What To Eat When Sick With A Cold

It is hard to believe that not long ago I was basking in the warmth and sunshine of Siesta Key Beach. The bad news is that I got sick while there with a tenacious bug.

Should you feed or starve your cold or flu?
Listen to your body and eat when you feel like it, but don’t neglect to keep your intake of fluids up. You need lots of water and other liquids when you are ill.

With son #2 in Florida last week!

Here are a dozen ways to nourish yourself while nursing a miserable cold:

1. Soup – Any kind is good (miso, vegetable or homemade, animal-based bone broths) but studies have been done that validate the healing power of chicken stock. The heat and steam will help with sinus congestion and warm your body – just stay away from MSG infused cubes.

2. Juice – Freshly pressed juice is great for fighting a cold. I like mine to be mostly green vegetables (such as cucumber, celery, parsley, dill, asparagus or broccoli stems, etc.) with lemon or lime. I also throw in a little ginger and garlic. I use a single augur masticating juicer that is great for both hard and leafy vegetables (Omega 8004).

3. Tea – Green tea is particularly good for the immune system – just skip the milk and sugar if you have black tea. Sugar depresses our immune function. A little raw honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial and can help suppress coughs.

4. Garlic – The compound allicin in raw garlic is antiviral and will speed healing. I add it to juice, dips, salad dressings or even just on crackers!

5. Smoothies – These are easy to make, nutrient dense and soothing to a sore throat. Use a plant-based protein powder, hemp seeds, flax seeds, nut or coconut milk, some greens and a little fruit such as frozen berries. Even just fruit and greens blended with some ice and water is delicious and nutritious.

6. Eggs – Whether boiled, scrambled or poached, these provide high quality protein and are quick to prepare when you are not feeling well.

7. Citrus – Make sure to eat the white pith, which is rich in bioflavanoids. When making cold-pressed juice, remove just the zest (unless you don’t mind the bitter taste) and leave the white part to run through the juicer. I like to make lemonade or limeade, sweetened with stevia, which is a natural, herbal sweetener that does not affect blood sugar or depress your immune system.

8. Culinary spices – Turmeric, cloves, cinnamon and ginger, added to tea or soups can help to sweat out a fever.

9. Avoid dairy – although studies are contradictory (some recommend yogurt), I find it increases mucous formation, so I feel better staying away while sick with a cold. Instead, purchase non-dairy milk or yogurt (coconut or almond are two choices) as a substitute.

10. Pineapple – This delicious, sweet, tropical fruit is packed with vitamins & minerals, including Vitamin C. Fresh pineapple has the additional benefit of the digestive enzyme, bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps heal coughs and other cold symptoms.

11. Watermelon – This refreshing fruit is high in glutathione, the body’s most abundant antioxidant. If watermelons are not in season, cabbage, broccoli, collards and kale are also good sources.

12. Spicy foods – These are natural decongestants that will thin mucous secretions. Avoid if you have an upset stomach and instead have some whole grain or gluten free crackers or a banana, which are easily digestible and bland.

In addition to eating well and staying hydrated, keep warm and get lots of rest. Catch up on your backlog of reading (or Netflix) if you feel up to it and before you know it you will be up and around!

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