Feeling sick is the pits; you either have to attempt to power through day-to-day life while doing a mediocre job of everything, or resign yourself to your bed of woe. Knowing which foods to eat when you're sick is a vital nugget of life knowledge, which we all must learn in order to look after ourselves.
In your twenties, you may not have mom, dad, grandma, or big brother (or whoever used to take care of you as a kid) at your beck and call. Heck, you might not even live in the same state, or even country as your loved ones. Sure, you might have a really great roommate who will bring you cups of tea and tissues to your room, or a darling SO who will help you get into your jammies and tuck you into your bed, but the reality of the situation is that these folks have their own jobs and lives which unfortunately, are not dedicated to looking after you. There's a difference between someone calling into work to tell their boss they're staying home because their kid is sick, rather than their girlfriend. Adults are just supposed to get on with life and know how to take care of themselves.
I don't know about you, but I'm definitely not there yet! So in an effort to educate myself and anyone else who feels like a big kid when they're sick, here are some foods to eat when you're feeling under the weather.
1. Toast For Stomach Aches
Growing up, my relatives informed me that toast was good for an upset stomach. I always thought it was a superstitious old wives' tale akin to not walking underneath ladders and I believed it maybe had a placebo effect at best. But it turns out they were right! Bustler Carina Wolff reported, "When it comes to eating bread to help stomach pains, the more toasted, the better. Increasing the carbon and ash residues on the surface provides gastric relief, as it helps soaks up toxins in the stomach." So if you're suffering from an upset stomach, get toasting your loaf ASAP.
2. Saltine Crackers Or Pretzels For Nausea
James Lee, MD, gastroenterologist spoke to Health about what to eat when feeling nauseous. According to Health Dr. Lee said that, "Feeling queasy makes all foods sound unappealing, but the right ones can ease symptoms by calming stomach acids," and he later explained that, "Saltine crackers or pretzels can help."
3. Tea With Lemon For A Blocked Nose
You may have heard about the benefits of drinking lemon water, but have you heard about drinking lemon tea to unblock your nose? According to fitness editor Michelle Foley from POPSUGAR, "...if you have a stuffy nose, choose hot liquids such as tea with lemon..." The sharp citrus flavor of the lemon is sure to have you unblocked in a jiffy.
4. Peppermint Tea & Manuka Honey For Sore Throats
Until you have a sore throat, you don't realize how much you use your voice in an average day. For most people, it's imperative that they get their voice back, or at least feel like they don't have broken glass in their throat every time they swallow. Founder of Foodtrainers.com, Lauren Slayton, RD, explained to Health , "When you have a sore throat, several foods can coat your throat and soothe the pain," consequently Health advised readers to, "Combine peppermint tea (lukewarm, not hot)—which has analgesic and anesthetic effects—and Manuka honey, which is known for its wound-healing properties."
5. Probiotic Yogurt For Colds Or The Flu
Apparently probiotic yogurt is great for fighting colds and the flu. Foley from POPSUGAR reported that, "In a German study, the probiotics in yoghurt were found to shorten colds and flu by almost two days. Choose ones that contain the bacterial strains Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus reuteri, since these two are the ones linked to improving immune response." Add some of your favorite fruits to get a much needed vitamin boost too.
6. Spicy Foods Fight Congestion
Are your sinuses feeling all bunged up? According to Women's Health, "Spicy foods can make your nose run and your eyes water, but they're also effective natural decongestants. Eat chili peppers, wasabi, or horseradish to help relieve the symptoms of congestion." Treat yourself to your favorite spicy takeout curry – it's all in the name of your recovery!
7. Omega-3 & High Protein Foods For Rashes
Throughout life you may find you are allergic or intolerant to certain foods or things, which could result in a skin rash. Kristine Arthur, MD told Health , "Skin is made up of proteins, so a diet adequate in protein is necessary for skin protein synthesis." She also explained, "Omega-3 containing foods such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines) and walnut and flax seed oils, as well as foods high in protein are all important for skin health," so keep these in mind if you have a pesky rash pop up.
8. Ginger For Gastric Problems
According to Women's Health , "Research has shown that ginger is incredibly effective at preventing and soothing nausea and other gastric ailments such as constipation, bloating, and vomiting. Drinking ginger tea or flat ginger ale (to avoid disrupting the stomach with carbonation) can help keep you hydrated while also soothing tummy troubles." In the past, I drank a concoction of ginger and hot water while suffering from a stomach bug and I can wholeheartedly say that it worked for me.
9. Chicken Soup For Earaches
Chicken soup is often associated with colds and flu, however Dr. Mercola explained on his website, "Earaches typically coincide with other symptoms and are often the result of upper respiratory infections. Foods that clear congestion, such as chicken soup or bone broth, may therefore be helpful. Chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily. Processed, canned soups will not work as well as the homemade version made from slow-cooked bone broth." So if you are still living with your parents, or you have a lovely friend or partner who won't mind cooking you a meal, ask them if they can whip you up some homemade chicken soup to help combat your earache. Or if you're feeling up to it, make a big batch for yourself to last you the next couple of days, so you won't have to cook if your symptoms get worse.