Skip to contentSkip to navigation

Myth to Fact — 10 minutes

Eating oranges helps cure a cold

It's a myth!

Unfortunately, this myth is quite persistent! Because oranges are rich in vitamin C, we believe – falsely – that eating them can help cure a cold.

Let us be clear: after the onset of cold symptoms, eating oranges or drinking orange juice is not an effective treatment. However, we do know that when oranges are eaten before symptoms appear and in sufficient quantities (the equivalent of three oranges per day, according to studies), the vitamin C ingested can help reduce the duration of the symptoms. That is good news!

It is worth noting that the most convincing research points to the taking of zinc supplements as the most effective way of reducing the severity and duration of cold symptoms. Be careful, however, how much you consume, because too much zinc can lead to a permanent loss of smell! Consult a health care professional before taking zinc supplements.

Read more: How to protect yourself and treat the common ailments of winter.