Imagine this. Your throat is scratchy, you nose is stuffed and your head is throbbing in pain. You feel miserable and your appetite has all but disappeared. You don’t want to eat, but you know you’ve got to have something or else you’ll get worse.
Food is an essential part of healing. It provides all the necessary vitamins and nutrients for your body’s natural defense system. These are the best foods to eat when you’re feeling sick and down in the dumps:
Honey is a natural sweetener and has been used for thousands of years as an antibacterial salve for wounds. This is because honey has many natural compounds that can stop bacterial and fungal growth. Honey is still used in certain homeopathic and traditional treatments around the world.
Nowadays, honey is a popular home remedy for sore throats. This is because it’s able to coat the affected part of your throat and reduce pain. Honey is also very good for those who are coughing. To consume honey, melt one or two tablespoons of it into warm water and sip slowly.
2. Chicken Soup
Any type of chicken soup is great for clearing stuffed noses. A study has even showed that chicken soup works better than any other liquid in easing congestion due to a cold. If you’re consuming chicken soup, it should be warmed up first. This is because the steam and vapors are important for clearing stuffy noses.
Chicken soup is also rich in cystein, an amino acid that has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antioxidant properties. Apart from that it has the vitamins, minerals and proteins needed by your immune system to fight off infections.When you’re making chicken soup, remember to put in plenty of vegetables like carrots, turnips, radish, tomatoes and the like to make it even more nutritious.
3. Citrus Fruits
Oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits are essential when you’re recovering from an infection. They’re a very rich source of vitamin C which your body needs to fight off bacteria,viruses and other germs.
If you have a hard time swallowing, consider drinking the juice of these fruits instead. Make lemonade or orange crush, or cut some of these fruits and soak them in some cool water for home made vitamin water.
4. Coconut Water
Coconut water is the best natural way to replenish your body of electrolytes. The loss of electrolytes happen when you sweat a lot, are vomiting or have diarrhea. Dehydration from any of these symptoms can be deadly for your body, so getting water into your system is important.
Coconut water is not too sweet, and it has all the important Vitamins and minerals to ensure that your body regains its moisture balance. It’s also easier to drink if you’re nauseous and can’t hold anything solid down.
5. Yogurt and Yogurt Drinks
Yogurt is particularly useful for those who have had to take antibiotics. This is because a long run of antibiotics actually destroys the good bacteria with the bad. Good bacteria, especially in your gut, is important for keeping bad bacteria in check.
In order to replenish the good bacteria in your digestive system, you should consume yogurt and other similar foods like Kefir or yogurt drinks. Try to add oats and fruits to your yogurt to make it even healthier.
6. Rice Congee
Eating rice porridge or congee when sick is a common practice in Asia. This is because porridge is easy to swallow and soft. Usually, some fish, minced meat and small pieces of vegetables are cooked with rice to make a one pot meal that’s easy on the stomach.
Rice porridge is also very comforting and is the ideal way for getting food into someone who’s been throwing up. Feverish people will feel warmer after consuming this dish too. Plain rice porridge can also be served with preserved or salted eggs, meats and vegetables to make them more appealing.
7. Herbal Soups
In Chinese culture, those who are sick or recovering are often fed a tonic or herbal soup. These soups have a wide variety of properties depending on their ingredients. Medicinal roots, berries, flowers and tree barks are the usual components.
These herbs are then boiled with chicken, preserved seafood or pork. If you’re feeling under the weather you can always drop by the local Chinese Medicine shop and describe your symptoms to the shopkeeper who will weigh out the necessary ingredients and give you instructions on how they should be prepared.
8. Salmon Fish
Any type of fish is actually good when you’re sick. This is especially true for people who are recovering from and injury or surgery. This is because fish is a good source of protein that’s needed for muscle cells to regrow and re-form. Among the healthiest fish to consume is Salmon.
Salmon is a fatty fish that’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help keep cholesterol and other ‘bad fats’ in check for a healthier heart and better immune system. The best way to prepare salmon is to steam it or bake it with a bit of salt and lemon juice.
9. Green Leafy Vegetables
Cabbages, lettuce, broccoli, kale, spinach and other leafy green vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties. This means that these vegetables can help reduce any pain or discomfort you may be feeling. Leafy greens are also full of vitamins and high in fibers.
10. Ginger Tea
When your stomach just won’t settle down and you feel bloated, it’s time for some ginger tea. Nowadays ginger tea can be found pre-made in tea bags or in powder form. Just make some ginger tea and your stomach discomforts should ease down.
Ginger tea is also good for those having nausea and vomiting as it helps relieve that symptom. Some people find that adding a slice of lemon to the tea improves its effectiveness and taste too.
When you were sick growing up, what were the things your parents made for you? Does your country have a custom of eating certain foods when one is sick? Whatever you’re eating though, just make sure you’re getting enough rest and plenty of water.
Check out our post on how to eat to prevent cancer. You’ll notice that in any case, lots of fruits and vegetables are definitely beneficial to your diet.