It’s those dreaded noises we hate to hear in a classroom: coughs, sneezes and sniffles. In college, it can seem close to impossible to avoid catching a cold, but here are some foods that can help fight off a cold or make it shorter:

Chicken Noodle Soup


Photo by Becca Berland

A classic for a reason. You know you have a keeper when you don’t even have to put the food in your mouth to start healing. Seriously, the steam can help relieve a stuffy nose or throat. If that doesn’t do it for you, the salt in the soup can soothe a sore throat, and amazingly, the soup also has the ability to fight inflammation. Moms know everything.

Citrus Fruits


Photo by Paulina Lam

Any citrus fruit with high Vitamin C levels will help boost your immune system. Be careful though, it’s important to avoid foods high in sugar when you’re sick. Your best bet would be fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes. Plus you won’t have to worry about scurvy. For more information, check out this guide to citrus fruits.

Coconut Water


Photo by Gabbi Phi

There’s a reason why so many bands request this stuff in their dressing rooms. Coconut water will help keep you hydrated and is a good source of electrolytes. There’s a lot of different brands out their, each with their own cult following. See our definitive ranking of how natural each one is.



Photo by Krysten Dorfman

Not all germs are bad. Yogurt contains a bacterium called Lactobacillus reuteri which blocks the replication of viruses. In other words, the virus is trying to divide and conquer, but yogurt puts a stop to all that nonsense

Red Wine


Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

I know it’s a tough sell to get college students to drink alcohol, but if you can manage, it might be good for you. Like yogurt, red wine has properties that are able to slow down cold virus replication. I definitely recommend giving this one a try.



Photo by Bari Blanga

Honey’s thick consistency has the ability to coat a sore throat. It also fights off infections with its antioxidants and antimicrobials. Have you ever heard of Pooh Bear going to the doctor’s for a sore throat? Yeah, me neither.

Water, Water, and More Water


Photo by Maddie Lanier

Staying hydrated can thin out mucus and decongest you. Because breathing’s kinda important.

For more foods that can help you combat your cold, check out this article on

Still looking for more health tips? Check these out: