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, and so they aid in the battle against the inflammation that occurs frequently in our bodies when we are ill or injured.
  • They can also aid in reducing anxiety, a stressor that can impair your immune system.

2. Pomegranate


There are more antioxidants present in these ruby red arils than in green tea, an antioxidant powerhouse. 

They are also in the juice, but you should watch how much you drink because you won’t be receiving the healthy fiber you would from eating whole seeds.

They could be used raw in salads, or as a solo side dish when you mix raw florets in a delicious dressing!

3. Unsweetened Greek Yogurt

Unsweetened Greek Yogurt

When you’re feeling under the weather, go for Greek yogurt that is basic and unsweetened. 

Protein-rich diets are essential for promoting your immune system and cell regeneration.

Not because of the calories, but rather because colds have the propensity to suppress appetite, try picking low-fat or non-fat varieties. 

It’s ideal to get enough protein by consuming as much yogurt as you can because probiotics help reduce your sinus problems.

4. Kefir


Kefir is supposedly better than yogurt, especially for people trying to strengthen their immune system during the colder months or naturally quell any digestive issues. 

The probiotics included in this fermented beverage can have a calming impact on your nervous system, aiding your body’s processes for moving food through the digestive tract. 

It will be beneficial to consume a bottled version if you are feeling ill.

5. Chickpeas


Pulses are absolute powerhouses, including beans, peas, and chickpeas. 

They contribute significantly to maintaining the health and strength of your body since they are rich in protein and fiber. 

Prebiotics, which are included in fiber-rich foods like chickpeas aid in your body’s better absorption of vitamins and minerals. 

6. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Grab a handful of seeds as a healthy snack, whether you want them shelled or unshelled. 

They offer omega-6 fatty acids, which are crucial for immune system function and overall good health.

7. Pumpkin seeds 

Pumpkin seeds

Zinc, which your body needs to support the operation of white blood cells, is abundant in pumpkin seeds. 

White blood cells are crucial in the defense against infections like the influenza virus. 

These can be eaten in a handful amounts as a snack or even used as a crunchy garnish for salads.

8. Blueberries


These fruits not only have a dazzling blue color, but they also have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties just like other berries like elderberry.

They are rich in anthocyanins that help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Not to mention they are great to fight off colds!

9. Avocado


Avocados are also a great source of calories, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. 

They also have a more bland flavor, which makes them simpler to eat. 

The presence of polyphenolic flavonoids, an antioxidant, in these fruits helps reduce inflammation.

10. Chicken soup

Chicken soup

For many years, chicken soup has been a go-to remedy to treat illnesses. 

It is a convenient way to get the vitamins, minerals, calories, and protein your body needs in greater amounts when you need to recover from an illness. 

In addition to being a great source of fluids and electrolytes, chicken soup is also beneficial for people who are in danger of dehydration from diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or fever. 

As hot or spicy beverages can be beneficial for this, the warmth of the soup aids in clearing out nasal congestion. 

The amino acid cysteine is also present in the chicken in chicken soup. 

Mucus is broken down by N-acetyl-cysteine, a type of cysteine, which also possesses antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. 

Homemade chicken soup produced from bone broth is also rich in collagen and minerals that help boost recuperation.

11. Citrus foods like Oranges and Tomatoes

Citrus foods like Oranges and Tomatoes

You’ve definitely heard this before: Consume lots of vitamin C to stave off colds! 

The truth is that most of us won’t be prevented from contracting one. 

However, if you consume a lot of it just before you start experiencing symptoms, it could help you feel better and recover from a cold more quickly. 

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes are all good sources of vitamin C and are very appetizing.

Your sore throat and cough could be relieved by drinking warm water or tea with freshly squeezed oranges which will help speed up your body processes to fight off cold.

Citrus vegetables include:

  • Brussels sprout
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccolis

Lycopene, which is abundant in tomatoes, has been associated with a decreased incidence of cancer and heart disease because it decreases inflammation in your body. 

The antioxidant also improves the capacity of your immune system to fend against cold and flu viruses.

12. Broccoli


The fiber content of these little green trees is well known, and one cup of raw broccoli contains almost all of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C! 

The nutritional advantages are even greater if broccolis are consumed fresh or with little to no cooking, such as steaming. 

13. Spinach


A significant superfood that is excellent for your overall health is spinach! 

Be like Popeye and have spinach to build up your immune system!

It also has vitamin C in addition to being loaded with fiber that helps regulate digestion. 

This is a potent food that can help prevent the common cold and lessen the signs and symptoms of illness.

14. Onions


This adaptable culinary plant can provide anyone with a great health boost and lower their risk of contracting the flu or a cold. 

Onion is one of the finest natural sources of quercetin, a bioflavonoid that has shown promise in inhibiting the rhinoviruses that are the main culprits behind the common cold. 

The onion leads the list of vegetables that are least likely to have substantial concentrations of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals, which is an added plus!

15. Garlic


Since ancient times, herbal medicine has included garlic because of its numerous health advantages.

It has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that help in reducing illness.

Supplements containing garlic extract can also boost immunity and lessen the severity of colds and the flu.

When you’re ill, adding garlic to your diet can enhance flavor while also enhancing its ability to combat cold and flu symptoms.

16. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms

A wide variety of edible mushrooms have been used for generations in Asia to cure a wide range of illnesses and disorders, and the health advantages of eating mushrooms are legendary!

Shiitake mushrooms, for instance, have long been used as a home cure for colds and the flu in China and Japan. 

Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a substance discovered recently by researchers that have been demonstrated to boost your immune system. 

They are excellent for adding meatiness to vegetarian meals because of their great meaty flavor.

17. Honey


Sore throats are caused by bacterial infection and the presence of antimicrobials in honey are abundant that helps in the healing of several kinds of infections.

Although it shouldn’t be given to infants less than 12 months for the risk of botulism, honey is useful in treating children’s coughs.

Dextromethorphan, another widely used component, and honey have comparable effects as demonstrated by researchers.

18. BRAT foods like Oatmeal

BRAT foods like Oatmeal

BRAT is an acronym for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. 

These meals are mild on the stomach and bland.

This diet is high in carbohydrates and low in fiber, which could bind loose stools and hasten the healing process after diarrhea.

In addition to these bland meals, a BRAT diet can also contain oatmeal, crackers, cooked potatoes, and watermelon.

You should begin eating gradually and drink plenty of water for the first several hours before gradually introducing other drinks like apple juice or broth.

Beta-glucan, zinc, and selenium are nutrients found in oatmeal that strengthen your immune system and aid in preventing and treating typical cold symptoms. 

Oats are a nutritious food because they include beta-glucan, a fiber that is necessary to remove infection and cholesterol from your respiratory tract.

19. Bananas


Eating bananas when you have a cough, cold, or other symptoms like nausea or vomiting makes it simpler to get rid of your illness.

Bananas include a high amount of soluble fiber, fast-acting carbohydrates, and other nutrients that help replenish your electrolyte stores.

20. Coconut water

Coconut water

The inflammation of your stomach lining leads to an unsettled stomach. 

Coconut water contains substances called tannins, which help to lessen this irritation.

It is also rich in minerals like salt and potassium and it can assist your body by swiftly rehydrating after vomiting or diarrhea.

According to researchers, coconut water could hydrate people at a similar rate as a sports drink. 

Not to mention with no additional sugar, it is also healthier. 

21. Almonds


Almonds can treat cold and cough both prophylactically and therapeutically. 

The surface of almonds includes polyphenols, a disease-preventive element that helps white blood cells become more sensitive and aids in their quick and efficient viral defense.

According to a study, this immune boost persists for a considerable amount of time even after the almonds have been digested. 

The immune system is little to no affected by almonds without the skin.

22. Dark choco

Dark choco

When you’re feeling under the weather, you should consider having a chocolate, a dark one!

Unbelievably, dark chocolate can be a powerful weapon in the fight against a cold. 

Theobromine, an antioxidant with a high content in dark chocolate, has been shown to help with coughing. 

Theobromine is also effective in reducing the symptoms of bronchitis-related coughing.

23. Turmeric


Turmeric, which is frequently used in curries, has a high antioxidant content and is regarded as a natural anti-inflammatory.

According to recent studies, those who drink turmeric are less likely to have colds and coughs.

How can you eat while not hungry?

When you’re not feeling well, it’s okay, if food isn’t your top priority.

There is no need to worry if you are not hungry for parts of the day.

But, if you don’t have a hunger pang in more than a day then opt for some basic food items to help you get some calories to help with your body processes.

Try oatmeal, it is simple and goes easy on your stomach.

You can try BRAT foods like toast with egg whites.

If you feel like you can’t stand the smell of food or even look at it then keep it simple and try not to push yourself too much.

Concentrate on staying hydrated and go for electrolyte fluids and make sure to take good rest.

Know that eating is unlikely to change how your condition develops but can assist it

When you’re ill, you want to feel normal again as soon as possible, so it makes sense to ask whether there are any meals that help hasten your recovery. 

Unfortunately, the response to this is no.

There aren’t any special foods that hasten your recovery.

But, staying hydrated and eating foods that are rich in important nutrients for your body is important to maintain not only your body processes but also your immune system.

Even though there is not enough research about how certain foods can be beneficial to your health, If your stomach can handle vitamin C rich foods then go for fruits and vegetables rich with it and zinc to maintain your immune system.

It is not advised by doctors to be too strict with your food regimen especially when you are ill, so make sure to take action when needed like eating soft foods when ill to slowly build your calories for your body to perform well.

It is better to eat during the day to help your body digest the food you eat better.

And if you decide to eat at night then wait at least three hours before going to bed to avoid having an upset stomach, indigestion, or acid reflux at night. 

This will give your body some time to digest your food and it won’t disrupt your sleep. 

What foods should you avoid if you have the flu?

What you should avoid eating while you have the flu is equally as significant as what you should consume.

  • Your immune system can be weakened by alcohol, making it more difficult to fight the flu
  • Avoid caffeine-containing beverages like soda, black tea, and coffee since these could further dehydrate you. 
  • Dairy products could make your mucus thicker, which will make your congestion worse especially when you consume them at night.
  • Avoid sugar when you have the flu as your body will need to work extra hard to fight off inflammation.
  • Spicy meals can exacerbate a runny nose that the illness is already causing. 


Dietary changes with foods rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties can provide some relief from certain symptoms when you are feeling sick. 

Try including these 23 best foods for colds and flu in your diet, while avoiding foods that will worsen them.

Remember that prevention is better than cure, so better stay prepared!

Staying hydrated and eating a diet rich in nutrients will help to stave off the flu!

While no food alone can cure sickness, eating the right foods can help support your immune system.

Don’t forget the importance of resting and maintaining your hygiene to recover faster when sick.


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