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Best foods for colds

Terrieltr Nov 26, 2010 10:23 AM

It's cold/flu season once again. What do you count on to help you feel better when the sniffles hit?

For me, I love a bowl of pho. Pho Tai, if I have an appetite, or Pho Ga if beef seems too heavy.

If I'm contagious and can't leave the house, I tend to make more of a Thai style chicken noodle soup, with rice noodles, cilantro, lemongrass, chili sauce and garlic.

  1. j
    jarona Dec 3, 2013 05:12 PM

    Bottle of Nyquil, a hot toddy and some serious home made Chicken soup!

    1. fldhkybnva Dec 3, 2013 04:24 PM

      Soup - hot and sour or homemade chicken soup.

      1. mudcat Dec 3, 2013 03:11 PM

        Plain old Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup with saltine crackers does it for me. Its quick and easy to prepare and readily available. I stay away from the kitchen when I'm feeling bad. My friend Old Crow keeps me company at times.

        1. eclecticsynergy Dec 2, 2013 12:40 AM

          Miso soup is another good one for when you're under the weather.

          2 Replies
          1. re: eclecticsynergy
            Tripeler Dec 2, 2013 01:15 AM

            For each small bowl of miso soup, beat one egg in a cup, then pour it into the hot soup. Sort of egg-drop miso soup, it is wonderful when you have a cold. Japanese people also put a beaten egg into hot sake, called "tamago-zake" and it is said to be great for a cold.

            1. re: eclecticsynergy
              Val Dec 7, 2013 04:19 PM

              miso soup is great even if you aren't "under the weather" so very healthy!

            2. Passadumkeg Nov 20, 2013 08:28 AM

              Hearty borscht w/ lots of garlic and good corn rye bread!

              1. al b. darned Nov 27, 2010 03:07 PM

                The aforementioned chicken soup. I also like tea with honey and ginger.

                My great grandmother used to swear by blackberry brandy. I'm not sure if it helped the symptoms or just made them less noticeable.

                3 Replies
                1. re: al b. darned
                  JerryMe Nov 25, 2013 12:17 PM

                  That's what we always use - a shot of blackberry brandy. I got the suggestion from an old boss of mine (and yes - he went out and bought the brandy!). One shot every hour - it does indeed help!

                  1. re: JerryMe
                    coll Nov 26, 2013 02:40 AM

                    I use blackberry brandy for upset stomachs, it seems to work very well. Must be my nervous stomach! (I was actually diagnosed as such, back in the 80s, before they started naming all the various issues).

                    1. re: JerryMe
                      sunshine842 Nov 26, 2013 04:06 AM

                      heh -- my dad used to give us a spoonful of blackberry brandy when we had a cough.

                      To this day, I can't drink blackberry brandy, because it's cough medicine in my mind.

                  2. g
                    Gardenblue Nov 27, 2010 01:24 PM

                    When I have a cold, I don't crave chicken noodle soup, but crave Chinese hot and sour soup . So comforting!

                    1. b
                      beevod Nov 27, 2010 08:14 AM

                      Guinness Stout, poutine, Xanax and lots of old movies..

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: beevod
                        mamachef Nov 27, 2010 12:36 PM

                        I like your coma!

                      2. g
                        gilintx Nov 27, 2010 08:00 AM

                        A hot toddy is great for a cold, especially if you have a sore throat. Hot water, whiskey, honey, and lemon juice. The combination is great for soothing your throat and generally making you feel a lot less cruddy.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gilintx
                          jenscats5 Nov 28, 2010 06:00 PM

                          I make this as well but usually with vodka.....

                        2. ChrisOC Nov 27, 2010 07:57 AM

                          I make about 1/2 cup of strong tea, to which I add: 3 or 4 cloves, a stick of cinnamon, fresh squeezed lemon juice, lots of honey and a couple of shots of rum or brandy.

                          1. mrbigshotno.1 Nov 27, 2010 06:28 AM

                            Menudo, good for everything! (Pho too!)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                              mamachef Nov 27, 2010 06:54 AM

                              A big slurpable bowl of Pho is SO where it's at....luckily we have a GREAT selection of choices locally. Extra basil, please! And a slug of that there chili oil!

                              1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                                Passadumkeg Nov 27, 2010 07:15 AM

                                If I eat menudo when I have a cold, will I get hangover too? Power of suggestion.

                              2. g
                                gfr1111 Nov 27, 2010 05:55 AM

                                i would go for the hot chicken soup with substantial noodles in it. This gives soft nourishment plus some decongesting qualities. It is interesting that practically everyone has recommended aromatic soups with a lot of sinus-clearing capsaicin. It also like hot mint tea for its sinus clearing qualities.

                                1. mamachef Nov 27, 2010 05:47 AM

                                  I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Chicken broth (strong and salty) with a good spoonful of hot lime pickle stirred in. Yeah, baby. You'll have a sense of smell by dinnertime.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: mamachef
                                    Val Nov 27, 2010 08:21 AM

                                    For those of us unfamiliar with lime pickle, can it be found in Asian market, is that right? Is it a condiment of some kind? Vaguely remember a chow discussion about it a while ago...thanks!

                                    1. re: Val
                                      mamachef Nov 27, 2010 12:35 PM

                                      Eastern Indian market. But, you might be able to find it in an Asian mkt.

                                      1. re: mamachef
                                        Val Nov 27, 2010 01:21 PM

                                        check...we only have Asian market here...Eastern Europe yes, but Eastern Indian, nope! Thank you, mc! ♥♥

                                  2. Passadumkeg Nov 27, 2010 05:23 AM

                                    For folks that live in the icy far north where birches grow, make chaga tea. From a ubiquitious black fungus that grows on birches chaga has lots of medicinal properties. It has been used my my Russian family for generations. Alexander Solzhenitsyn claimed that chaga cured his stomach cance.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                      Kholvaitar Nov 20, 2013 07:01 AM


                                      1. re: Kholvaitar
                                        Passadumkeg Nov 20, 2013 08:15 AM

                                        Did it mention chaiga?

                                      2. re: Passadumkeg
                                        Kholvaitar Nov 20, 2013 08:45 AM

                                        Also found:

                                        How to Make a Chaga Tincture


                                      3. coll Nov 27, 2010 12:44 AM

                                        I don't know if I found a miracle cure, but I came down with the worst cold the beginning of the week, then after drinking a cup of honey liqueur and eating close to a quarter jar of some delicious honey from Germany....the cold disappeared! I could actually taste my Thanksgiving dinner.

                                        1. sunshine842 Nov 26, 2010 10:26 PM

                                          I'm not a licorice fan AT ALL, but there's a mint-licorice (menthe-reglisse) tea here that rocks for sore throats -- one sip of it, and the pain vanishes. (you're not better, but at least it doesn't hurt!)

                                          1. Jasz Nov 26, 2010 07:20 PM

                                            Omg, I thought that exact thing after just reading your topic line. Funny!
                                            Even more so considering I'm not usually a soup type of girl.

                                            1. CharlieKilo Nov 26, 2010 06:27 PM

                                              Beef consomme' and TheraFlu.

                                              Taken separately.

                                              1. tim irvine Nov 26, 2010 02:46 PM

                                                Jalapeno potato chips and Bombay martinis (up). Seriously.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: tim irvine
                                                  Terrieltr Nov 28, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                  Potato chips are great for mild sore throats .The salt reduces the swelling.

