Tired of Being Sick? How Our Family Naturally Kicks a Cold

Foods to Eat (and Those to Avoid) When a Cold Strikes


 Foods to Eat/Drink:

1) Lots of Fluids.


Pure and simple, hydration means lots of water, at least the daily recommendation of 8-10 glasses (if not more). Adding a slice of lemon not only makes it taste great, but also helps clean and purify the body.

Our bodies need lots of extra fluids when we’re fighting a cold. Water also helps flush the bowels, which can clear the body of infection.

Our family avoids coffee and alcohol during this time since these dehydrate cells (the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do).

Instead of coffee, we drink teas, juices and smoothies. And speaking of those…

2) Juicing.


A great way to get needed fluids (and vitamins) is juicing! There are several books with juicing combinations for lotnatural ways fight colds of ailments. One of my favorites is Juicing for Life.

Often when I feel a cold coming on, I reach for my juicer (this is the one we use and love!) 

and pick one of Juicing for Life’s recommended cold-fighting combos. Sometimes I modify the recipe based on what I have on hand, and I usually include garlic (because of its very potent antiviral and antibiotic properties), ginger root (also great for immune-boosting) and carrots (high in vitamin C).

3) Smoothies.


Smoothies are super because they make it easy to ingest lots of fruits (and even deep leafy greens, which are full of antioxidants), plus give lots of hydration. An ice-cold smoothie also feels great on a sore throat!

Get an awesome smoothie recipe, plus all the remedies in this post (and many more!) in a printable format. Go HERE!


natural ways fight coldA quick note here about making an awesome smoothie: I swear by my Vita Mix.

I’m not joking when I say that we use this amazing appliance at least once a day in our house!

And when we’re sick? Our Vita-Mix is happily whirring along several times a day.

Our Vita-Mix really does make our smoothies incredibly well-blended unlike any other, which is important when creating real-fruit smoothies.

Two things that we watch when making a smoothie:

  • First, we add only dairy-free protein powder (no whey—that’s milk protein); and
  • Second, we try to include low-sugar, high antioxidant fruits like frozen berries.

Get one of our family’s favorite cold-busting smoothie recipes here in the free guide! (TK–LINK)

4) Soups.


Anything that’s hot and full of fluid works wonders to flush out a cold (especially when it’s chock full of vegetables and spices). Remember, hydration is the key, right?

I would recommend avoiding soups with butter or cream bases.

Here’s a healthy recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup, and one for another family favorite–Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup!

Food/Drink to Avoid:

1) Avoid sugar, especially refined sugar.


Sugar weakens the immune system, thus making it harder to fight a cold.

Of course, nearly everything has some form of sugar in it (if you think of it in terms of carbohydrates).

Essentially, what we’ve found is that removing highly sugared items such as soda, candy, desserts, and items with white flours makes a huge difference in fighting a cold.

Most fruit has a high level of water and nutrition, but does have some sugar. When fighting a cold, our family looks at each fruit individually and tries to consume those that have the highest nutritional content and a lower sugar level.

Want to know our favorite fruits for kicking a cold, plus other awesome natural cold remedies? Go here!

Want More Natural Ways to Get Over a Cold?

You’ve got to download the FREE Ultimate Guide to Naturally Kicking a Cold!

This free, 15-page guide contains:

  • Our family’s #1 tip for kicking a cold!
  • Awesome essential oil recipes
  • Cold-Busting Berry Smoothie Recipe
  • DIY Cold Remedy Tea recipe
  • Info on fruits and veggies that encourage healing
  • 5 other powerful natural remedies

Best of all? The Ultimate Guide to Naturally Kicking a Cold gathers all these natural remedies (including those in this post!) into one printable document for your ongoing reference!



Other Posts on Natural Ways to Help Your Family:

Essential Oils for Kids: How to Easily Treat Owies, Bug Bites & More 

Essential oils are our family's first line of defense when colds, owies, tummy aches or other everyday childhood ailments strike. Great post about which oils work best for which issue and best practices for using essential oils with kids!


Ultimate List DIY Natural Cleaning Recipes for Your Home

Want to know how to make natural household cleaning recipes that actually work? Look no further! You’ll LOVE this list of 18 all-natural cleaning recipes to clean every room in your home—window cleaners, kitchen counter wipes, tile/grout cleaners, and so much more! All these recipes (plus recommended supplies), for FREE, in one place?! YES!!


If you liked this post, please pin and share it with a friend!

Stuck with a cold? You've GOT to try these! Here are 10 POWERFUL and natural ways to fight a cold! Great knowledge to store away for the next time your family is sick!



About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Previous 1 2 3

Leave a Reply 37 comments

Kristi Clover - January 22, 2014 Reply

Soups are the best! Especially homemade ones, right!? 🙂

    Alicia - January 24, 2014 Reply

    Ha, ha! Yes, Kaycee! Your soup was a lifesaver that night! 🙂 P.S. Love that you commented here! 🙂

Ann - October 23, 2015 Reply

This is a wonderfully thorough list! The only thing I would add would be “a good book!” 🙂

    Alicia Michelle - October 23, 2015 Reply

    Thank you, Ann! Yes, LOL… good books are always important when a cold strikes! 🙂 Love it. 🙂

Carol Van Der Woude - October 23, 2015 Reply

Excellent suggestions. I developed a cold while I was away from home–away from my teas, elderberry juice and garlic. I resorted to Cold-Eeze to help me thru a couple days until I could get to my home remedies. The Cold-Eeze was helpful, probably because it has zinc in it.

