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The fact and fiction of common cold cures

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The fact and fiction of common cold cures

While we’re sorry to say there’s no magic cure when it comes to getting rid of your cold, there are often claims certain foods and supplements can provide some level of relief.

So what are some of the most common remedies for aiding symptoms, and are they fact or fiction?

Vitamin C

Unfortunately, for most people Vitamin C does not reduce the severity or number of colds you can get.

The exception to this are those who are very physically active e.g. skiers, soldiers and marathon runners exercising in very cold conditions. Studies have shown that vitamin C can actually halve their chances of getting a cold!


While it has not been proven to assist with the severity of colds, a review of studies in healthy adults found that taking at least 75 mg of zinc within 24 hours of symptoms occurring shortened the duration of colds by about one-third!

Keep in mind that taking too much zinc can trigger a copper deficiency, so be sure to stop the supplements as soon as you’re back to full health.

Chicken soup

There’s nothing better than sitting down with a nice warm soup when you’re sick, and some research has actually shown that comfort foods, such as chicken soup, can help us feel better!

Another study on chicken soup found it can help fight infection and aid recovery from respiratory tract infections.

It’s also been suggested that chicken soup can stimulate smell and taste receptors, allowing for increased nasal mucus flow - therefore clearer breathing.

Try Hannah's chicken noodle soup.

Our tips

To minimise your chances of coming down with a cold some good tips are:

  • Eat a variety of healthy, nutritious foods every day (including vitamin C rich foods)

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Always wash your hands before preparing and eating food

  • If you do catch a cold, stay hydrated, rest up and you should be feeling better in no time!

Take a look at the full article on The Conversation here.

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Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

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