                                                2. v
                                                  Val Nov 26, 2010 02:44 PM

                                                  Fresh garlic, chopped...let it "air" for a few minutes...scoop onto teaspoon, deposit on back of tongue and wash down, one very very quick gulp, with a glug of water; believe me, I had to practice to get this technique down pat. Has great antibiotic properties.
                                                  Also, I love chicken soup for a cold...and GINGER TEA...hot and brothy...smash up some fresh ginger slices (bruise them up with back of a knife handle)...bring to boil with water...let it simmer for a few minutes...strain and enjoy with fresh lemon and/or honey; truth be told, I often just eat the ginger slices after they are cooked and steeped. Some people on this board can eat it *RAW*....haven't gotten there yet. <snerk>

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Val
                                                    Fiona Nov 27, 2010 06:50 AM

                                                    I make the ginger tea but to it I add lots of fresh lemon, a chopped up hot pepper and strain.
                                                    then I add a good slug of honey and a good slug of brandy, Drink it hot and fast and go to bed.

                                                    1. re: Fiona
                                                      SilverMoth Dec 7, 2013 10:34 PM

                                                      I do something similar but with garlic. Chop up garlic, put it in a mug, pour hot water, squeeze some lemon and honey, and drink it. Go to bed wrapped up, and sweat it out. You will reek of garlic, but I promise that you'll feel soooo much better the next day. Have to say that I have never been able to drink the whole thing though.

                                                  2. m
                                                    mandycat Nov 26, 2010 01:36 PM

                                                    Grits with a healthy handful of Mexican cheese melted into it and topped with a medium-hot salsa.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: mandycat
                                                      James Cristinian Nov 26, 2010 02:40 PM

                                                      That sounds great, cold or no cold. I'll have to give it a try.

                                                    2. j
                                                      jeanmarieok Nov 26, 2010 01:09 PM

                                                      Tom Yum or Hot and Sour soup are the winners in my house...

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                        sunshine842 Nov 26, 2010 10:25 PM

                                                        Probably tastes better than the Prevention recipe, while still delivering chicken broth, chili, and garlic in large concentrations!

                                                      2. sunshine842 Nov 26, 2010 01:00 PM

                                                        Prevention magazine had a whole issue devoted to this some years back.

                                                        They recommended a broth - chicken stock, an ENTIRE minced clove of garlic, and a sprinkle of chile seeds, simmered together for a few minutes and sipped every couple of hours.


                                                        lots of echinacea tea laced with honey and lemon for the sore throat.

                                                        It did chase off a couple of colds - but I half think it's because between all that garlic and the chile, it gives you such dragon breath nothing can survive!

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                          mandycat Nov 26, 2010 01:19 PM

                                                          And goodness knows you wouldn't have to worry about GIVING your cold to anyone, unless your cold germs can jump 20 feet.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                            Passadumkeg Nov 26, 2010 01:26 PM

                                                            SS842, do you mean clove or bulb? A clove ain't much, I put 3 cloves in my ecumenical Jewish Trinity Penicilan, but a bulb will keep the werewplves away for the rest of your life.
                                                            Gimme spice, get the nose runnin'.

                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                              sunshine842 Nov 26, 2010 10:23 PM

                                                              1 clove per MUG of broth. That's a lot of garlic in an 8-oz package.

                                                          2. g
                                                            guilty Nov 26, 2010 12:56 PM

                                                            I like to have anything hot--in temperature and flavor. I agree that miso soup is great for a cold, as is cider vinegar. But I like to eat pretty much anything spicy, with garlic if appropriate, and drink hot liquids. And fresh citrus.

                                                            1. j
                                                              James Cristinian Nov 26, 2010 12:31 PM

                                                              I'm a non tradicion sick food guy. For colds I like Tex Mex enchiladas, beef or chicken covered in hot sauce. Last year when I had swine flu I had good Texas BBQ one day and pizza another, both with enough for plenty of leftovers.

                                                              1. b
                                                                breadfan Nov 26, 2010 11:32 AM

                                                                I always have some homemade chicken stock in the freezer for some quick chicken noodle. I also like to make miso soup when i need fluids. If i have a raging illness, i make a tea of 5cups water, 1 head of garlic minced.... bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. To the cooled garlic tea I add 1/2 cup cider vinegar and a 1/4 cup honey. This "tea" i sip throughout the day. Another favorite of mine is a garlic and thyme soup that uses bread as a thickener.

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