Foods to Fight a Cold

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Oh, dearie, looks like you’ve got what’s been going around. I knew you shouldn’t have been hanging around with that sickly boy from accounting! But don’t worry, dearie, stick to these home remedies that have been curing our family for generations. (Just look at your great-aunt Mui Choo – 105 this year!)

First, let me tell you to forget everything you heard about antioxidants, multivitamin shots, or other magical jujubes you saw on television or a “blog” on that new-fangled “world wide web”. Eating antioxidants has no proven benefits, neither do probiotics, and taking ungodly amounts of vitamin C or other supplements won’t help you recover from that nasty cold.

But these these old fashioned home recipes will make you feel better – and maybe even get better faster.

Main course: Chicken soup

Ah, chicken soup, just like I used to make for your grandfather. What? You prefer a chia seed smoothie bowl? Chicken soup is the classic cold remedy for a reason! Unlike your mystical kale agave seeds, this one has actually been scientifically shown to help alleviate colds. Hearty chicken soup contains the perfect balance of nutrition your body needs to fight off disease, with vitamins and minerals, fibre, protein and, most of all, electrolytes. The warm, steamy liquid helps to loosen up your sinuses, and chicken also contains an amino acid called cystein that is shown to have the same effect.

Tea with ginger, lemon and honey

Like soup broth, hot tea helps clear out the sinuses. It also contains a little caffeine to give your body an energy boost as it fights the illness. The ginger has anti-nausea effects, and honey has been shown to fight bacteria – the lemon, of course, is for taste. This concoction is the perfect thing to sooth a sore throat and congested nose!

Coconut water

Our family has been drinking coconut water ever since your great, great grandfather Ling returned from Fiji. Coconut water is hydrating, low sugar, chemical free and chock full of the electrolytes you need to fight a cold.

Spicy instant noodles with egg

Yes, instant noodles! While chicken soup is a better option, you won’t always have your granny around to cook for you, and instant noodles don’t require you to spend a lot of energy on your feet chopping vegetables and mixing spices when you should be in bed.

Secondly, instant noodles are more nutritious than you might think. After all, it’s what we fed you growing up and look how you turned out: perfectly average in every way.

Instant noodle mix is hot, full of electrolytes and the egg-based noodles provide all three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat. As for the spicy flavour, capsaicin, the spicy oil in peppers, loosens up your sinuses and helps purge your body of germs (that’s why you get a runny nose when eating spicy food!). Crack an egg in the pot for B vitamins and protein.

Hot toddy

Yes, this is an alcoholic drink. And yes, alcohol does not help your body fight diseases, and can actually make it worse. But take it from me, if you’re ready to give up on this whole “healing” thing and feel better right now, there’s nothing like a few cocktails. And nothing soothes an aching throat and aching heart like this hot drink with cinnamon, lemon and, of course, whisky. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

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