30 Foods and Remedies to Keep Cough and Cold at Bay

Common cold, fever, cough, flu are usually caused due to unexpected climatic change and viral infections. It’s a very common health issue that people endure at least once a year. Another very vital reason behind frequent cold, flu and cough is poor immunity. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) people who suffer from cold and fever more frequently were diagnosed with poor immunity.

Common cold and cough is nothing but the respiratory tract infections that are usually confined to the upper respiratory tract. Hence people go for popping a pill. But, there are other natural, non-harmful and effective ways to get yourself cured easily and fast from common cold and flu. There are some natural foods and remedies that not help treat cold and cough effectively but also build immunity to keep cough and cold at bay. Let’s have a close glance on it.

30 Foods and Remedies to Keep Cough and Cold at Bay

Foods That Help Keep Cough and Cold at Bay

  1. Oysters

    Oysters (shellfish) is one such seafood which is highly rich in zinc which is an essential mineral for your body. According to the Canadian Medical Research, zinc plays a vital role in fighting cold and flu. It significantly reduces the duration of the cold symptoms, but it is highly recommended to cook the fish properly before plating in your meal.

  2. Dark Chocolate

    Lucky, they are who love to munch on chocolates more often. According to the studies, one quarter of ounce of dark chocolate a day can alleviate cold symptoms up to 7-10%. Dark chocolates are the delicious food to beat cough and cold as cocoa is rich in antioxidants known as polyphenols that boosts body immunity and has zinc which is known for fighting against cold and flu.

  3. Chicken Soup

    A very ancient and traditional food to alleviate the symptoms of cold and cough is mother’s first remedy hot chicken soup. Yes, because this magical elixir works wonder in soothing your sore throat due to its warmth and hot broth. The hotness of the soup elevates the temperature in your body and gives quick relief by loosening up the nasal passages and mucus secretions due to the presence of amino acids.

  4. Eggs

    Eggs have all those essential nutrients that are required positively to flight cold and flu. Eggs are rich in Vitamin A, D, protein, biotin, selenium, phosphorus that help in boosting body metabolism, immunity and fight viral and bacterial infections. Eggs can be the best food options to keep cough and cold at bay.

  5. Carrots

    Carrots contain beta-carotene or carotenoids and our body convert these organic compounds to vitamin A which is required specifically to boost body immunity. Carrots can help in relieving mucus secretions and body pain, the symptoms associated with cold and flu.

  6. Fish

    Omega 3 fatty acids can do several wonders for our body. Fishes such as tuna, salmon, halibut, mackerel are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids that significantly reduce inflammation in your body due to their anti-inflammatory properties. According to a study by Brain, Behaviour and Immunity Journal, fishes have strong cold fighting properties. Chronic inflammation in the body can weaken the body immunity.

  7. Milk

    Besides early soothing sunrays, vitamin D is also found in milk. Vitamin D which not only strengthen bone health but also boosts immunity can fight cold and cough symptoms blatantly. Drinking two glasses of warm milk a day can reduce cold symptoms up to 13-17%. You can also add some turmeric in your warm milk to add in some antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to speed up the effect.

  8. Blueberries

    These tiny little blue packets are loaded with ample antioxidants known as anthocyanins that boost immunity actively reducing the cold and cough symptoms in your body. Having ½ -1 cup of blueberries can significantly help in relieving nasal congestion, sore throat and headache.

  9. Green tea

    One of the best foods to fight cough and cold because green tea have high amount of antioxidants called catechins that are known for flu fighting properties by stimulation immunity and body metabolism. Sipping on 2-3 cups of hot green tea a day can help you to get quick relief.

  10. Green leafy vegetable are full of vitamins, protein, antioxidants and all essential nutrients that have several permanent and proved health benefits and ability to fight against cold and flu. Veggies like kale, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, bitter guard are highly recommended to add in your daily meals to get relief from chronic cold and cough.

    You can simply sip on some veggie soup twice a day or cook the veggies with less and low fat oil to get the maximum benefits out of it.

