Tell VT: What's your favorite cold-fighting food? | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Tell VT: What's your favorite cold-fighting food?

Tell VT: What's your favorite cold-fighting food?

When cold and flu season is upon us, we can all benefit from upping our intake of immunity-boosting foods.

What’s your favorite food or dish for fighting a cold or flu? Share your own below, and see what others have to say.

Comments on this Article

My family is Taiwanese, and my mom would make this ginger-molasses-tea concoction, but I what I really want is plain congee. The next best thing is risotto.

What works for me is a veggie broth with lots of spicy dried chilies, green chilies, garlic and some diced potato.

My grandmother taught me to fight colds and congestion with a hot honey lemon. boil a cup of water, add a tsp of local wildflower honey and squeeze a quarter lemon in. stir and sip it while it's hot.

Two years ago, I spent a week in a rural language school in Guatemala during the rainy season. A dozen students and almost all of us had colds. Someone introduced the idea of chewing up small bites of garlic as a means of combating a cold. It worked well for us, but the entire school reeked for the whole week. So: chewed garlic, but maybe not when living in close quarters with more than 10 other people.

To fight a cold I LOVE potato kale soup!!!! A confetti blend of potatoes, tons of garlic, crushed red pepper, kale, olive oil and I'm CURED!!!

Matzo Ball Soup. I'm more than reasonably sure it has cured the flu multiple times.

Once when I was sick, my mom made me a baked potato covered in salsa to clear up my sinuses. I don't know how well it worked, but it's certainly tasty!

Whenever I feel the tickle of a cold coming on, I drink a cup of hot peppermint tea. I swear by it, and it's delicious!

I like to make an asian inspired soup made of vegetable stock, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, green onion, kombu seaweed, and lots of shiitake mushrooms. It's very soothing, and really boosts the immune system.

The most effective meal I use is a wicked broth of lightly salted water loaded with garlic, fresh ginger and hot peppers. I've been known to gargle a bit before swallowing this tasty medicine. And if you're not sick, it's a tasty way to create inner heat to warm up on a cold day.

hot spicy soup! i like to make a vegan pho, or a spicy tomato soup.

Homemade Tofu Noodle Stew! Veg broth, carrots, celery, potatos, garlic, tofu, and homemade noodles. Yum!

A steaming mug of my garlic-miso soup! The combination of garlic and miso make this an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral concoction! Bring it on, Winter!

I live in New Mexico and always make a big pot of Green Chile Vegetable Stew during cold season. The spicy roasted chiles help clear stuffy noses and have vitamin C!

Very strong ginger tea!

Miso soup! I make a big bowl and about 1/2 hour later I feel much better. I've even used this to ease my jet-lag when traveling.

I like to make a tall glass of carrot juice with a half a clove of fresh garlic.

I love to make lentil soup with veggies! I like to add dark red cabbage, califlower, potatoes, pieces of corn on the cobb and carrots to my soup! I add to leaves of laurel and a seasoning packet from Goya that has chayote and cilantro in it. A little bit a salt and pepper and it becomes the best soup you have ever had in the world!!!

Garlic, garlic, and anything made with lots of garlic. Curried Potato Soup from Nancy McDermott's The Curry Book is a great way to imbibe lots of garlic - 1/4 c or more is called for. I use water or veggie stock instead of chicken to make a vegetarian version.

Roasted and seasoned cauliflower and garlic...with about 30 whole garlic slices...takes the cold away!

Garlic! From garlic soup to just adding fresh, thinly sliced garlic to salad dressings, marinades, pasta, beans, salads. Any recipe that calls for garlic I add more for the flavor and for the health benefits.

Roasted garlic soup: broth, roasted garlic heads with garlic smushed out (then purée), scallions sliced up to float as garnish. Warms you up & good immune booster. It takes 3 heads (not cloves) so if you have your teen daughter squeeze out the roasted garlic a side benefit is less worry about what she & her boyfriend are up to while you are under the weather ;-)

Vegetarian hot and sour soup with LOTS of Thai chili peppers and locally grown mushrooms.

Pollution and overcrowded transport wreaked havoc on my body in Shanghai. My Chinese colleagues recommended drinking green tea with 2-3 slices of fresh ginger root in it daily, and I have rarely had a bad cold since! It's easy, and really works.

anything with lemon

Homemade ginger tea! Boil a couple inches of peeled, sliced ginger with a couple teaspoons brown sugar in a couple cups water. The stronger the better! It clears your sinuses, soothes your throat, and helps you to sleep better. Plus I find it soothes your tummy as well. Can't go wrong.

