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What To Eat When You Have A Cold And Flu - Celebrity Nutritionist Nmami Suggests

Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal tells the many ways to combat infections and symptoms associated with cold and flu.

What To Eat When You Have A Cold And Flu - Celebrity Nutritionist Nmami Suggests

A well-balanced diet can help in strengthening body's immune system


  1. Have lots of fluids to prevent symptoms of cold and flu
  2. Avoid alcohol as much as possible. It affects your immune system
  3. Consume only filtered/RO water during infections

The old saying goes, 'Starve a cold, feed a fever.' However, only good nutrition and a well-balanced diet can boost the immune system and help your body fight against pathogens. The body needs fuel and protective foods to battle cold and flu symptoms. If these symptoms arise too often, it suggests that your immune system is very weak and you need to change your lifestyle to improve it. Therefore, the next time when you feel under the weather, keep in mind the following dietary tips to combat infections and symptoms associated with cold and flu:

1) Opt for warm drinks such as soups, tea and hot flavoured milk (elaichi/kesar). Adding pepper, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric into your drinks can help warm your body.


Also read: Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Common Cold 

2) There are chances that your metabolism slows down and digestion gets impaired due to various symptoms related to cold and flu. Therefore, go for lighter, water-based stews instead of thick gravies.

3) Consume at least 5-6 servings of vegetables a day to load your body with essential vitamins and minerals.

4) Avoid alcohol as much as possible as it dehydrates the body and affects the functioning of the immune system.

au2e4n6gPhoto Credit: iStock

Also read:  What Is The Difference Between A Cold And The Flu? 

5) Drink a lot of hot fluids and water. This will help prevent your mucus from thickening and worsening the congestion of your nasal passages.

6) Your immunity is already weakened when you are suffering from infection, and there's no reason to make yourself more vulnerable to other diseases. Therefore, make it a point to consume only filtered or RO water.

7) Include probiotics like yoghurt (room temperature) to keep the gut and immune system healthy. Probiotic foods contain bacteria that help prevent and treat the symptoms of a common cold and flu.

8) Indulge freely and copiously in Vitamin C-enriched foods such as amla, oranges, papaya, guava and cauliflower to boost immunity.

u2t3obvPhoto Credit: iStock

Also read: A Natural Remedy For Colds That Actually Works 

9) Sleep for at least 7-8 hours every night as a good night's sleep is important for the body to rebuild, restore and keep the immune system healthy.

10) Zinc is an important mineral required for the body to prevent or decrease the duration of cold. Hence, include legumes, wheat bran, nuts, shellfish, etc. to fight cold and flu.

11) Buy fresh, cook fresh, eat fresh and feel fresh.

Some homemade recipes to try out when you're caught with a cold or flu are:

a) In a glass of boiling water, add 1 tsp honey, a pinch of cinnamon and a few drops of lime juice.

b) To get instant relief from cold, boil water, add a few tulsi leaves, crushed ginger and a few crushed black peppercorns.

(Nmami Agarwal is a celebrity nutritonist)

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