Believe it or not, one of the top ways to treat a head cold naturally is to look at what you are eating. Many foods, herbs, and spices can help to heal your body and help you to recover from the cold more quickly, while other foods are bad for you and tend to make your symptoms worse.
Avoid Dairy Foods
The first thing you should do if you want to eat a diet that helps with your head cold is to know what to avoid. This begins with your dairy products. Dairy isn’t necessarily going to make your cold worse, but it can worsen some of the symptoms of having a head cold. If you are getting a lot of congestion, phlegm, or ear infections, dairy can actually make these side effects worse, even if you don’t necessarily have a dairy allergy. When you get a cold, try cutting out dairy and see what the difference is.
Don’t Forget the Leafy Greens
When you have a cold, eating might not be your favorite thing to do, but it is still important to eat nutritious foods with lots of vitamins and minerals. This includes making sure you get enough leafy greens each day. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens contain a lot of fiber and nutrients that your body needs to heal more quickly. Make a simple salad or if you aren’t too hungry, just blend up a smoothie with greens and fruits to get the added vitamin C as well.
Add More Garlic
When you are cooking meals or snacks while you have a head cold, don’t miss out on the chance to add a little garlic. This is one of the best spices to have when you are sick since garlic has natural antibacterials and antimicrobials. These properties can actually help to get rid of bacteria and viruses in your body that lead to both head colds and the flu. While it isn’t a one-stop-shop as far as treating a cold, it definitely makes a big difference.
Eat Your Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup isn’t just good for a head cold because it is classic comfort food, but it often contains ingredients that can help detox your body, give you nutrients, and allow you to keep something down that is gentle on your body. Try to eat more chicken noodle soup when you have a cold so that you are eating something warm and satisfying while getting nutrients from the chicken and veggies.
This is my favorite recipe for wintertime cold and flu season. It developed over time bit by bit as I learned more and more about herbs and how to incorporate healing herbs into superbly tasting healthy meals. It tastes great, fills you up, and clears your head. I serve this to the whole family any time one of us appears to be coming down with the sniffles, it’s great for head and sinus colds. It can be prepared on the stovetop or in the slow cooker whatever is preferred.
Hearty Cold Kickin’ Chicken Soup
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped (with leaves)
2 tbls butter ghee* (from grass-fed cows)
2 carrots, sliced thin
1 liter of bone broth (can substitute organic chick broth)
4 chicken legs
1 can organic diced tomatoes and green chilies (RoTel style, or fresh if you prefer)
2 cups shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 leek, sliced thin
1.5 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tsp turmeric (curcumin) root powder
2 tsp Yerba Santa
1 tsp echinacea powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1- 1.5 cup orzo (can also substitute cut vermicelli, barley, or even brown rice for a gluten-free version)
salt and pepper to taste (the green chili will add heat so be careful with the pepper)
4-5 cloves garlic (use a garlic press or finely mince and add, in the end, let warm through, but don’t cook/boil)
(distilled water to fill an 8-10 qt soup pot)
Lightly saute the onions and celery in ghee until soft and translucent
Add the next 13 ingredients and enough filtered water to almost fill the pot. Simmer until the chicken is done.
Remove chicken from the bone (discard skin and bones), cut into pieces, and add back into the pot.
Add chopped parsley and green onions at this time as well.
After a few minutes add in the orzo and simmer until it is almost done.
Add the fresh garlic shortly before serving, adjust salt to taste.