American College of Nutrition Certified Nutrition Specialist | Author | Professor of Nutrition


How to Stop a Cold

Want to stop a cold in its tracks?

Next to washing your hands, eating two servings of foods rich in Vitamin C each day is the most effective thing you can do to prevent getting sick with a cold this season. You will actually cut your chances of getting a cold in half – just by eating some fruits and veggies.

Getting your Vitamin C from foods works better than pills because Vitamin C needs all the other nutrients that travel along with it in the foods we eat. They all work together to fight infections, making them stronger together than any one is separately. So that cold virus gets squashed before it can cause any trouble.

Which foods are highest in vitamin C? Here’s a list, and a printable one for your fridge at home. Check off two each day, and you can just pretend to be sick for that all-day movie marathon on the couch. strawberries

Fruits: berries, cantaloupe, citrus and papaya are the hightest in vitamin C. Fresh squeezed citrus juice (one 8 ounce glass) is good, so are frozen fruits.

Vegetables: asparagus, bell peppers (all colors, especially red), Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage (yes, cole slaw is a good source of vitamin C!), and kale. Steamed, sauteed, roasted, cooked in soups – its all good. These veggies have strong cell walls that protect most of the vitamin C from breaking down during cooking.

Click here for the printable list: vitaminc

A serving of fruits and veggies is 1 cup raw (chopped or cubed) or ½ cup cooked. That’s it – super easy! We eat so many of these foods regularly, its not hard to make sure we get two each day.

Here are some ways to do it:

  • Smoothie with greens and berries
  • Berries in your oatmeal
  • A glass of OJ in the morning
  • Hearty vegetable soup
  • Cole slaw instead of fries at lunch
  • Hearty veggie salad
  • Roasted veggies with dinner (toss chopped veggies with olive oil, S & P, and roast on a sheet pan at 400 until nice and browned and crunchy – delicious!)
  • Stir-fry with plenty of veggies
  • Snack on a veggie tray with hummus – easy, crunchy and satisfying

You get the idea. And you’ll be so glad you did when you get through to Spring without even a sniffle!

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