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Health and Fitness News

Foods for Healing

If you’re looking for relief from cold and flu symptoms, it starts with the right foods.

When the dreaded cold and flu season rolls around each year, the odds are stacked against you. Most likely, you or someone in your family will get sick. Even though you wash hands and sanitize surfaces, sometimes sickness is inevitable. Since viruses like the common cold and flu can’t be treated with medications, you have to treat the symptoms and use self care measures to find relief until your body recovers.

Unless you’re sick with a stomach flu, it’s important to nourish your body with plenty of vitamins and minerals when sick. These work to support an immune system that’s working overtime to fight off infection. The next time someone in your home is sick with a cold or flu, offer these foods to promote health and healing.

Protein

Lying around all day makes you feel weak. When recovering from illness, be sure to include plenty of protein in your diet to build and strengthen weak muscles. It may take a few days or weeks to feel 100 percent again, but protein helps you recover faster. Good sources of protein include eggs, poultry, meat, fish, legumes, dairy, nuts, and seeds. High-protein foods have other perks. They’re often high in vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, and selenium. These help support a healthy immune system.

Vitamin C

It’s well known that vitamin C is good for your immune system. When a loved one is under the weather or feels a cold coming on, boost vitamin C consumption. Oranges, chili peppers, guavas, berries, grapefruit, sweet yellow peppers, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, kiwis, kale, and lemons are all high in vitamin C. Find your favorite source and go to it over and over.

Liquids

No matter what kind of illness you have, drink plenty of fluids. This helps prevent dehydration and flush the virus from your body. Just be picky about what beverages you choose to drink. Added sugars, sweeteners, and artificial ingredients offer no healing properties.

Besides water, many find a cup of hot tea enjoyable. Sweeten it with honey to soothe your throat and help relieve congestion. In addition, plant compounds found in tea leaves stimulate your immune system. The antimicrobials in honey work to fight bacterial infections. And believe it or not, they may be more effective at treating coughs than over-the-counter cough medication.

Sipping on warm broth is another way to stay hydrated. Chicken, beef, or bone broth offer electrolytes to prevent dehydration. They’re also easy to digest and full of nutrients. Bone broth, in particular, gets a lot of attention for its high collagen and amino acid content, which may promote healing. When shopping for broths, choose low-sodium options.

If you’re tired of water, try coconut water instead. Compared to plain water, coconut water contains electrolytes and natural sugars for energy.

Popsicles are a sweet treat to help hydrate the body. Choose a brand made with 100 percent fruit juice to avoid unnecessary added sugars, flavors, and colors.

Chicken Soup

Wonder why chicken noodle soup is such a popular food when you’re sick? It’s a perfect combination of nourishment for a sick body. Chicken is a healthy source of protein. When made with onions, carrots, and celery, chicken soup provides vitamins and minerals. And the soup broth is an ideal way to get fluids and electrolytes. The warm soup may also help relieve congestion.

Be sure to add garlic to your chicken soup recipe. Used for centuries to combat illnesses, garlic contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that boost the immune system. Studies show colds and flus may be less severe when taking garlic.


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