The 12 best get-healthy foods to eat when sick
When not feeling well, some of the most important things you can do to feel better and recover quicker are to rest, drink plenty of fluids and fuel your body with healthy foods. No one likes or wants to be sick and when it happens, a speedy recovery is all you want. And good food choices are a big part of that. That’s why it’s imperative to choose foods known for boosting your immune system fighting off the illness and setting you back on the road to wellness.
While no food alone can cure sickness, eating the right foods can support your body’s immune functioning helping relieve certain symptoms. These foods have that extra bit of magic elixir that goes above and beyond what others may offer.
If your appetite has not flown out the window when sick, go ahead and eat some (if not all) of the following 12 foods while you recuperate. These are some of the best get-healthy foods that will help you turn the tide from being sick to being well:
1. Chicken soup – All food lists advising what to eat when sick include chicken soup. This perennial favorite is a must when under the weather as it provides fluids and electrolytes along with anti-inflammatory properties propping up your immune system. You can use canned chicken soup but the best tasting is homemade.
2. Garlic – Raw garlic is a natural remedy for fighting colds and flu. If you don’t mind bad breath, one popular fold remedy is to eat a spoonful of raw, chopped garlic cloves – garlic contains a powerful antibacterial compound called allicin which is thought to improve immune functioning.
3. Green tea – There are various compounds in green tea that may stimulate your immune system and may slow down the growth and proliferation of some pathogens. Plus it provides fluids we need when not feeling well.
4. Honey – If you have a cough, remember to try honey. There have been studies showing that honey is effective at reducing cough frequency and improving sleep quality. Honey does have a soothing effect on the throat and when mixed with lemon juice – it’s a great combo providing natural, soothing relief easing discomfort. Never give honey to an infant younger than 1 year of age as it carries a risk of botulism.
5. Broth – Similar to chicken soup, broths are excellent sources of hydration when feeling sick. Rich in flavor, they also contain vitamins and minerals along with potassium and phosphorus. They also make you feel satisfied without feeling overly full if your tummy is queasy.
6. Coconut water – Here is another excellent hydrator, particularly if you are experiencing vomiting, diarrhea or running a fever. This sweet and flavorful drink not only contains glucose but also electrolytes needed for re-hydration.
7. Ginger – If you’re feeling nauseated or throwing up, reach for ginger. It has been shown to be effective for relieve nausea in addition to having antioxidant and antimicrobial effects.
8. Bananas – Looking for a food that is ready to eat? Bananas are your answer. Easy to chew and bland in flavor, bananas provide some soluble fiber which can help to relive diarrhea while still providing calories and nutrients.
9. Oatmeal – Here is another bland but not boring food to eat when sick. Oatmeal not only will provide calories, vitamins and minerals but also can stimulate the immune system by decreasing inflammation in the gut. This just might help relieve any symptoms of intestinal cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.
10. Yogurt – Here is an excellent food to eat when sick. The probiotics found in yogurt can create a healthier gut while improving immune function. It is also rich in important nutrients of calcium, potassium and protein.
11. Avocados – The only fruit to contain fat yet that fat it contains provides a substance called oleic acid, helping to reduce inflammation which plays a role in immune function. Its healthy monounsaturated fat is the same type found in olive oil and avocados are also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
12. Berries – All fruit can be beneficial when sick – each are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, supporting your body and immune system. But berries rise to the top and should be by your bedside when not feeling well. The reason? Berries contain a compound called anthocyanins, known for having anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune-boosting effects. Anthocyanins also provide the vibrant red, blue and purple colors of berries such as strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
Several studies have found that fruit extracts high in anthocyanins can inhibit common viruses and bacteria from attaching to cells. They also stimulate the body’s immune response meaning you are likely to have a speedier recovery.
Be sure to add some berries to a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt or blend frozen berries into a cold smoothing to soothe a sore throat.