The Best Foods to Eat When You’re Sick and Feel Horrible

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Being sick is tough. Symptoms like nausea and exhaustion make eating a challenge. Maintaining nutrient intake is crucial, and while there’s no magic cure, certain foods may help. Truthfully, the best things to eat when you feel under the weather are the ones you truly enjoy and can keep down. Read this article to find the best foods for colds, flu, or other illnesses.

Coconut Water and Sports Drinks

Combat dehydration during illness by opting for coconut water or a sports drink. Rich in essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, coconut water aids hydration and alleviates symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and dry mouth.

If coconut water isn’t appealing, a traditional sports drink like Gatorade offers similar fluid-restoring benefits. If stomach discomfort is a concern, a sports drink might be a gentler option, as coconut water was associated with more bloating and stomach upset in some participants.

Ginger for Digestive Discomfort

Ginger, renowned for its anti-nausea properties, serves as a comforting remedy for digestive discomfort. Backed by research, ginger doses up to approximately 1,500 milligrams daily can reduce nausea and vomiting without significant side effects.

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The key components responsible for its anti-nausea effects are gingerols and shogaols, present in different forms like fresh, dried, powdered, or concentrated ginger. Whether sipping ginger tea or adding minced ginger to soup, the benefits for the sick remain consistent.

Honey for Soothing Coughs

You can combat cough symptoms with honey. Honey proves more effective than no remedy, a placebo, or diphenhydramine-containing over-the-counter medicines at relieving cough symptoms in kids. Compared to dextromethorphan-based OTC meds, honey exhibited almost the same cough-quelling effect.

It’s essential to note that studies primarily explore the efficacy of honey-based cough syrups or straight spoonfuls, not when mixed into food or drinks. While honey might not be a standalone solution for coughs lasting over three days, its anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe a scratchy throat. Adding a touch of sweetness to your favorite hot drink might be a comforting choice.

Chicken Soup for Comfort

Chicken soup, a time-honored remedy, provides comfort and potential health benefits when under the weather. A study in the journal revealed that the ingredients in chicken soup can inhibit the inflammatory immune response responsible for symptoms like cough and congestion. The warm broth, offering hydration, soothes a sore throat. Additionally, the ease of consuming soup, with soft chicken and vegetables, provides essential nutrients like protein and fiber.

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These are just a few of the options you have. If you feel sick and are wondering what to eat, you can also include bananas, oatmeal, yogurt, leafy greens, and various spices and seasonings, as these are rich in vitamins and help boost your immune system.

3 Supplements Were Found to Have No Effect on Preventing Disease

New research has suggested that getting vitamins and minerals through food was a better way to do that than spending money on some supplements. It seems the magic pill for healthy living and disease prevention has not yet been invented, but supplement use keeps growing in popularity. That is partially due to the growing desire of consumers to improve their long-term health. A 2022 report published by the American Medical Association showed that there may be next to no point in taking supplements on a regular basis to prevent chronic diseases.

The Effect of Supplements Can Be Matched With a Casual Diet

spoon with dietary supplements on fruits background

A review of the efficacy of using supplements for both multivitamins and single nutrients for reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and adult mortality was undertaken. It concluded that the use of certain supplements to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease may actually be a waste of money. The specific supplements that the review was focused on include multivitamins, beta carotene, and vitamin E.

Eating Food With Vitamin A Is More Effective Than Taking Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is a carotenoid and antioxidant that converts into vitamin A, and this vitamin is naturally occurring in reddish-orange fruits and vegetables. The antioxidant properties of beta carotene have linked it to preventing chronic diseases, but according to the researchers, taking beta carotene was linked with raising cardiovascular death and all-cause mortality. This has led them to conclude it would be wiser to get powerful antioxidants from natural vitamin A food sources that also come with other micronutrients.

Carrot Smoothies

Vitamin E is another one of the antioxidants that do little to help with long-term health. While it is important for immune function and can protect the cells while decreasing heart disease risk, vitamin E supplementation does little for cardiovascular risk and long-term health.

Multivitamins Are Still Beneficial But Not for Preventing Disease

Taking multivitamins may seem like an easy solution for getting the micronutrients a person needs in one go. While it can be a beneficial practice, it’s worth noting how the new report concluded that these supplements made little difference in preventing cancer or cardiovascular disease. Many have argued that there are many benefits from multivitamins, but it is certain that preventing disease is not one of them.

A bottle of Multivitamins

The bottom line is that taking supplements could be less beneficial for preventing disease than people believe. This is primarily because the body gets what it needs from the food people eat on a daily basis. So, while beta-carotene, vitamin E, and multivitamins may have their use, nothing is better for the body than a diverse, balanced diet. It is just that there is insufficient evidence that using nutrient supplements for preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer works at all.