For most, food is the last thing on their mind when their nose is all swollen, red, and runny. This is the time you will feel weak and you could be at risk for infections. Fluids are not only easy to digest but they also loosen the mucus and help in speedy drainage. Nasal congestion is also common during winter and the flu season. Warm broths and teas help to keep you warm and healthy.
You will see improvement in two to three days and you can start consuming light and healthy solids that can help restore health and aid in relief.
Some easy-to-make recipes that help during a cold include the following:
1. Tomato tea
Combine two cups of fresh tomato juice, two or three cloves of crushed garlic, two teaspoons of lemon juice and any hot sauce. Place all of it in a pan and bring it to boil or heat in an oven. Drink it warm and inhale the fumes as you do.
2. Herbal teas
Hot teas can help the gnawing dried mucus to loosen and drain. They can also soothe the irritation in the throat. Choose an herb of your choice, add boiling water and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Strain and drink. Some of the effective teas that help relieve congestion are sage, thyme, peppermint, and ginger. You can also drink black, green or Oolong tea. You can add honey to the warm tea. The herbs have antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can help restore health post-recovery. Sage should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Mix six ounces of water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and three teaspoons of honey and drink it. Many consume the vinegar directly, or use it as a spray and squirt it into the nose. But those not so adventurous can stick to drinking this combination.
4. Lemon and garlic
Mince garlic and ginger and add in a jar full of water and let it rest for 20 minutes. Add the juice of two lemons and honey. Strain and drink it warm.
5. Broth and soups
The most effective recipe for a cold, of course, is chicken soup. Bone broth helps hydrate the body, helps the restoration of health, and supplies proteins and nutrients that are lost while one is sick. They can also be used to prevent cold when the winter sets in.
6. Foods to avoid during a cold
Some foods tend to increase mucus production and they should be avoided until one completely recovers from the cold.
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Starchy food like root vegetables
7. Food that helps recover from cold and its symptoms
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Fatty fish, nuts, and eggs can aid faster recovery – A tuna sandwich is ideal comfort food for cold
- Vitamin C-rich foods
- Horseradish, spices like cayenne pepper
There are other home remedies like nasal saline irrigation, where saline water is flushed from one nostril and let out through the other. These are effective for some. Unless you know how to do it, it is better not to try unless under the supervision of trained people.