With flu and cold season comes lots of misery for many people, especially if your immune system isn’t up to par. When you’re ill, your body needs more calories to function normally – so throw that myth of starving a fever out the window.
Your body has to work harder than normal when you’re sick to fight infection, particularly a fever. Eating smaller portions of food more frequently can be a good idea for providing steady fuel to boost recovery.
Whether you find yourself with a little sniffle, an upset stomach, or a fever and chills, eating certain foods and avoiding others can help you feel better and battle it quicker.
Avoiding processed foods
Certain foods can make your illness worse by putting the body under even more stress. That includes processed, sugary foods and fast food which suppresses the immune system and contributes to excess inflammation.
Anything that contains toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners, dyes or preservatives should be avoided. Of course, these should be avoided even when you are healthy – to help keep you from getting sick.
Spicy foods, good for some, not so much for others
If you’re experiencing stomach upset, avoid spicy foods which can make things worse. For cold sufferers, spicy foods can help relieve nasal congestion.
Eat these foods
The best way to get rid of that cold or flu as quickly as possible is to drink plenty of liquids (water or herbal tea, not soda) and lots of immune boosting foods like organic fruits and vegetables.
Eating homemade chicken soup isn’t an old wives’ tale. It can help relieve cold symptoms as the chicken contains an amino acid known as cysteine which helps to thin mucus in the lungs.
The warm broth works to keep nasal passages moist and prevents dehydration too. Toss in some garlic which serves as an antibiotic and has consistently been found to lessen the severity of colds and other infections.
Remember, soup in a can or a box won’t do – homemade chicken soup has been found to offer anti-inflammatory properties that decrease cold symptoms, but processed junk will just make things worse.
Sipping hot tea, particularly green tea which is packed with infection-fighting antioxidants to support the immune system, is known to help reduce congestion and soothe a sore throat. Add some raw honey which offers excellent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties as well as being an effective cough suppressant.
If you’re suffering from stomach upset, eating bananas, rice and applesauce (just apples and water, no sugar added) helps to give your digestive system a break while replacing essential nutrients that are lost if you’ve got diarrhea or have been vomiting.
Numerous studies have found that ginger is quite effective for preventing and soothing nausea as well as other digestive ailments like constipation, bloating and vomiting. Pouring some boiling water over a few fresh slices of ginger and enjoying it as a tea is a great way to help your stomach feel better.
Incorporating these wonderfully healthy foods into your diet, along with getting plenty of rest, is a sure fire way to help your body recover – and help you stay healthy in the long term.
-The Alternative Daily