10 Foods That Will Help You Fight a Summer Cold

Updated: Oct. 08, 2023

Fighting a summer cold is the worst—but you can feel better by eating whole foods high in nutrients. Your best bets will be citrus, spinach and vegetables.

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Can You Get a Cold in the Summer?

If you’ve ever had a sore throat, cough or scratchy throat in the summer, you might’ve just passed it off as seasonal allergies. But that thing that usually happens in the winter can sneak up on you during the warm months too.

Here are a few beneficial foods that’ll help you get over that summer cold and back outside tanning in that warm summer sun.

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Fresh Mandarin Oranges on a White Background
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Citrus Fruits

Any time you want to boost your immunity, vitamin C is a great place to start. So stock up on citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and tangerines to see you through this summer cold.

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Bunch of fresh green broccoli on brown plate over wooden background
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Broccoli

Another great source of vitamin C is broccoli, which is also high in antioxidants, omega 3s and anti-inflammatory components. You’ll get benefits any way you eat it, whether roasted, steamed or sautéed. For maximum cold-fighting power, however, eat it raw.

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Fresh spinach leaves in colander on wood
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Spinach

When you want a refreshing meal that also fights illness, summer salads are a great choice. Make them even better by adding a few bunches of spinach and you’ll sneak in some high vitamin C levels into your meal. Find all kinds of delicious spinach salad recipes to try.

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fresh blueberries
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Blueberries

The rich antioxidant content of blueberries makes them a great choice any time you have a cold. But this is even truer in summer when the fruits are in season. You can eat them on their own, throw them into smoothies or use them in these blueberry salad recipes.

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Different types of tomatoes, dark background.
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Tomatoes

Like blueberries, tomatoes are a seasonal summer food with lots of health benefits. High in both vitamin C and the carotenoid lycopene, tomatoes give your body added fuel to fight illness.

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Garlic Cloves and Bulb in vintage wooden bowl
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Garlic

Turns out there’s more to love about garlic than Italian food. It can help ease sickness, too. That’s because this fragrant ingredient contains allicin, a substance that the body converts into health-boosting compounds. In other words, garlic may be able to stimulate your immune system and help you get better faster.

Have you ever heard a better reason to try our recipes for garlic lovers?

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Bowl of yogurt with berries and oatmeal
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Yogurt

Rich in probiotics and vitamin D, yogurt is another great tool in your arsenal against summer sickness. The probiotics help fight off infections and encourage healthy digestion, and the vitamin D strengthens your overall resistance to illness.

Incorporate more of the gut-healthy probiotics into your routine with these recipes with yogurt.

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White cup of healthy hibiscus tea pouring from the teapot with dried hibiscus flowers on white wooden background, winter hot drink concept for cold and flu
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Tea

Many different types of tea are good for cold season, especially when you’re combating a scratchy throat or cough. Soothe your sore throat with the spicy and anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger tea, or sip your way toward healing through the soothing, infection-fighting power of ginseng tea.

Learn more about the mind-blowing health benefits of tea.

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fried egg with green spinach
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Eggs

Because their yolks are high in vitamin D, eggs are another great cold-fighting choice. Vitamin D can both strengthen and regulate the immune system, moving your body toward feeling better faster.

Bored with your usual breakfast? Check out these healthy egg breakfast ideas.

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Pumpkin seeds in blue bowl over wooden background close up
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Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins may be a fall food, traditionally speaking, but their seeds are another cold-fighting summer staple. That’s because pumpkin seeds (and pepitas) are high in zinc, which is vital for a properly functioning metabolism and immunity. Snack on them while you’re nursing your symptoms, and know you’re helping your body heal.

For even more ideas, check out these foods to eat when you have the common cold.