Weighing In: Will fasting help my immune system?

Heather Reese Health Guide
  • Question: I have a terrible cold that I have been trying to get rid of. We've all been told to have chicken soup and drink orange juice to help get rid of a cold. However, I have also read that fasting helps build the immune system. So, am I better off eating chicken soup and orange juice or fasting?

    Answer: Colds are caused by viruses, which do not respond to medications or other remedies. Hot liquids can help soothe a sore throat and relieve congestion by breaking up mucous secretions, but they will not cure your cold. People usually recommend orange juice for immunity because of its high Vitamin C content, however researchers do not agree on its efficacy against the common cold and flu. Unfortunately, you just have to let your cold run it’s course.
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    You have probably heard the old wives tale that you should starve a cold, but actually you should not restrict calories when your body is working to fight illness. And nothing boosts the immune system like a well-balanced diet.
Published On: January 17, 2007