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The Best Foods for Cold and Flu

By K.T. Parker

Cold and rainy weather often brings an increase in colds and influenza. Colds, in particular, are easily spread through coughing or sneezing. With an estimated 1 billion colds per year, according to Medline Plus, it is helpful to know some of the best foods for colds or the flu.

Food Fighters

The old adage about chicken soup is actually good advice. According to a study in the October 2000 issue of "CHEST Journal," chicken soup was found to inhibit inflammation, which is likely a contributing factor of upper respiratory infections. Registered dietitian Ilyse Schapiro recommends eating oranges or grapefruit for their vitamin C content, which can help kick a cold. She cautions against drinking juice due to the excess sugar content that can actually prolong your illness. Schapiro also advises enjoying a lean protein, like chicken or turkey, to help your body make more white blood cells. According to ''Health,'' oysters are another way to fight illness because they are a good source of zinc. A study published in the July 2001 issue of "Advances in Therapy" found participants using garlic supplements for 12 weeks had fewer colds than the placebo group. While garlic is good for preventing colds, it won't shorten the duration, as determined by a study in the July 2012 issue of " American Family Physician."

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