What's more perfect than strong, dark, soothing, therapeutic hot tea with honey and lemon? Aaaaah.

Kimchi: it combines the Vitamin C kick of sauerkraut with a spicy, garlicky jolt to clear congestion and reawaken the taste buds. I try to keep a jar in the fridge all winter (if not all the time).

Kang Gai, vegan with tofu: the broth is soothing on a raw throat and it has all the cold fighting standards--garlic, chilies, Vitamin C and fluids--plus a dose of protein. Also? I can taste it through the congestion.

I make a hot ginger tea by grating up 3-4 tablespoons of ginger and letting it steep. I add mint if I have it and sweeten it with some honey.

Miso No-Chicken Noodle: miso broth, garbanzos, kale, lots of garlic and soy sauce and some udon noodles if I'm really hungry

I always up the garlic intake raw and cooked whenever I think a cold might be trying to invade my space. I am rarely sick so I think my strategy works. On the rare occasion I feel the garlic isn't doing the job I'll drink a little tequila and that generally seals the deal against getting sick. It's unconventional and I've never read anything about it but it seems to do the trick....mind you I did say "a little!" Perhaps it just helps me sleep! :)

Lemons! Lemon juice with water really clears your throat up, and my sister sucks on a slice of lemon to help cure a sore throat.

Potato Leek soup. Yummm.

When I'm sick, nothing beats eating warm miso soup!

Tom Yum soup: Lemon grass, scallions, hot pepper flakes, mushrooms (any kind will do), ginger, and garlic in a veggie stock. Deliciously lemon-y, savory, and Hot! Clears the sinuses soothes the aching body.

i've found when a few too many of my pasta and peanut butter and jelly indulgences are bringing my health down, that avoiding wheat for a few weeks does the trick. Fresh fruit, almonds and kale soup throughout the day- as well as a dinner salad of baby greens, chickpeas, and sliced avocados- restores my energy and shortens any lingering cold or flu symptoms, immensely.

i eat homemade miso soup everyday when the weather gets cooler,especially if i think i'm coming down with something. it's even great first thing in the morning! gently simmer some chopped veggies and sliced ginger, then add unpasteurized miso to your bowl.

To get rid of the symptoms fast so i can talk, i take a spoonful of super hot hot sauce. To combat the cold, i just eat oranges and blueberries :)

An 8 oz. mug of hot water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of (preferably local) honey is my go-to for sore throats and colds.

I love tomato dill soup-it has a little kick, too, so your nose really clears up!

This is my favorite for feeling better. Peel and mince a 1" cube a fresh ginger and add it to 3 cups of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Add one veggie bouillon cube and a package of organic Ramen soup which has a flavor pouch as well. Add some fresh chopped spinach and some small cubes of left over tofu. Nice and light and steamy with refreshing ginger and nurishing spinach!!!!! Ahhh!!!

Fresh garlic! I eat whole cloves of fresh garlic when I start to feel a cold coming on for an exra immune system boost. My esophagus tightens up every time - rather uncomfortable - but its worth not getting sick!

I make hot and sour miso soup--my homemade comfort soup. Here is a link to the recipe:

When the scratchy throat at the beginning of a cold hits, I make a lemon, ginger, honey tea. I thinly slice lemon, fresh ginger and a wildflower honey into a glass container and let the flavors mix in the fridge. I spoon out some of the juice and fruit mixture into a mug and add hot water. It makes several cups worth and keeps about a week in the fridge. The ginger is great for opening stuffy nasal passages too!

I love to make Lentil soup with organic vegetable broth, ginger, onion, lentils and leeks. I always make this when I feel a cold coming on and it usually does the trick!

I always increase my fresh ginger and hot pepper consumption at the slightest 'off' feeling. Lemons & garlic are part of the plan too. Come to think of it, I eat those items almost every day & I haven't been sick in a very long time - knock wood!

I like ginger,honey,and lemon warm water. works all the time.

Any time I feel a cold or sore throat starting, I make a mug of miso soup. It either stops what was starting or lessens it impact. It works better than anything from the drug store.

Soup! I haven't gotten sick since becoming vegan, but this soup energizes me when I need a pick-me-up. Start with a base of diced carrots, celery, garlic and onion sauteed in a little EVOO, then add in some chopped kale, zucchini, canellini beans, and enough veggie stock to cover all your ingredients; simmer until veggies are tender, and enjoy!