When we are sick, that’s like downtime for the body. A time when adequate rest and the right nourishment play very important part in the body’s recovery. We all know that the right foods can help us heal and recover faster. They are not just sources of energy for the body but are also packed with the right amount of nutrition to help the body in combating infections.
There are 10 comfort foods that can soothe and rejuvenate our body when we are suffering from an illness.
1. Chicken Soup
For centuries, we’ve hailed the nourishing goodness of the famous chicken soup. That makes it the number one home remedy for common cold across the world.
It’s rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins and supplies the body with necessary calories required during the recovery period. Being fluid-based, it’s easy to digest and will replenish the electrolyte and fluid balance in the body, especially during diarrhea.
When added with spices like pepper, it can even help in clearing blocked sinuses and nasal decongestion. Chicken also contains the amino acid cysteine that has mucolytic and anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.It also acts against white blood cells that cause symptoms of respiratory tract infection like a wet cough.1
Flavorful and nutritious, yogurts are probiotics with excellent curative properties in gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea. Researchers have found that many probiotic bacterial strains in yogurt can limit the growth of pathogenic microbes like Salmonella, Shigella, enterotoxigenic E. coli, or Vibrio cholerae.2Even in antibiotic-induced diarrhea, having yogurt was seen to be very beneficial.3
An ancient herb which has used for ages, garlic is a remedy for all kinds of ailments.
It has scientifically proven antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal effects due to its high allicin content. This means it’s just the food your immune system needs during an infection.4
Studies have even proven that people who included garlic in their diet regularly were less likely to catch a cold or fall ill when compared to the people who didn’t eat garlic.5
Add minced garlic after seasoning it in a bit of oil to a hot bowl of chicken soup or vegetable broth so that it’s easier for you to have it.
4. Coconut Water
During bouts of diarrhea and vomiting, it’s crucial to maintain the fluid balance in the body by staying well-hydrated. That’s when coconut water comes in handy. It’s loaded with electrolytes, glucose, and antioxidants. This makes it just the right drink for soothing your gut and boosting your immunity.6
Not only a world-famous beverage, a cup of hot tea is just what you need when you are down with a fever or a stomach bug.
Tea can be brewed with ginger to relieve symptoms of flu, indigestion and sore throat. The high content of antioxidants also helps to fight oxidative stress by free-radicals. Tannins in tea have also been proven to have extensive antimicrobial effects.7
For centuries, honey has been used as a wound dressing due to its potent antibacterial effects. which can naturally boost the immunity during an illness. Studies have proven that it’s really beneficial for relieving a sore throat and cough.8
Ginger is a very versatile herb with proven anti-nausea, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects. Brew crushed ginger with a cup of tea or hot water to aid in the body’s healing process.9
Spices like black pepper, capsaicin, and turmeric have been proven to have mucolytic and nasal decongestion effects on ingestion. Turmeric especially has amazing antimicrobial effects due to it curcumin content.10 The best way to reap the benefits of these spices is to incorporate them in warm broths and soups.11
9. Fruits And Vegetables
Apples, bananas, citrus fruits, pomegranates are easy to digest and comforting foods. When the body is recovering from an episode of diarrhea or fever, these foods can provide the body with necessary calories, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.1213 Add them to a bowl of organic rice or oatmeal or semolina to add extra fiber to your diet for easy digestion and speed up recovery.14Green leafy vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients that can help fight inflammation and also has proven antimicrobial properties. They are bland and rich in fiber thereby making them easier to digest.15
Seafood is a rich source of lean protein that the body needs when it’s sick. Soft and easily digestible, this high-quality protein is needed for synthesizing more amino acids, enzymes, and tissue repair.
Salmon is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong anti-inflammatory effects and oysters are rich in zinc that speeds up recovery.16
When you are sick, the best way to take care of your body is to take ample rest, eat the above foods and drink lots of water. This will help your body recover faster and get you back on track sooner.
|↑1||Rennard, Barbara O., Ronald F. Ertl, Gail L. Gossman, Richard A. Robbins, and Stephen I. Rennard. “Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro.” Chest Journal 118, no. 4 (2000): 1150-1157.|
|↑2||De Vrese, Michael, and Philippe R. Marteau. “Probiotics and prebiotics: effects on diarrhea.” The Journal of nutrition 137, no. 3 (2007): 803S-811S.|
|↑3||Adolfsson, Oskar, Simin Nikbin Meydani, and Robert M. Russell. “Yogurt and gut function.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 80, no. 2 (2004): 245-256.|
|↑4||Borlinghaus, Jan, Frank Albrecht, Martin CH Gruhlke, Ifeanyi D. Nwachukwu, and Alan J. Slusarenko. “Allicin: chemistry and biological properties.” Molecules 19, no. 8 (2014): 12591-12618.|
|↑5||Lissiman, Elizabeth, Alice L. Bhasale, and Marc Cohen. “Garlic for the common cold.” The Cochrane Library (2014).|
|↑6||Adams, W., and D. E. Bratt. “Young coconut water for home rehydration in children with mild gastroenteritis.” Tropical and geographical medicine 44, no. 1-2 (1992): 149-153.|
|↑7||Chung, King-Thom, Tit Yee Wong, Cheng-I. Wei, Yao-Wen Huang, and Yuan Lin. “Tannins and human health: a review.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 38, no. 6 (1998): 421-464.|
|↑8||Shadkam, Mahmood Noori, Hassan Mozaffari-Khosravi, and Mohammad Reza Mozayan. “A comparison of the effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and diphenhydramine on nightly cough and sleep quality in children and their parents.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 16, no. 7 (2010): 787-793.|
|↑9||Khodaie, Laleh, and Omid Sadeghpoor. “Ginger from ancient times to the new outlook.” Jundishapur journal of natural pharmaceutical products 10, no. 1 (2015).|
|↑10||Zorofchian Moghadamtousi, Soheil, Habsah Abdul Kadir, Pouya Hassandarvish, Hassan Tajik, Sazaly Abubakar, and Keivan Zandi. “A review on antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of curcumin.” BioMed research international 2014 (2014).|
|↑11||Majeed, M., and L. Prakash. “The medical uses of pepper.” Int Pepper New 25 (2000): 23-31.|
|↑12||Kumar, KP Sampath, and Debjit Bhowmik. “Traditional and medicinal uses of banana.” Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 1, no. 3 (2012).|
|↑13||Howell, Amy B., and Doris H. D’Souza. “The pomegranate: effects on bacteria and viruses that influence human health.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).|
|↑14||Duro, Debora, and Christopher Duggan. “The BRAT Diet for Acute Diarrhea in Children: Should It Be Used?.” Practical Gastroenterology 31, no. 6 (2007): 60.|
|↑15||Bhat, Ramesa Shafi, and Sooad Al-Daihan. “Phytochemical constituents and antibacterial activity of some green leafy vegetables.” Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine 4, no. 3 (2014): 189-193.|
|↑16||Calder, Philip C. “Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes.” Nutrients 2, no. 3 (2010): 355-374.|