As we find ourselves in the midst of flu season, your food choices have the power to make a significant impact on how you fend off a cold and recover.

It's no secret that many people turn to chicken soup for its comforting and healing properties.

Colds and flu tend to worsen in autumn and as we approach winter due to declining temperatures, which can suppress the immune system and create conditions that make it easier for these illnesses to spread.

Read more: Get rid of under eye bags, dark circles and reduce the appearance of tired eyes with these anti-ageing tips

In the last week, online searches for 'how long does a cold last' have surged over 4,150% in Ireland, suggesting that flu sufferers are turning to Google to get advice on symptoms and treatments. To support flu sufferers, a culinary expert has shared her favourite foods to eat when suffering from a cold.

HelloFresh Ireland's Head of Culinary, Hannah Duxbury, comments: “Flu season calls for comforting soups and stews. In the battle against a cold, ingredients like garlic, known for its antimicrobial properties, lemon, packed with vitamin C, may boost our immune system, and herbs like thyme, may offer anti-inflammatory support.

Choosing the right foods is crucial, but also avoiding greasy, processed, high-salt, and unsaturated fat-rich foods is equally as important. These choices can worsen symptoms and extend the recovery period.”

Here are Hannah and the team at HelloFresh Ireland's picks for her favourite comfort foods when you have a cold or flu:

Nana's Chicken Soup with Soda Bread

A rich, slow-simmered broth, tender chunks of chicken, and an array of root vegetables including carrots, parsnips, celery, and onions, along with herbs like parsley and thyme. The root vegetables provide essential nutrients, while the herbs may contribute to the soup's anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Paired with crispy soda bread, makes this an ideal choice for soothing colds, offering both sustenance and solace.

Culinary expert shares four quick and easy ways to ease flu symptoms
Culinary expert shares four quick and easy ways to ease flu symptoms

Garlic & Herb Butter Toast

Elevate your toast game by spreading a mixture of minced garlic, butter, and fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or thyme on warm, crusty bread. This not only adds a burst of flavour but also enhances the aromatic richness, creating homemade garlic bread. It's a simple yet delicious way to enjoy the immune-boosting benefits of garlic.

Honey and Lemon Porridge

Enhance your morning porridge by drizzling it with honey and a squeeze of lemon. This combination not only adds sweetness but also harnesses the antibacterial properties of honey and the vitamin C in lemon.

Citrusy Yoghurt Parfait

Whip up a delicious and nutritious citrus yoghurt parfait by layering plain yoghurt with segments of oranges or grapefruits. This combination provides the probiotics from yoghurt and the immune-boosting vitamin C from citrus fruits.

For more quick meal inspiration, try HelloFresh Ireland’s Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup or their Hearty Vegetable Stew.

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