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We've all heard the saying, "Feed a cold and starve a fever," but no one says with what. I have put together a menu from the things that I know are good for colds, together with those I find myself craving in this situation.
The only thing that puts me off my normal buttered toast is the sandpaper throat that heralds a cold. Problem is that most reasonably crispy cereals aren't much better, unless they are left to soak in milk until they have the same consistency as wallpaper paste. My solution is an omelette or scrambled egg with chives. It's easy to swallow, nourishing, and the anti-inflammatory effect of the chives can only be good. I don't worry about watching my salt intake when I have a cold, because my body clearly uses lots of it in the results of coughing or blowing my nose.
Suggested drinks - pure orange juice (for vitamin C content), cranberry juice (anti-inflammatory) or Earl Grey tea - the bergamot helps to clear the nasal passages. Chives and cranberry are also good for preventing secondary bacterial infections.
Ginger cake with Earl Grey tea. Ginger is a traditional treatment for colds or bronchitis, but its strong flavour can irritate a sensitive throat, so ginger cake is a better idea than the neat root. Since pineapple has anti-inflammatory effects, pineapple and ginger cake may be even better.
French Onion soup with strong garlic bread. Assuming that you aren't up to cooking, Baxters does a nice canned French Onion soup. Or maybe potato and leek soup (New Covent Garden chilled soup, if you can get it). Onion, leeks and garlic have similar, but stronger, effects, to those of chives. OK, you won't be nice to be near - but then you weren't looking to be generous with your cold germs anyway. If you have room for a dessert, what about a couple of mandarin oranges or clementines?
High juice lemonade or lemon barley, hot, cold or with honey, according to taste. Or Rosehip herb tea.
What else but chicken soup! Thyme and oregano are both good for colds, so it may be worth adding a little to taste. Noodles and mashed potato are both easy to swallow - or you might have some more garlic bread left. An individual trifle makes an indulgent dessert, easy to swallow, and with milk protein in the custard topping.
I only ever fancy mulled wine when I have a cold, but then I really enjoy it. Alternatively, a milky drink may help you to sleep, or, if you have a really irritating cough, a herb tea made from oregano, basil and cranberry will taste utterly disgusting, but, in my experience, gave me a solid night's sleep.
If you are prescribed anticoagulants, you should seek your doctor's advice before using garlic, cranberry or ginger.
Source: Personal experience and several herbal websites used to double-check facts.