As much as we would like to avoid it, even the healthiest of us get ill at some point or another. It is natural, and there is very little that can be done about it. Or is there? Although the best way to prevent illness is to lead a healthy lifestyle, what do you do when you get ill? Well, there are certain foods out there that are just perfect for a body trying to pull itself off the ropes, and making sure you are getting them when you’re ill can help you on your way to a speedy recovery.
When we are ill the body goes into overdrive to try and fix itself, this means it often needs extra calories, extra water and extra nutrition to get back on top in an efficient and healthy manner. So as hard as it may seem, the best thing you can do when ill is eat healthy, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cutting down on food, which is often an urge when ill, can dramatically slow down the healing process, so don’t do it.
The tale that vitamin C cures colds is a myth, pure and simple. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and get any. Citrus fruits tend to be laden with vitamin C and flavonoids, all of which act as antioxidants and bolster the immune system. So whilst it may not fight the cold directly, it will ensure that the immune system is strong, and that the body doesn’t have to suffer for longer than need be.
Hot drinks, such as tea, can help sooth congestion and relax a sore throat. Plus, if you pick something healthy like green tea, you will get an injection of additional antioxidants.
Spicy food is great for combating the symptoms of a cold. It is well known to make the eyes water and nose run, and in turn will reduce congestion. However, think about avoiding it if you have an upset stomach, it could make this much worse.
Making sure you are always hydrated when ill will ease congestion and help thin mucus. As an extra tip, why not try making some homemade ice lollies. These will help you stay hydrated whilst going easy on the throat. Better yet, make them from 100% fruit juice for a nutritional infusion – bonus points for using Uzuma juice!
Broth Based Soups
There is an old tale that chicken soup can cure a cold. Whilst this may have been blown a bit out of proportion, it can certainly help! Broth based chicken soup contains cysteine, an amino acid known to thin mucus in the lungs. Plus the hot broth can help ease congestion and a sore throat.
This super food is great for an upset stomach. It restores electrolytes, is easy to digest and can lower body temperature. It is also a great source of potassium, which is lost in large amounts when vomiting and diarrhoea are part of the mix.
Most people love it, and research has shown that ginger can go a long way to help relieve disorders of a gastric nature, and even reduce nausea.
This bland, easy to digest food is high in starch, which will ensure it goes easy on the stomach. It also acts as a good source of fibre, helping stabilise the situation down there.
Rice and boiled Potatoes
Rice and boiled potatoes are other forms of bland foods that are easy to digest and will give your stomach a chance to recover.
Spicy or Acidic Food
As mentioned, depending on your situation, you may want to avoid spicy food. Although it eases congestion, it doesn’t exactly sit well with a delicate stomach.
Although not fully understood or proven, there is academic grounding to suggest that dairy products promote the creation of mucus – so it’s probably best to avoid it, just in case.
Heavily processed foods, as well as junk foods, are often high in sugar and fat and very low in nutrition. Eating these will not give your body the fuel it needs to recover, and it can be really hard to digest. So stay away from it.