Colds always come at a wrong time. When the illness strikes, you are ready to do absolutely anything to make it go away. Many people turn to “magic” pills while others try natural remedies. Many centuries ago, when nobody knew about medications, simple remedies were used to treat common colds. Here are a few foods to fight a cold that you can find at your nearest supermarket.
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The antiviral and antibacterial properties of garlic are hard to underestimate. Besides being a great part of your cold treatment, it can also be used for prevention. Only raw garlic has health benefits. The key compound in garlic is called allicin which is an antioxidant. Cut raw garlic cloves in half and take a good sniff to clear up your sinuses. Then eat 3 medium-sized cloves every day if you have a cold. If one of your family members or colleagues has a cold and you want to save yourself from getting sick, eat one garlic clove on a daily basis.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Some studies showed that when taken in high doses, vitamin C is highly effective for treating viral infections.  It helps fight free radicals and kill viruses while strengthening the immune system. When you are making a list of foods to fight a cold and boost the immune system, vitamin C-rich foods should get the highest marks. Here are a few that you should be considering the next time you visit a supermarket:
- Red sweet pepper
- Mango 
You can also get vitamin C from supplements. However, the dosage should be adjusted by your doctor.
A UK study found that eating two ounces of honey daily reduces the duration of a cold by 48 hours. Honey fights infection on multiple levels and makes it hard for the bacteria to become resistant. Honey is rich in phenolic acid and flavonoids. It can kill many different types of bacteria.
Another study done in Dubai Medical Centre showed that honey can be beneficial for treating cold sores.  However, there are two downsides of honey that might force you cross it off the “foods to fight a cold” list. First of all, it’s highly allergenic and can lead to serious allergic reactions. Secondly, it’s high in sugar and is not recommended for people with high blood sugar levels.
Many doctors consider ginger to be a number one remedy for the common cold. Ginger has various anti-inflammatory properties and works similar to ibuprofen. The gingerols, zingerone, and paradols contained in ginger can reduce pain. The best way to use ginger to alleviate and cure cold symptoms is fresh ginger juice. It deals with a runny nose, reduces headaches, and even fights fever. You can also take advantage of ginger tea. Adding honey to your ginger tea will create a powerful cold remedy as well. Besides the ability to fight a common cold, ginger can help deal with cancer and alleviate motion sickness symptoms. 
Apple Cider Vinegar
The next food to fight a cold is apple cider vinegar. Just one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar added to a glass of water alkalinizes the body. Alkaline environment is deadly for bacteria and viruses. If you start taking this remedy at the first signs of cold or flu, the symptoms will most likely be reduced.
For the best effects, you need to drink water with apple cider vinegar several times a day until the cold is gone. Apple cider vinegar can also be used as a preventive measure. There are many ways you can use it. For example, as part of the salad dressing. You can mix one part of apple cider vinegar with three parts of olive oil, add some Dijon mustard and the tasty dressing is ready.
Another simple food to fight a cold is coconut oil. This oil is rich in lauric acid that has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides fighting the common cold, it can be a great preventive measure during the flu season. If you want to prevent the cold, you need to eat 3 -4 tablespoons daily. You can consume the coconut oil with other foods.
You can clear up the sinuses by rubbing a few drops of cold-pressed coconut oil into your chest, upper back, and forehead. A few drops of coconut oil added to the soup or tea can ease sore throat and coughing symptoms. 
Recently several studies show that zinc can reduce cold symptoms if taken within 24 hours from when the first symptoms appear. Taking zinc on a regular basis can reduce the number of colds per year. Most of the colds are caused by rhinovirus that populates our nasal passages and throat. Zinc might prevent this virus from spreading and staying in the mucous membranes. However, high doses of zinc can cause nausea and bad taste in the mouth, so it must be used cautiously. Here a few zinc-rich foods to fight a cold:
- Beef and lamb
- Pumpkin seeds
- Spinach 
- Oily Fish
Another one of the popular foods to fight a cold is oily fish. Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They can reduce inflammation. A study published in 2011 in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, patients who took omega-3 supplements on a regular basis for 3 months had lower inflammation levels than those who took a placebo.  The protein contained in oily fish can help build defense cells.
All the above foods to fight a cold can be consumed on a daily basis at the first signs of the unpleasant symptoms. However, before stuffing yourself with tons of honey, ginger, and fish, you need to consider your individualities, such as allergic reactions and digestive system problems. In any case, the best course of action when you get sick is to consult a doctor.