Cold Busting Shopping List + Chicken Soup Recipe

What you need to stay healthy and happy this cold and flu season

What you need to stay healthy and happy this cold and flu season

Turn up the volume on your immune system to combat colds before they knock you out! Here are some potent cold-busting foods to top your next shopping list. 

Cold Busting Shopping List

Chicken Soup[1] – the most requested food of cold sufferers.  Though its medicinal role isn’t clearly defined, a slew of doctors agree this all-time favorite has a certain je ne sais quoi that seems to work wonders. It may be the steaming broth acting as a decongestant, or a combination of some of the ingredients that elicit an anti-inflammatory response to the respiratory system.  Either way, few foods offer the same soothing combo of savory comfort and old-fashioned memories

Citrus fruits [2] contain a myriad of antioxidants including the star power of Vitamin C.  But it’s not all in the juice.  Most of the vitamin C in oranges is actually found in the peel (53 percent), while lesser amounts are found in the juice (23 percent) and the pulp and rind (21 percent).  Be sure to zest your fruit and stir it into your juice or your favorite recipe.

Garlic[3][4]has a distinctive role in enhancing immune function among its many health benefits.  It has also shown promise in moderating healthy cholesterol levels, antitumor activity and antioxidant properties.

Ginger [5]– contains several phytochemicals, including shogaol and zingerone which have anti-tussive and anti-inflammatory properties. This means they bring relief for cough and congestion from a cold or the flu.

Zinc- rich foods – zinc is a potent supporter of several different immune functions. Zinc- rich foods include mushrooms, fresh parsley, lean beef, low fat dairy and sesame seeds.


Additional Guidelines for Prevention

  • Wash hands frequently – this is the number one form of cold transmission
  • Avoid nutrient-poor foods which are processed, refined, fried, including sugar, excess fat & salt
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Moderate exercise (or lay off for a couple days if you’re feeling hammered)
  • Minimize stress
  • Optimal hydration; – drink plenty of fluids; especially if you have a fever 

Whether you’re trying to stay at the top of your game, or you’re already in the throes of a nasty cold, here are some recipes to tickle your palate while they chase away the chill.

Recipe: Spiced Chicken Soup

Yield: 2 quarts

No noodles here — a fragrant blend of spices punctuates this robust soup.   For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with garbanzo beans or cubes of firm tofu.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped. peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 cup diced fire-roasted tomatoes or 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 (12-ounce) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, without stems


  1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender but not brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add ginger and garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not brown garlic.
  3. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add spices and cook until very fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in sweet potato and simmer for about 4 minutes. Add chicken and simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with cilantro


[1] “Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro”  Rennard, B, Ronald F. Ertl, BS; Gail L. Gossman, BS; Richard A. Robbins, MD, FCCP and Stephen I. Rennard, MD, FCCP  Chest. 2000;118:1150-1157
[2] With permission from Stop the Clock! Cooking:  Defy Aging – Eat the Foods You Love, Penguin Group, 2003
[3] ” Garlic – A Natural Source of Cancer Preventive Compounds” Das, S. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2002;3(4):305-311
[4] “Garlic and aging: new insights into an old remedy” Rahman, K  Aging Res Rev. 2003 Jan;2(1):39-56
[5]  Pharmacological studies on ginger. I. Pharmacological actions of pungent constituents, (6)-gingerol and (6)-shogaol  Suekawa M, Ishige A, Yuasa K, Sudo K, Aburada M, Hosoya E. J Pharmacobiodyn. 1984 Nov; 7(11):836-48.
[6] “Recipe adapted from Stop the Clock! Cooking:  Defy Aging – Eat the Foods You Love, Penguin Group, 2003


© Cheryl Forberg 2016