When I was in high school, I rarely got sick. After coming to college, it seems as if I am constantly sniffling or coughing. When living with hundreds of other college kids in the dorms, it’s hard to avoid all the germs. If you’re like me and have had a cold almost the entire year, try a few of these tips that will hopefully get you to overcome that stubborn cold.

1. Bread


Photo by Emily Hu

Bread and other dry foods like pretzels and saltines are great to eat when you can’t eat. Eating bread will absorb and calm stomach acids, which helps make queasiness go away. Whole grain bread is also good for constipation because it is high in fiber, which stimulates digestion.

2. Nuts


Photo by Stephanie Lee

Nuts are good for when your entire body aches. The magnesium, omega-6 acids and calcium in nuts help reduce muscle soreness which lessens muscle cramps and pain. Other foods that are high in magnesium include bananas, beans, leafy greens and avocado, all of which will relax your muscles and stop body aches.

3. Fruit


Photo by Rachel Labarre

I know that I am not usually that hungry when I have a cold, but I also know how unhealthy it is to not eat. If your stomach isn’t too upset, try snacking on fruit to give your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs to fight off the virus. Berries specifically are rich in antioxidants and are great for removing toxins. A good source of vitamin C (which is not a cure-all but does help with recovery) is citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes. The soft outside layer of these fruits contain flavonoids, which can boost your immune system.

4. Honey


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Grandma was right when she told you to put honey in a cup of hot water. Honey is good for soothing a sore throat and it’s also a natural antibiotic. Honey has been used as a folk medicine for hundreds of years for many different purposes. It has been used as a laxative, a cure for upset stomach, and for coughs and sore throats. Doctors stopped prescribing honey in the mid 1940’s when antibiotics became available, but honey can still do the trick.

5. Probiotic Yogurt


Photo by Lauren Taylor

While I would not recommend eating a ton of yogurt while you’re sick (dairy causes more mucus and worsens congestion), eating one probiotic is a great way to support your immune system and relieve throat pain. It clears bacteria from the body and you could always add berries on top for tastier yogurt and added health benefits.

6. Mint Leaves


Photo courtesy of Tori Avey

Since most people probably don’t have spare mint leaves sitting around, if you aren’t too sick, go over to the market and get some mint leaves and coconut oil to create your own vapor rub. No, you won’t be eating this vapor rub, all you need to do is rub the leaf on your chest to provide a natural relief and open up your airways, which will help you sleep.

7. Water


Photo by Caroline Liu

It’s always important to drink water, but it is even more important to do so while you have a cold. Water can help with a fever and also flushes out toxins that are in your system. When you get a cold, more mucus is produced to trap the viruses or bacteria in your system but mucus can also cause a cough. Drinking water helps tear up the mucus in your lungs, which will help stop coughing. Dehydration is also one of the leading causes of headaches, so make sure to stay hydrated.