What Foods To Eat When You're Sick
Simply put, feeling sick is never fun. Not to mention that feeling unwell can disrupt your workout routine and muscle recovery!
Whether it’s a cold you can’t shake, an upset stomach or feeling generally rundown, there are certain foods you can eat that will help you feel better.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to visit your doctor and seek professional medical advice, too.
Assuming you haven’t got something too serious though, let’s jump in and investigate what foods you should be eating when you’re not quite at 100%!
The best foods to eat to combat an upset stomach
An upset stomach can strike at the most inconvenient of times. Feelings of nausea and cramping not only leave you feeling uncomfortable, but they also get in the way of your everyday activities.
In some instances, feelings of an upset stomach can even progress to vomiting.
Luckily, there are a few foods that can start to ease the feeling of an upset stomach.
Rich in potassium, bananas are great to snack on when you’re unwell with an upset stomach.
Bananas are easy to chew (and swallow!) and are easy for your body to digest. They also contain pectin, which promotes bowel movements.
A humble slice of plain white toast is a safe bet for an upset stomach. Often when your stomach doesn’t feel right, it can be hard to eat anything flavoursome, so something basic is the way to go.
Yes, plain toast is that exactly — it’s bland — but that’s exactly what your stomach needs to get on the mend.
It’s always important to be hydrated, but especially so when you’re sick! Vomiting can lead to you losing a lot of fluids.
Coconut water not only replenishes and rehydrates your body, it also contains potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium — all key electrolytes which will work to nurture your body back to optimal health.
But avoid these foods when you have an upset stomach
When your stomach is leaving you feeling uneasy, it’s important not to overload it with foods that are hard to digest. Fried foods especially are hard for your body to digest, so they are best avoided.
Dairy is also best avoided — think milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream — as they are typically high in fat and hard for your body to breakdown.
Finally, for some, spicy food will be too much for your stomach to handle, so hold the spice for the time being!
The best foods to eat when you have a cold
A runny nose, a sore throat and a stream of coughs are all signs of a cold. Especially common in the cooler months, colds can be contagious.
If you find yourself battling a cold, treat yourself to the following foods — they will give you the best chance to get over your cold once and for all!
Sure, chicken soup is a comfort food, but it’s also the perfect meal to consume when you’re dealing with a cold.
Piled with vegetables and hearty chicken, it’s a great source of a range of vitamins and minerals, as well as a healthy dose of protein.
The broth component of the soup also works to thin nasal mucus, so it can clear up as soon as possible.
Whether you opt for a meat or vegetable broth, a broth is something almost everyone can stomach when suffering from a cold.
A broth will work to combat dehydration, while providing relief from any congestion you may be dealing with.
Similar to chicken soup, a broth also works to thin nasal mucus and clear it in a speedy manner.
With loads of immune-boosting nutrients and vitamins (vitamin C and E, we’re looking at you), broccoli will give your body a big dose of nutrition, when you need it most.
If broccoli doesn’t do it for you, look to other green vegetables, such as spinach or kale.
It's best to avoid these foods when you have a cold
While some foods will aid you and help you overcome a cold, there are other foods that you’re best off avoiding.
Try to steer clear of processed foods, which offer minimal nutritious value. Instead opt for fresh, nutrient-rich food as much as possible.
The best foods to eat to strengthen your immune system
A strong immune system is something we should all strive for! A strong immune system can reduce the chance of you falling sick or succumbing to an illness.
Packed with antioxidants, ginger may work to reduce inflammation and improve digestive health.
Whether you consume ginger in a tea, a stir-fry or use it in a marinade, there are endless options for using ginger in the kitchen!
Turmeric is another hero multi-use ingredient with it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Turmeric can also aid healthy digestion, in particular, working to reduce gut inflammation.
Blueberries contain antioxidants that can help reduce damage to cells, while working to boost your immune system. Small in size, big in health!
Garlic is a great food to consume to boost your immune system. Better yet, there are so many meals it can easily feature in!
Known to reduce inflammation and contain antioxidant benefits, garlic also contains allicin, which works to help fight infection and bacteria.
A simple squeeze of lemon in water or a snack of orange slices can help to top up your immune system thanks to their high vitamin C properties.
With a wealth of probiotics, natural yoghurt helps to create a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut — in turn, this strengthens your immune system.
Yoghurt is delicious — don’t get us wrong — but be sure to steer clear of yoghurts with loads of added sugar. They don’t have a similar nutritional profile to, say, plain Greek yoghurt.
Eat your way to health
Remember, when you’re feeling unwell — or want to boost your immune system — there are so many foods that you can consume to help you on your way!
Before you know it, you’ll be back in the swing of your SWEAT program, smashing out your workouts.
Do you have any go-to snacks or meals you make sure you eat when you’re feeling unwell? Be sure to share them below!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.