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What to Eat If You’re Under the Weather (Or Trying Not to Be)

Sometimes, when my sister feels the first hint of a bug, she requests I make my immune system support soup. I have to admit, there’s no recipe that I follow. It simply involves adding to broth as much fresh onion, garlic and ginger that can be stomached (and any vegetables on hand, like carrots). I don’t know the disease-prevention success rate with this soup, but the tingle of the ginger, and the idea of packing a punch with antioxidants, feels like it helps.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

When you’re sick, your body needs more calories because it must work harder than normal in order to fight infection. Also, what you eat can affect the severity of your symptoms or the time it takes for your illness to run its course. So eating properly is an essential part of getting better.

What tops the lists of recommend foods? Most important is to avoid getting sick in the first place, and this means keeping your immune system in tip-top shape.

Mother Nature Network lists 10 foods that provide high doses of vitamins and nutrients (from allicin to zinc) to protect against illness:

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Fresh garlic
  3. Wild-caught salmon
  4. Tea
  5. Yogurt
  6. Dark Chocolate
  7. Oysters
  8. Almonds
  9. Strawberries
  10. Sweet potato

Already dealing with the sniffles or an unhappy stomach? Greatist advises on what is best to ingest if you are already feeling unwell:

Cold symptoms

  1. Broth-based soup
  2. Hot tea
  3. Citrus fruits
  4. Popsicles
  5. Spicy foods

Stomach symptoms

  1. Crackers and toast
  2. Bananas
  3. Ginger

ProbioticSmart echoes the suggestions above (adding cottage cheese, for easy-to-digest protein) and points out that “including these foods in your diet—whether you’re sick or not—will prove to boost your immune system.”

What are your immune boosting tips? As for me, I’ll stand behind my soup.

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