Best Foods to Eat When You’re Sick

Now that the kids are back to school and we're all spending more time indoors, it's more likely the germs are a-spreadin' and colds are on their way. The best way to prevent a cold is to frequently wash your hands and drink lots of water (preferably kicked up with a bit of Emergen-C). But when the inevitable cold strikes, here are some of the best foods to eat to help you get over it quickly:

Chicken soup with rice or noodles. There's a reason you've been hearing about this since your first cold as a child – it works! The amino acid cysteine, found in chicken, helps lessen inflammation of sinuses and bronchial tubes. This soup is also a great way to get nutrients from vegetables and energy from carbohydrates. Make it in advance for lower sodium content and freeze for sick days!

Oatmeal or whole wheat toast. Whole grains help you recover by boosting the immune system since they're high in zinc. Additionally, the warmth of oatmeal is soothing and a little spread of peanut butter on your toast ensures you're getting enough protein when you're probably not in the mood for a big juicy steak.

Chamomile tea with lemon and honey. Tea reduces inflammation and is a good way to stay hydrated. Honey and lemon both soothe irritated throats, and the lemon provides a tiny kick of vitamin C.

Yogurt. Its active cultures, known as probiotics or live healthy bacteria, can help kick a cold to the curb (and can even help prevent colds in the first place if eaten regularly).

Drink citrus juice and water. Orange juice is great but you can drink any citrus juice you prefer, just try to make sure it's low in sugar and high in vitamin C. Alternate glasses of juice and water – you can never have too much water when you're sick!

Of course, it's important to be sure you eat a wide variety of foods when you're sick to be sure you're getting all the different nutrients your body needs. But when you're not feeling great and don't have much appetite, you can at least focus on the items above to get the most impact. Get well soon!

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