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The ABC's of Fighting Winter Colds


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Finding something healthy to eat while fighting off a winter cold isn’t as stressful as it seems - and with our ABC guide to fighting winter colds, it’s as easy as A-B-C 1-2-3!


A: Apple - Duh: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.


B: Broccoli – You weren’t lying when you attempted to persuade your children that broccoli was good for them – it’s high in both vitamin C and dietary fiber.


C: Citrus Fruits – Vitamin C is certainly plentiful in fruits like oranges and grapefruits, and it’s also a known antioxidant – but don’t ingest too much Vitamin C in a short period of time: it could play a trick or two on your digestive systems!

D: Dark ChocolateWait, what? Yes, this is for real – dark chocolate is low in fat compared to milk chocolate and provides a generous amount of iron and magnesium to those eating it. So indulge a little bit… in dark chocolate. Just don’t think that because I told you it was ok to eat dark chocolate then it’s fine to go out and buy a pint of super-premium chocolate ice cream.



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E: Elderberry – Some studies show that elderberries help treat cases of the flu, but instead of treating the flu altogether they also can provide you with hefty doses of vitamin C and iron for those that are fighting it. Don’t be a scientist – stick to being a nutritionist.

F: Fish – Most fish provide hefty sources of protein and fatty acids, but there’s also a formidable amount of vitamin C in fish that isn’t often found in beef.

G: Garlic – Garlic is extremely rich in immunity-boosting compounds and also contains elements that kill bacteria, making it a perfect ingredient to add to your soon-to-be-more-delicious Chicken Soup.

H: Honey – The sweet taste of warm honey running down your throat is bound to leave your throat relieved if you have a common winter cough, but it’s also a strong antioxidant as well.

I: Idaho Potatoes – The many nutrients within fruits and vegetables are certainly good for you, but you need some calories to go along with that healthiness – so bake or whip up some Idaho potatoes to keep your energy up!

J: Juice DO NOT – and I repeat emphatically while jumping up and down waving my arms – DO NOT drink concentrate juices while you’re sick. They’re very high in sugar and they’re nutritionally unbalanced. Stick to 100% or close-to-100% juices. FYI: Drinking a whole carton of Tropicana Orange Juice will do harm for you than good.

K: Kale – When in doubt… Eat kale.



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L: Lean Meat – A good source of protein doesn’t have to be high in fat – just meet Lean Meat and learn for yourself!

M: Mushrooms – Why do you think that every movie – past or present – that features a medicinal healer/genius capable of healing anything and anyone showcases a wide variety of fungi in said healer’s office? Answer: It’s because mushrooms help the immune system destroy disease-causing cells.

N: Nuts – To be more particular, Brazil Nuts. Brazil Nuts are high in calcium, iron, dietary fiber and protein – so if you’re a vegan fighting a cold looking from a good source of protein that wasn’t once alive and walking the Earth, Brazil Nuts are for you.

O: Oysters – They’re not just aphrodisiacs, folks, they’re also a great source of vitamins A and B, zinc, calcium and iron.

P: Peppers – Did you know: Hot peppers contain a formidable amount of a chemical component called capsaicin – the component that gives your mouth that burning sensation when you eat a pepper? They also help with preventing sinus infections and helping you with gastric relief. Peppers are also high in vitamins A, B and especially C. Some peppers contain enough vitamin C for the recommended daily dose. Peppers, FTW!

Q: Quince – Also known as Adam and Eve’s “forbidden fruit,” don’t add this delicious fruit to your forbidden list if you’re sick – it will only help you.

R: Red Meat – If you’re looking for a good way to get the right dose of protein and zinc while battling your cold on a winter’s day, don’t be afraid to indulge in a nice medium-rare steak.

S: Soup – Lots of vegetables + Chicken + Warmth = Yummy in your tummy, and certainly a healthy, cold-fighting meal.



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T: Tea – There’s no better light, cheap, hot or guilt-free beverage better for you than tea, as it is loaded with polyphenols and other (inset medicinal jargon here).

U: Udon Noodles – These Japanese noodles contain a good source of wheat, giving you the carbohydrates that you need when you’re sick to wake up the next day feeling energized.

V: Vegetables – If you haven’t gotten the point already, eat your peas and carrots.

W: Wasabi – Wasabi will both clear out your nose and provide you with a good source of protein on sick days – just be conservative with how much wasabi you eat. You don’t want your nose or mouth to catch afire.

X: Xtreme Hot Sauce – If you can’t breathe out of your nose, put a little bit of this stuff on some chicken or veggies. You’ll breathe much better.

Y: Yogurt – Some say avoid dairy products when you have winter colds, but yogurt actually helps boost your good bacteria - after all, not all bacteria is bad. 


Z: Zucchini – Zucchini bread; grilled zucchini; zucchini relish; zucchini soup – you can do zucchini in a variety of different ways, but no matter what way you slice it, zucchini is good for you.