You can’t go wrong when snacking on berries of all kinds—especially since they’re the best foods for a cold. That’s because berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries—which have loads of health benefits—are a hydrating source of vitamin C. “Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant and plays an important role in immune function,” explains Alex Miller, RDN, a corporate dietitian consultant in Grand Rapids, MI. She recommends getting your fill using fresh berries when possible: Add them to yogurt, cereal, salads, or smoothies. “Have fun with it—make a parfait with low-fat yogurt, fresh berries, nuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.” Healthy foods like berries can also help support a healthy immune system—here are 50 other ways to avoid catching a cold this season.
Chock-full of potassium, as well as other powerful nutrients such as fiber and vitamin B6, bananas are about as good as it gets when it comes to strengthening your immune system. Additionally, studies have found that the electrolytes in bananas have seriously impressive energy-boosting benefits, which certainly comes in handy when you’re feeling fatigued from a cold. Miller recommends adding a dollop of nut butter on a plain, sliced banana for a heart-healthy snack, or tossing some slices into your oatmeal, low-fat yogurt, or unsweetened cereal. You can also add them to smoothies and baked goods, like muffins, pancakes, and bread. For more-instant relief, try one of these natural cold remedies that really work.