Treating the common cold and cough- Food facts you must know

Cold and cough stem from weak immune systems, allergic reaction and sometimes, even from stomach troubles. Treating cold with antibiotics is the most common recourse. However, when you are treating the cold in babies, you’d probably want to ensure recovery without exposing him/her to too much of antibiotics that weaken the system from within. While your baby’s incessant coughing and blocked nose may give you sleepless nights, treating cold without medicine means you are allowing his body time to fight on his own, thereby strengthening his immune system. In the meantime, however, you need to know what foods to avoid and what you can safely allow.

Fresh fruits and vegetables that boost your immune system are highly beneficial. They are best when consumed in the raw or uncooked form. Cooking, especially frying them robs them of their nutritional value, rendering them useless. Also, because the body tends to get dehydrated during this time, consuming plenty of fluids, juices and water is also important.

A word about fruits

I’ve always been advised not to have bananas, watermelons and guavas etc. during a cold, since they are thought to be cold-provoking or cough aggravating foods. It would get particularly frustrating when I’d get piled with such advice for my two year old- Since his cough and cold seemed an endless saga, I even eventually ended up not bringing in fruits at all. The truth, however, as I discovered later, is much different.

Treating cold with Vitamin C

Fruits that are a rich source of Vitamin C, like lemons and oranges are actually advised by some as remedies for cough and cold. Yet, if they tend to irritate the inflamed tissues, you may safely consume fruits like watermelons, pears, peaches, apples, pineapples, grapes, strawberries. Guava, being a rich source of Vitamin C and minerals, helps to build immunity and hence is another fruit that helps cough. Sometimes, a season change may trigger cough and cold. Eating “heat-generating” fruits do the trick. Consume fruits like litchi, papaya, cherries and apricot that generate sufficient heat in the body to combat a change in temperature.

Other sources of vitamin C include a thick broth made of Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Even clear vegetable and meat broth, that’s not oily is considered good. Chicken, egg and fish yolk are counted as good foods too.

Treating cold with ginger

Raw tea with ginger, basil and black pepper is considered to be highly soothing for cough. Onion, ginger and garlic have anti-viral and antibacterial properties that make them especially beneficial during cold and cough. Add them to your meals for a stronger immune system to fight back better.

Foods that worsen cough


Dairy makes the mucus feel stickier and thicker and actually aggravates the discomfort in kids and adults. So till your kid comes out of it, it is better to say goodbye or considerably restrict milk and milk products like cheese, yoghurt, ice cream and chocolates.

Deep fried foods

Fries aggravate cough and cold. Chips, French fries and basically all forms of junk food must be avoided during this time.

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