It’s that time of year: The final stretch of the quarter is upon us and finals are around the corner. Things are going well until the inevitable hits: cold and flu season. It can only be expected that this is the time of year during which colds are being passed around. Many of us are working hard and are exhausted, and the last thing we need is to get bogged down by an illness. Although getting sick can often cause people to lose their appetites, it is important to remember to keep eating to keep your body strong. Typically, the more calories you take in while you are sick, the better off you will be, because it will give your immune system the energy it needs to fight. Whether you’re trying to escape the sickness or are already fighting something, try some of these foods to help beat it.
It’s not just a myth. Soup is good for you and can actually help you feel better when you’re sick. Broth-based soup in particular is very healthy because the broth will help provide the fluids needed to keep you hydrated and soothe your throat. Chicken soup is an even better option because the chicken contains amino acids that can help reduce congestion. It also contains zinc, which is known to help reduce the duration of a cold. The soup has nutrients that will help fight bacteria and viruses, so go out and grab yourself a can or two of some good old chicken noodle.
This may be surprising to some of you, but popsicles can actually help with a cold. When you’re not feeling well, you might not feel like eating a heavy meal, so they can be an excellent choice. Hydration is an important part of staying healthy, and popsicles will help prevent you from becoming dehydrated without having to consume large amounts of water at a time. Popsicles can help decrease congestion, and the coldness can numb your throat if it’s sore. The best kinds to get are those made with pure fruit juice and natural flavors as they help with irritation. These will be healthier and will provide the water and nutrients you need to stay energized without all the extra sugar.
Spicy foods may not be the first thing you think of eating when you’re sick, but they can be good for you. The spiciness will help clear your sinuses and reduce congestion. Add some peppers to your meal to add a kick or try making a Cajun dish packed with a a variety of spices.
Ginger, a root that is often used as a spice, is also known to help with sickness. It helps alleviate nausea, so it is often used to soothe the stomach, especially in the form of ginger ale. In addition to helping relieve upset stomachs and reduce nausea, it helps fight inflammation. If you’re feeling these kinds of symptoms, try adding some ginger (which you can grate or find as a powder) to meals such as soup, chicken dishes and even cookies.
Garlic is used frequently as seasoning and has many health benefits. It boosts the immune system and helps relieve congestion. One of the main components of garlic is a compound called allicin, which fights off bacteria and viruses. Try making some garlic bread or adding some to your soup, pasta or chicken.
Tea is the perfect beverage to consume when feeling under the weather. Warm tea will help soothe the throat and hydrate the body. It also contains antioxidants and natural elements that help fight bacteria and infections. In addition, it can help relieve congestion. Next time you’re out for coffee, it might help to try some green or black tea instead.
Fruit or Vegetable Juice
Fruit and vegetable juices are another good option when you’re under the weather. Both contain vitamin C, which is known to help reduce the duration and harshness of colds. Drinking juice keeps you hydrated and supplies you with antioxidants, which can help boost your immune system. Pick up some classic orange juice or try something more adventurous like kale juice.