Good nutrition provides energy to your body and boosts your immune system. With a healthy immune system, your body is better able to resist infection. Should you get sick, your symptoms may be less severe, and you may recover more quickly.
When you do get sick, you may not have much of an appetite or your stomach may be too queasy for you to eat. But eating good foods is important when you’re ill because the nutrients help you fight the infection. Following are some of the best foods to eat when you’re sick.
Water and tea
When you have a fever, your body is working to eliminate the infection and this can affect your appetite, as well as cause nausea and vomiting.
The immune system, though, needs assistance. Warm water with a few drops of honey or a few drops of lemon juice helps hydrate your body and soothe your throat, which may feel raw and sore. Drink just a few sips at a time, allowing your stomach to rest between sips.
Green tea is high in antioxidants so provides your immune system with ammunition to fight the infection. Allow the tea to steep for 2-to-3 minutes and then cool for up to five minutes. Add honey, lemon, or a little grated ginger if the taste seems bitter. Sip slowly, allowing your stomach to rest between sips.
Soups and starch
Broth and soup are excellent sources of both hydrating liquid and nourishment. Clear broth, or consommé, is easy to digest and settles the stomach. When you feel a little stronger, try chicken soup. A noodle and vegetable broth soup is also effective if you prefer a meat-free soup.
Crackers are absorbent little squares of bread that may help reduce the negative effects of acids on your upset stomach. The salt on the crackers also may help you retain needed fluids. Eat one or two crackers with a cup of warm water or tea when you first start feeling queasy, or when you are able to hold food down again.
Applesauce and bananas are both high in nutrient content and gentle on the stomach. If these do not appeal to you just yet, try eating some fruit gelatin; the most noted brand name of this product is Jell-O.
Gelatin isn’t high in nutrient value, but it does refresh your mouth and is easy to digest. Most have fruit flavorings, so while you may not actually be eating fruit, the gelatin will help settle your stomach.
When you’re starting to feel a little stronger and your appetite is increasing, add some protein back into your nutritional intake.
Vegetable and bean soup is high in nutritional value, but eat small portions at first. For something more substantial, eat a small piece of grilled chicken breast seasoned with salt. Grate a small amount of ginger over the chicken when you take it off the grill or out of the broiler. The ginger aids in digestion and helps keep your stomach settled.
Scrambled eggs with toast are also good foods to eat when you’re still sick, but starting to feel better. The eggs are high in protein while the bread adds carbohydrates to your diet.
When you are ill, the key to getting well more quickly is to give your body enough nutrients to help fight the infection. Start with liquids and work your way toward solid foods. In a few days, you should be feeling well enough to enjoy food again.