Foods to Help You Fight Colds This Winter

If there’s one thing winter’s famous for, it’s cold season. All it takes is one sniffling kid at daycare or one coworker with a cough to have you—and everyone around you—feeling under the weather. So this year, instead of being caught unawares when cold season strikes, prepare your body with foods that fight illness!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:


Far more than a savory additive in Italian food, garlic is a nutritional powerhouse. Its major active component is allicin, known for a variety of antimicrobial properties. Whether you boil some garlic cloves to make a cold-fighting broth or you juice garlic for a brave and powerful tonic, the more garlic you get, the better for your health this season.


Currently enjoying some time in the spotlight, turmeric is trendy for good reason. One of the foods with the highest antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, this yellow spice has anti-viral, anti-fungal and cancer-fighting benefits. Try using it as a spice on roast vegetables or adding some to your morning smoothies.

Red Bell Peppers

They don’t get a lot of attention for this, but, ounce for ounce, red bell peppers outshine citrus fruits in vitamin C and beta carotene. Because vitamin C is key for boosting immunity, work more of these vegetables into your life all winter long. Eat them raw and sliced with your favorite dip, add them to hearty soups or roast them to add to hummus or other recipes this season.

Dark Leafy Greens

It’s no surprise to say that greens are good for you, and here’s why: whether you’re talking about kale, bok choy, turnip greens, mustard greens or Swiss chard, dark and leafy greens are packed with vitamins and nutrients. From vitamin C to folate, the vitamins inside greens can aid your body’s immune system and make you stronger against illness. Use them sautéed as a side dish or worked into soups for cold winter nights.

Wild Salmon

As daylight decreases and darkness becomes the norm, most people aren’t getting enough sunshine and its accompanying vitamin D. Build your body’s stores with foods high in the vitamin, like wild salmon. Make salmon a regular dinner plan this season to ensure you’re still getting the nutrients you need.


Many experts say a healthy gut is the foundation of a strong immune system—and probiotics can do wonders for making your gut healthier. To get more of these good bacteria in your diet, up your intake of plain yogurt, raw sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and fermented foods.

The best thing you can do for your health in winter is to think proactively. So beef up your diet now with whole foods that are rich in nutrients to help yourself stay well when cold season strikes!


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