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What to Eat When You Have a Cold

Published: February 21, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup

Studies show that chicken soup actually does relieve congestion and other cold symptoms.

There’s a lot of folk wisdom floating around out there. Let’s separate fact from fiction.

False: Feed a cold and starve a fever. Not true, says Post dietitian Elise Lindstrom, R.D. Instead, the best remedy for both is plenty of nutrient-rich foods, water, de-caffeinated tea, and juices. Lindstrom’s menu of healing foods also includes oatmeal and whole wheat pasta for energy; yogurt to support the immune system; and apples, cranberries, and tomato sauce to fight inflammation.

True: Sip a delicious bowl of steaming chicken soup. In studies, chicken soup actually did relieve congestion and other cold symptoms.

False: Avoid dairy products. Counter to popular wisdom, dairy products don’t worsen runny noses after all, according to a review of studies.

False: Toss back a shot of whiskey. Turns out Grandpa’s favorite antidote didn’t hold up to clinical tests: alcohol only worsens a cold’s dehydrating effects.

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