When you don’t feel well, food might be the last thing on your mind – and this time of year, many people feel less than their best. Each year, Americans get more than 1 billion colds, and 5 to 20 percent of Americans get the flu. This year, nearly 3 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
It is important to stay hydrated and eat healthy foods, even when you’re feeling under the weather. Your immune system needs fuel from calories to help you feel better, after all!
Here are some ideas for what to eat if you’re feeling under the weather:
Chicken soup. Not only is chicken soup an easy-to-eat source of fluids that will help you stay hydrated, but it might even have a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect that can help speed recovery.
Broth. Broth is a delicious and nutritious way to stay hydrated. If you are salt-sensitive or looking after your cholesterol levels, consider a low-sodium option.
Garlic. Did you know that garlic can help you not only avoid illness, but help you recover faster when you do get sick? Try adding fresh garlic (or seasoning) to chicken soup and broth to boost their flavor and make them even more effective at fighting off symptoms.
Ginger. Have you ever popped open a can of Ginger Ale when you’re feeling under the weather? Ginger is a traditional method for relieving nausea, but this spice can also provide pain relief as an anti-inflammatory. It also boosts immunity to help fight infections that cause sore throats. Keep in mind, it is best to consume real ginger or ginger extract, not flavoring.
Bananas. Easy to eat, mild in flavor, and a decent source of calories, bananas are a great food to eat when you are sick. Part of the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast), this fruit is often recommended to treat nausea, and can also help relieve an upset stomach, thanks to the fiber they contain.
Oatmeal. Like bananas, oatmeal is mild-flavored and easy to eat, while providing calories, vitamins and minerals. If possible, avoid artificially flavored oatmeal with lots of added sugar because this can dehydrate your body and increase inflammation. Instead, sweeten your oats by adding a small amount of honey or fruit.
For more information about what to do when you’re sick with the cold or COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Information in this blog post is not and should not be substituted for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing severe symptoms of the cold or COVID-19, we encourage you to contact your health care provider.
Written by: Chelsea Anderson, LCFB Marketing Coordinator