5 Foods to Eat When You're SickMar 16, 2016
No one likes being sick. Frankly, it sucks. We all want to feel better as quick as possible. Of course, there’s medicine and trips to the doctor, but we decided to do a little research on what foods have natural healing properties. A few on this list will surprise you, and a few you’ve definitely already thought of before. Let’s dive right into it!
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. A recent study at Washington State University found that a compound in garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, one of the most common causes of intestinal illness. For colds and flus, it also provides decongestant and expectorant effects. While none of garlic’s components have been isolated by science as the sole explanation for garlic’s flu-busting effects, vitamin C, a slew of enzymes, and minerals such as sulphur and selenium, definitely play a role.
Crushing fresh garlic – whether through chopping and letting minced garlic rest, or by chomping down on a clove with your own teeth – causes a chemical reaction that releases allicin. Allicin is a powerful antibacterial only present shortly after garlic is crushed and before it is heated! Eating fresh garlic in this state is purported to knock out that terrible feeling associated with the onset of a cold or flu. Some experts even recommend eating a clove or two every 3 to 4 hours until the bug is entirely knocked out!
Honey is sometimes thought to be as effective (or more) in suppressing coughs as over-the-counter meds. A 2010 study found that children with upper respiratory infections experienced greater relief from a 2.5 ml serving of honey before bed than from over-the-counter cough suppressants. If you have some spare change, try New Zealand’s own manuka honey, which is touted as being one of the most medicinal honeys in the world.
Bananas are rich in potassium, which is often depleted during bouts of sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. They’re easy to digest (A+ for bland foods!) and can help replenish lost electrolytes.
4. Broth Based Soup
Now this one isn't just an old wives' tale—chicken noodle soup actually can help soothe a cold. The chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, which helps thin mucus in the lungs, and the hot broth helps to keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration, and fight inflammation in the throat. Plus, chicken soup (or vegetable broth) may also help the body kick a cold by stopping congestion and inflammation in their tracks.
5. Green Tea
Drinking tea (especially Chinese, Japanese, or American varieties) while you're under the weather can help the body fight off infections, thanks to natural bacteria-fighting compounds in tea. Plus, warm liquids can soothe a sore throat and alleviate congestion, so drinks like freshly-brewed green tea or hot water with lemon are ideal for staying hydrated while helping out that stuffy nose.