Can you eat ice cream when you have a cold?

In this brief article, we will address the query, “Can you ice cream when you have a cold?”. Apart from this, we will also discuss the nutritional profile of ice cream, different recipes in which ice cream is used, and the benefits of eating ice cream during a cold.

Can you eat ice cream when you have a cold?

Yes, according to some studies you can eat ice cream when you have a cold. In fact. It is good to eat ice cream while you have a cold, as the ice cream helps to soothe sore throats and also decrease inflammation. 

Like all biological processes that are dependent on metabolic activity, the local immune response of the respiratory epithelium is slowed by a decrease in temperature. Chilling of the nasal airway may compromise the local immune defenses in the adenoid tissue in the nasopharynx as cooling of the adenoids will slow phagocytosis of viruses and bacteria and predispose to infection (2). 

But you should keep in mind that only a small quantity of ice cream is good while you have a cold, as ice cream in large quantities can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of the immune system. However, no scientific or clinical evidence has been found to support the idea that ingestion of cold products such as ice cream predisposes to sore throat or common cold. On the contrary rather than predisposing to causing sore throat there is a traditional use of cold products such as ice cream and ice lollies as a therapy to reduce post-operative pain of sore throat after tonsillectomy in children (2).

In Polen, the largest group of ice cream consumers are customers who consume them several times a year or once a month, more than 40% of consumers declare family ice cream 1‒3 times a month. The Ice Cream market in Poland is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% in US$ terms during 2015‒2020 (1).

Taste of ice cream

Ice cream has a sweet flavour. It is mostly flavoured with fruit, spices, and candy. The flavour of ice cream determines its colour. 

For instance, the colour of chocolate ice cream is brown, strawberry ice cream has pink colour, pistachio flavoured ice cream is green, and the colour of cherry flavoured ice cream is pink. The texture of ice cream is smooth which depends mainly on its quality.

The nutritional content of ice cream

Following are some of the nutrients found in ice cream (3):

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Cholesterol
  • Proteins
  • Vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, D, E and K
  • Fatty acids

Types of ice cream

Following are the six main types of ice cream:

  • Mochi ice cream: Mochi ice cream is very famous all across the world. Premium ice cream is taken and is wrapped in tasty and real mocha dough. Due to this, we can leave the spoon, and this ice cream can be taken wherever we go.
  • Gelato: Gelato ice cream was first introduced in Italy. To produce gelato ice cream, whole milk is required along with other elements of ordinary ice cream. Added cream is not needed for it. Because of this, the proportion of milk fat is much less in gelato ice cream as contrasted to regular ice cream. Gelato is served in a semi-frozen state resembling soft serve ice cream. It is more dense (contains less air) than ice cream.
  • Frozen yoghurt: Lately, this type of ice cream has obtained much popularity. Although some of the constituents of frozen yoghurt are the same as traditional ice cream, the proportion of fat is much lower. Due to the presence of yoghurt in it, it has a tart flavour. Frozen yogurt has no federal standard of identity, but it consists of a mixture of dairy ingredients, sweeteners, stabilizers, and flavors. Usually, frozen yogurt mix contains 10% cultured yogurt component and the titratable acidity of the mix is 0.3%. 
  • Sorbet: The amount of dairy in sorbet is nearly negligible. As frozen berries and sweetened water is utilized while making sorbet, so its texture is very light and so is its flavour. Sorbet and water ices have the same standards as sherbet except no milk or egg ingredient is allowed (except egg white).
  • Sherbet: Sherbet has much likeness to sorbet. It is a fruit-based frozen dessert but it also includes dairy. Fruit juice, milk or cream, egg whites, and in some circumstances, gelatin are used to make sherbet. Sherbet should contain not less than 1% milk fat and no more than 2% milk fat; milk solids-not-fat content should be not less than 2% and no more than 5%. The minimum weight requirement is 6 lb/per gallon. A fruit flavored sherbet should have a minimum acidity of 0.35% (4).

Different recipes in which ice cream is used as an ingredient

Ice cream can be used in making different dishes. Following are some recipes in which ice cream is used as an ingredient

  • Vanilla ice cream: Vanilla beans are boiled over medium flame in a small saucepan. After some time vanilla beans are taken out and the seeds of the bean are scraped. Egg yolks are beaten in stainless steel by using a wire whisk. In case lumps are formed, the mixture is strained before heating. 

Custard is removed from the heat and is stirred for a few minutes. Custard is firstly cooled to room temperature and then it is refrigerated for several hours. Ice cream made with pure vanilla extract is labeled Category I as vanilla ice Cream. Ice cream flavored with a mixture of vanilla extract and vanillin (a mixture of natural and artificial with the natural predominating) is labeled as Category II ice cream or vanilla flavored ice cream. The third type is called Category III and consists of any vanilla that is not Categories I and II. Such a product is labeled as artificially flavored vanilla ice cream (4). 

  • Ice cream rolls: After heating the base of the ice cream roll, Oreo cookies are submerged into hot ice cream. Next, the ice cream is rolled and then grabbed with some tongs and placed in a chilled bowl.

The benefits of eating ice cream

Following are some benefits of ice cream:

  • Source of vitamins: Many vitamins can be obtained from consuming ice cream which is good for health.
  • Milk proteins like lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase and immunoglobulin are known to have antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic and antifungal characteristics and they have important functions on people’s immune system (3).
  • Ice cream may be added with prebiotics, which are beneficial in prevention of diarrhea, osteoporosis, helps in the reduction of obesity risk and type-2 diabetes, and in the regulation of the immune system (3).

Disadvantages of ice cream

Following are some disadvantages (3).

  • Weight gain: Ice cream consists of a lot of calories so it can result in weight gain.
  • High in sugar: A lot of sugar is present in ice cream which can make us suffer from diabetes.
  • Low amount of nutrients: Ice cream is composed of negligible amounts of nutrients and hence is not much good to promote a healthy lifestyle. Ice cream does not contain many important minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin C, iron, zinc and copper. 

Other FAQs about Ice cream that you may be interested in.

Can you eat ice cream after eating fish?

Can you eat ice cream on a diet?

Can you eat cookie dough ice cream when pregnant?

Can you eat ice cream that has melted and refrozen?


In this brief article, we have addressed the query, “Can you ice cream when you have a cold?”. Aside from this, we have also discussed the nutritional content of ice cream, different recipes in which ice cream is used, and the benefits of ice cream.


  1. Palka, Agnieszka. Making purchase decisions on ice cream market. Marketing i Zarządzanie, 2017, 48, 53-62.
  2. Eccles, Ronald, and J. E. Wilkinson. Exposure to cold and acute upper respiratory tract infection. Rhinology, 2015, 53, 99-106.
  3. Arslaner, Ayla, and Mehmet Ali Salik. Functional ice cream technology. Akademik Gıda, 2020, 18, 180-189.
  4. Kilara, Arun, Ramesh C. Chandan, and Y. H. Hui. Ice cream and frozen desserts. Handbook of food products manufacturing, 2007, 593-633.