Most of us know the old wive’s tale: “Starve a fever, feed a cold.” When you are sick, your body actually needs more calories so that it can function normally and return to a healthier condition sooner. Your body needs “fuel” so that your immune system can function and fight off the nasty virus that has intruded your body.
When you are sick, food may be the last thing on your mind, but it is important to stay nourished and well hydrated. It is best to eat small portions when your body determines that you are actually hungry.
Here are some of the best foods to eat when you are fighting a cold:
- Broth-Based Soups. Chicken noodle soup is actually good for helping soothe a cold. Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine. Cysteine helps thin mucus in your lungs. The hot broth of the soup helps to keep your nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration and also fight inflammation in your throat. Chicken soup can remedy a cold by stopping inflammation and congestion.
- Citrus Fruits. A study has shown that eating fruits high in vitamin C can reduce the duration of a cold. When you are sick with a cold, it is best to eat fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, oranges and limes. These types of fruits contain flavonoids, which help boost your immune system and can ultimately shorten the length of your cold.
- Hot Tea. Drinking hot tea while you are sick is not only soothing, but also combative. Tea has natural bacteria-fighting compounds that can help strengthen your body’s fight against the virus. Drinking warm liquids can also soothe a sore, scratchy throat and help alleviate congestion.
- Popsicles. Eating popsicles is a great way to stay hydrated when you are sick with a cold. They can also help keep mucus thin and lessen congestion. They are also great for soothing a sore throat. Make sure to buy popsicles that are made with 100% whole fruit.
- Spicy Foods. Spicy foods are natural decongestants; they make your nose run and eyes water, but they get the job done. Try eating chili peppers or horseradish when you are congested (and remember to keep the tissues nearby!).
Having a cold can be miserable, but – even if they may be extremely difficult to prevent – they are not impossible to combat. The next time you catch a cold, follow these guidelines and give these foods a try to ensure that your cold doesn’t last longer than it needs to and you can get back to your life as healthy as possible.
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