  11. According to the medicinal research studies, eating citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, red peppers, kiwis, strawberries on the first sign or symptoms of cold can significantly reduce the cold and flu duration by one day which makes you feel like an most painful and suffering era. Vitamin C present in citrus fruits boost immunity and fight cold symptoms effectively.

  12. Like carrots, the orange pigments in sweet potato which is known as beta-carotene help to fight cold and cough blatantly. These carotenoids boost immunity and reduce inflammation in your body to give you faster relief from nasal congestion, headaches, body pain. Beta-carotenes also reduce bacterial infection in your body that tend to increase the cold and flu symptoms.

  13. Mushrooms

    All vegetarians love mushrooms! These round figure umbrella shaped foods are not only delicious to eat but also comes with several health benefits and most importantly fight cough and cold. Mushrooms have wide range of variety such as Portobello, White buttons, Mitake, Shitake, Enoki and all these varieties have super powerful nutrients to fight several ailments. Mushrooms are loaded with Vitamin A, B, D, antioxidants, phytonutrients, potassium, and a special compound called lentinan which is known for anti-cancer properties. Vitamin A, D and antioxidants boost immunity, relieves nasal congestion and sore throat as well as speed up body metabolism by warding off the infection.

  14. Anise Seeds

    These sweet licorice- flavoured seeds are strongly capable of fighting cough and cold effectively. Their antibacterial properties clear congestion and give relief from chronic coughing from the upper respiratory tract. Anise seeds are usually used in cooking for their licorice-flavour but according to the studies of American Pharmaceutical Association’s Practical Medicines Guide, adding one small cup of anise seeds to hot water with sugar, rock salt, crushed garlic, honey and cinnamon can amazingly cure cold and flu symptoms completely in just 3 days.

  15. Brazil Nuts

    You need to change your concept if you think nuts are only make a great snack, because these brazil golden brown nuts are highly offered with selenium which is a trace mineral boosting the production of special element called cytokine which is a protein that supports and boosts immunity. This compound also assists your body to respond to the infectious virus and bacteria that pervade during infectious cold and flu season. These rich creamy nuts have protein and healthy fats as well as anti-inflammatory properties that reduce chronic inflammation related to cold and flu in your body according to University of North Carolina Research. 3-4 nuts a day are enough to reduce the cold symptoms effectively.

Remedies to Keep Cough and Cold at Bay

  1. Honey and Basil

    Basil is a natural medicinal herb that has antioxidants, antibacterial and ant-inflammatory properties. Basil significantly cures cough, cold, viral fever and many other health related issues. One of the best remedies to treat cough and cold is adding honey with basil juice extract. Honey is a natural cough syrup (expectorant) can cure cough as well as cold very effectively. For best results, try to have one tsp of honey with 4-5 basil leaves or even crushed juice form in empty stomach twice a day. Best if taken in the morning and evening.

  2. Honey and Black Pepper

    Honey not only beats cold and cough but also cures heart diseases, blood pressure issues, cholesterol and many other health issues. Honey is rich in antioxidants that help brilliantly fighting cough and cold. Black pepper contains Vitamin C, antioxidants, flavonoids and antibacterial properties that simply fight against cough and throat infections. Consuming honey with black pepper regularly for 1 week in empty stomach 3-4 times a day can help to treat cold and cough.

  3. Garlic

    Garlic has antioxidants, antiviral, antibiotic and antimicrobial properties that make it an effective remedy to treat cough, cold, and flu. Simply eat 2-3 cloves of raw garlic in empty stomach every morning for a week and feel the experience of quick fading cold and cough effects.

  4. Betel Leaf and Honey

    Best remedy for beating cough is taking few betel leaves to crush them to extract the juice out of it and mixing it with 1 tsp of honey to take twice a day after one hour of a meal. Betel leaves significantly reduce cough due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

  5. Black Pepper and Cumin Seeds

    For relieving nasal congestion black pepper and cumin seeds can be a useful remedy. Boil some black pepper (10-16), cumin seeds 1 tsp and jaggery 2 scoops in water until you get a thick decoction. Strain the decoction and let it cool before you drink it twice to thrice a day. Cumin seeds have antioxidants and so as the black peppers.

