Sickness often comes with a loss of appetite, so it’s helpful to know which foods to eat when you have a cold. Certain foods can boost the immune system and keep cold and flu symptoms at bay.

Below are the best foods to eat when you have a cold

Green leafy vegetables


The immune system is complex, and comprised of antibodies, white blood cells, proteins and other structures that keep our bodies safe from foreign bacteria.

Green leafy vegetables are rich in iron and other nutrients that boost the immune system. Spinach, broccoli and cabbage can all assist with the production of white blood cells and antibodies that fuel your immune system.

If you need to know what to eat when you have a cold, try blending up a green kale smoothie with celery and mint.

Fresh fruit

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables is essential to overall health and optimal immunity. Fresh fruit contains an array of key vitamins, minerals and fibre to kickstart your immune system.

  • Kiwi fruits are high in Vitamin C and E
  • Blueberries are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and antioxidants
  • Strawberries are high in Vitamin A and C
  • Oranges are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and fibre.

If you’re looking for foods to eat when sick; fruit is a refreshing and immune boosting option.



Garlic has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that make it an ideal food to eat when you have the flu. Cooking with garlic can stimulate the production of antibodies and assist your immune system.

Just one clove of garlic contains 5mg of calcium, 12mg of potassium and more than 100 sulfuric compounds. This combination gives garlic considerable antibiotic abilities – proven to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and eradicate parasites.

Yoghurts and probiotics

Foods that are filled with probiotics and other ‘good’ bacteria can strengthen your immune system. Yoghurts can also help the body digest nutrients from other foods.

Probiotics also improve gut health, which has a powerful affect on your immune system. If you’re not sure what to eat when you’re sick, try a yoghurt or probiotic drink.

General health tips

If you’re not sure what do when you’re sick, eat well and don’t forget general health recommendations. Practice proper hygiene, drink plenty of water and fluids, and ensure that you have sufficient sleep.

Maintaining a balanced diet coupled with regular exercise will ensure that your immune system is fighting fit this winter.