Let’s face it. Cold season is upon us. For those of us at college, living in close quarters with others in a dorm room, we have most likely already had a cold or two. I mean, I know I have. But what if we could take steps to get rid of this cold, and do so naturally? And what if we could actually speed up the recovery process to get you back on your feet even faster? Well, we can. And here’s the twist: we are going to eat our way towards recovery.

Here are my top, all natural, yummy foods that will help to combat your cold. Who knew getting better could be so delicious?  

1. Ginger

ginger, vegetable, galangal, herb
Tyra Wu

What is famously served beside your sushi roll is actually a superhero when it comes to fighting off a cold. The spice in ginger yields sweating which flushes out toxins in your system and cools you down if you have a bit of a temperature. Ginger can soothe your throat with its anti-inflammatory powers. It attacks the illness from the root (get it? root, ginger root? ha) as it kills off rhinoviruses— the villains who cause the cold in the first place.

#SpoonTip: Add ginger to hot tea. You not only receive the health benefits from the ginger, but you also get hydration from the water in the tea. You are killing two birds with one stone here and, honestly, I think this makes you the superhero.

2. Chicken Noodle Soup

Ah, just like Grandma used to make. This wholesome dish is loaded with nutrients which help to relieve your cold. The carrots and other veggies in the soup contain vitamin A— the catalyst for fighting illness. Next, the base of the soup, the broth, provides hydration, zinc, and can help to relieve congestion. Lastly, the real star of the show here is the chicken. This protein has the amazing ability to support immune health and repair body tissue.

...I don't know about you, but I would thank grandma next time you see her.

3. Foods Containing Zinc

rice, cereal, risotto, brown rice, wheat, pilaf
Angela Kerndl

Zinc is one of the, if not the most, recommended supplements to have when you have a cold. Taken in moderation, this mineral can actually speed up your recovery process. Some examples of foods containing zinc are whole grains including brown rice and steel-cut oats, and some breakfast cereals.

4. Foods Containing Vitamin C

Okay yes, before you stop me, recent studies have shown that vitamin C cannot prevent a cold. But, it definitely still holds true that it can shorten the length of it and lessen your symptoms by a whopping... wait for it... full day. This vitamin is also abundant in many fruits and veggies. Oranges are pretty much the face of vitamin C. But, this vitamin is also found in everything from yellow peppers and broccoli to lemons and strawberries.

5. Dark Chocolate

What if I told you that you could take chocolate as a supplement for your cold? Well you can, and, quite frankly, you should. Dark chocolate is not only recommended to take on a daily basis, but it is also packed with antioxidants called polyphenols which help to fight symptoms of disease. We're pretty much giving you an excuse to eat chocolate here so go for it: it's good for you.