From folk remedies to pop-medicine trends, there are loads of sources out there telling us what to and what not to eat when we’re sick. We’ve gone straight to the scientists and pulled out some of the best medically-backed food remedies to prevent you getting sick and to help you feel better when you’re already sick. Check out this list of some of the 25 best foods to eat if you start feeling sick.
Beta-carotene is the cause of orange flesh in foods like carrots and sweet potatoes. It’s also what our bodies convert into vitamin A – a critical nutrient for healthy mucous membranes like those in your nose and throat and for your system in general.
Chocolate with a high cacao content (above about 70%) has finally been making it into the mainstream as of late. (Try to avoid the snack-food varieties which are pumped full of sugar and saturated fat.) Opting for a darker chocolate will fill your body with the powerful antioxidant polyphenol which boosts your immune system.
Eat fat…as fish
Fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna reduce inflammation in your body. When various parts of the body such as the lymph nodes are inflamed, our immune systems don’t work as well and thus we get sick easier and stay sick longer. (Fat otherwise are more difficult for the body to process so eat other fats sparingly while sick.)
Continuing on the seafood track, oysters may help cut down on the duration of a cold. This is due to their high zinc content – the highest of any food – which has been proven to reduce the common cold when taken as a supplement (though the supplements have some side effects as well). Make sure to cook the oysters as a compromised immune system won’t be able to fight off potential bacteria in raw seafood.
A common food to eat during weight loss, oats also contain a special fibre named beta-glucan. Beta-glucan has been shown in some rat studies to prevent infection of our upper respiratory tract and prevent early, stress-related death. A cholesterol-fighter and immune-booster? Sounds like a win-win.