    Alicia Michelle - October 23, 2015 Reply

    We have never tried Cold-Eeze, but I’ve heard good things about it. Thanks for the tip!

Long Ladies - October 23, 2015 Reply

What a helpful list! Our family does most of this, but those added tips will definitely tested out. Thanks for sharing!

    Alicia Michelle - October 24, 2015 Reply

    Hi Haley! I’m so glad you found these tips helpful! Thanks for sharing and visiting!

nourishingmyscholar - October 23, 2015 Reply

Awesome recommendations! We use many of these in our family.

    Alicia Michelle - October 24, 2015 Reply

    Fantastic! Glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for stopping by!

Gale - October 23, 2015 Reply

You’ve named many of my faves. The mucus thing with dairy was something I just recently learned about, and it really does make a huge difference.

Also, Cold-Eaze at the first sign of the cold has cut several colds short (not sure about that for kids though…I’ve only used that on myself) And for coughs, eucalyptis is great (boil some in water and breath the fumes). Hot steamy showers also help clear the sinuses.

    Alicia Michelle - October 24, 2015 Reply

    Hi Gale,

    Yes, the mucus-dairy connection is HUGE. We don’t usually eat dairy in my home and I notice that when we do my kids start to develop a runny nose and cough a little (even if they’re not sick). It’s crazy!

    Yes, breathing Eucalyptus oil or Peppermint oil via steam or a diffuser is awesome for opening breathing passages. We’ve had success with that too. Thanks for sharing your favorites!

Erin @ Stay At Home Yogi - January 22, 2016 Reply

Great suggestions! Definitely pinning! 🙂

    Alicia Michelle - January 23, 2016 Reply

    Thank you so much, Erin! Glad you found them helpful! Appreciate that you’re sharing with others about it too!

Suzette - February 22, 2016 Reply

2 out of 4 of us have colds right now. What a perfect post for our family! Thanks for the tips!

    Alicia Michelle - February 25, 2016 Reply

    Hi Suzette! While I’m not glad to hear you have colds (boo!) I’m glad this info is helpful! Blessings to you!

Forest Rose - February 22, 2016 Reply

We love essential oils for sure! But we have recently come across a new product that is wonderful also — Emercen-C for kids. We use this at the first sign of anything in the house and it cuts it short. Love it. Thanks for all the other tips here too.

Marilyn Lesniak - February 22, 2016 Reply

This list is perfect. Yesterday in Michigan it was mild and 50’s. Tomorrow we are getting 6-10″ of snow! Thank you for sharing at #overthemoon. Pinned and tweeted.

    Alicia Michelle - February 25, 2016 Reply

    Whoa! Now that’s a serious change in weather! Definitely makes it easy to get sick! I’m so glad you found value in the post and thank you so much for sharing the info so that others can learn about these natural ways to fight a cold!

Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood - February 29, 2016 Reply

Love this! We try to keep things as natural as possible in our house, especially since I’ve been pregnant/nursing/pregnant for the past 2.5 years. Can’t wait to try some of these – a neti pot is one of my favorites.

    Alicia Michelle - February 29, 2016 Reply

    Hi Morgan! Awesome! I hope you’re able to find some new favorites that will help your family!

Aletha Oglesby, M.D. - March 1, 2016 Reply

Alicia, first, thank you for the disclaimer about no intent to give medical advice. I wish everyone who writes about medical topics would do that. And I appreciate your reminder that antibiotics are not a rational approach to colds either.
I think most of your suggestions are helpful for comfort while waiting for the cold to run its course in 10-14 days. My ENT and allergy colleagues often advise the use of Neti pots or something equivalent. And most of us can benefit from more sleep. I applaud your proactive approach to keeping your family healthy.

    Alicia Michelle - March 1, 2016 Reply

    Hi Aletha,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your take on these methods! I appreciate your feedback as a medical expert!

Heather Marie - March 2, 2016 Reply

Great ideas! We use the Neti pot in our house and it works wonders! It can be tough to get used to, but truly helpful 🙂 Our house is fighting a cold right now so I’ll have to try some of your tips 🙂

    Alicia Michelle - March 2, 2016 Reply

    Yay! Fantastic! Love it, Heather. I know what you’re saying about the neti pot! It’s kind of an unusual experience, but once you feel the relief of being clear, it’s worth it! Feel better soon!

Karen - March 2, 2016 Reply

Totally needed this blog today… 3 kids getting colds. I love teas to open up your head and often tell my kids that “sleep is medicine.” going to try some of the others… especially berries! a delicious remedy!

    Alicia Michelle - March 2, 2016 Reply

    Awesome! Love hearing that it was “right on time” for you! Fantastic. Let me know which remedy works best for you!

Essential Homestead - March 4, 2016 Reply

Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop at essentialhomestead.com. We use alot of these natural ways. Great post.

Rina I Thee Cook - March 5, 2016 Reply

Great info! Thanks so much for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop! I can’t wait to see what you bring next week!

Christia Colquitt - March 6, 2016 Reply

Essential oils and soups are my go to. Great list to hang onto for when a cold strikes.

Holly @ While I'm Waiting... - March 6, 2016 Reply

Great suggestions! Thank you for sharing with us at Faith Filled Parenting!

Audrey - March 22, 2016 Reply

As an allergy sufferer, I love my neti pot. It washes out any irritants in my nasal passages but more importantly it releases the pressure in my head within minutes of use (if not during use!). Thanks for sharing on #FridayFrivolity. Please join us again next week.

Leave a Reply: