Runny nose, sneezing and a fever got you down? Eat your way to recovery with cold-fighting recipes full of flavor (and nutrients).
Breakfast: Blueberry Muffin Oat Smoothie
Start your day off with a triple-threat smoothie. This healthy breakfast blend packs a powerful punch with three ingredients known to boost immunity: antioxidant-rich blueberries, vitamin D-loaded milk and oats high in beta-glucan, a fiber that can fend off an assortment of health issues, including the common cold.
Snack: Spiced Chai Tea and Dark Chocolate
Warm tea can soothe a sore throat, but when each cup contains crushed anise and fennel, it can also ease congestion. This spicy blend pairs nicely with a mid-morning piece of dark chocolate. Stick with a one-ounce square of 70 percent cocoa or higher to ensure the good (antioxidants) outweighs the bad (sugar).
Lunch: Citrus Chicken and Rice Soup
Chicken soup’s mythical powers are real, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties (though exactly how it works is still a medical mystery). This new take on a classic features a citrus broth high in vitamin C — a cold’s worst enemy. Skip the optional hot sauce, which can actually make a runny nose worse in the long run.
Snack: Carrot Fries
Vitamin A and your immune system are soulmates, so make sure sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and dark, leafy greens are all part of your diet. Baked carrot fries are a healthier version of potato fries and are perfect for afternoon snacking.
Dinner: Honey Garlic Salmon
Oily fish — like salmon, trout and tuna — is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. If you eat enough of it, inflammation is reduced and your immune system kicks into high gear, which is bad news for any illness. The garlic in this mouth-watering recipe is an effective sidekick. It contains allicin, which stops cold symptoms in their tracks.