  6. Ginger and Basil

    Ginger has anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals that fight cold and flu effectively. It kills the rhinovirus that causes cold and viral fever. One of the best remedies to treat cough and cold is boiling ginger and basil in water and adding honey to the decoction to sip on twice or thrice a day.

  7. The most popular and traditional remedy for beating cold and flu and symptoms related to it is adding 2 tsp of turmeric powder in hot milk to drink twice a day. Circumin present in turmeric acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to relieve nasal congestion and sore throat.

  8. Banana and Black Pepper

    A very effective and useful remedy to get instant relief from acute cough! Banana is a good source of antioxidants and pepper is a source of both antioxidants and antimicrobial properties. To beat cough instantly, eat one banana with 5-7 black pepper twice or thrice a day and let your cough break and melt faster.

  9. Cinnamon and Ginger

    Cinnamon is known for its antibacterial and warming properties. Simply chewing a thumb size peeled ginger with 1 cm of cinnamon stick can treat cold and cough effectively. You can also prepare a nice tea adding ginger, honey and cinnamon to sip on some hot cup of tea. A brilliant and effective remedy to treat cold and cough that you must try once.

  10. Cayenne Pepper Salsa

    Prepare a red hot spicy cayenne pepper salsa to make a brilliant dip for your chips and patties and enjoy the spicy meal to beat cold and cough in a delicious way. Cayenne pepper salsa is full of antioxidants and has a special compound called capsaicin that helps in relieving nasal congestion, sore throat and runny nose.

  11. Lukewarm Salt Water Gargle

    The best technique that beats cough and cold is gargling with lukewarm or semi hot salt water to get instant relief from sore throat and nasal congestion. You can also add crushed ginger extract to this decoction and repeat 2-3 times a day.

  12. Goldenseal Root extracts

    Goldenseal root herb is an amazing antiseptic and immune boosting agent that stimulates blood circulation to all the vital organs especially the spleen. The spleen fights to improve your immune system. A specific compound called berberine is present in goldenseal roots, which significantly destroy bacteria, fungi and viral infections.

  13. Milk and Garlic

    Garlic’s antioxidants, antimicrobial and antiviral properties effectively fight cold and flu. Chew some garlic cloves and to avoid the pungent smell drink some warm milk with added turmeric which is a best remedy to beat cough and cold.

  14. Black Cumin seeds and Mustard oil

    A delicious way to treat your irritating cold and cough. Simply heat some mustard oil in a frying pan add 2 tsp of black cumin seeds, red chillies, balck pepper, salt, 2-3 cloves of garlic and some finely chopped spinach leaves and fry it little and grind the mixture to a thick paste and again heat some mustard oil to fry the paste. You can eat this paste or salsa with steamed rice or chapatti to cure cold and flu.

  15. Bay leaves and Ginger

    Bay leaves have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that fight cold and cough blatantly. These leaves can be boiled in water to strain out the decoction to place a cotton cloth soaked in the decoction over chest and head to get instant relief from cold and flu symptoms. You can also roast 2-3 bay leaves and add 6-8 black pepper, thumb size ginger, rock salt and little sugar to grind it making it a powder mixture and take it thrice a day to treat acute cold and cough.

    Medicines are not the better option always because depending on various drugs and pills can significantly weaken your immune system and metabolic processes of your body. Your body gets adapt and attune to the medicines and drugs and on severe illness your bodily functions simply stop responding to the drug effects causing serious consequences such as organ failure, cancer, cognitive impairment, heart attacks and many more. It’s better to strengthen and boost your immunity in natural ways by either not depending on any medicines and treatments or opting for natural and organic medications and therapies. All these above remedies and foods can have different effects on different people depending on their body functions, immunity and ability. It’s always wise to consult with your doctors or physicians before trying all these natural foods and remedies to cure cough and cold or any other ailments. If you experience pain, irritation, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, weakness or any other uncomfortable symptoms better rush to your nearest doctor or hospital.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 31, 2022

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