Believe It Or Not: Foods That Help Fight Colds

When you aren’t feeling well, chances are you’ll try just about anything to find some much needed relief. But before you reach for that glass of orange juice and bowl of chicken noodle soup, you should know that those may not help your upset tummy or achy head. 

Now you may be wondering, just what are the best foods and drinks when you’re under the weather? Well…it depends.

Believe it or not, there are certain foods and drinks that can actually worsen symptoms while you’re sick. So to ensure that your diet helps and doesn’t hinder you, Hira Kohli, MD, a family medicine specialist with Gwinnett Medical Group, provides a comprehensive list of the best foods to have while you’re sick. These foods will support the healing process and help to relieve symptoms.

Tummy Troubles

If you have diarrhea or nausea, eating or drinking anything can be the last thing you want to do; however, it is important to replenish your body and prevent dehydration.

While there are many possible reasons why your stomach may be in knots, the best diet to stop the runs is simple, stick to the BRAT diet. This diet consists of bananas, rice applesauce and toast. These foods are low in fiber and promote binding making stools firmer.

When it comes to nausea, you’ll want to eat foods that can help calm the stomach and minimize any digestive issues like acid reflux. Some of the best foods to eat are plain starchy foods, like crackers, bread or toast as these foods will help absorb stomach acids.

Keep in mind that a lack of nutrients, namely protein and potassium, can make nausea worse, nuts and bananas should help. Don’t forget a little bit of ginger—in any form—as a great way to reduce nausea.

Sore Swallowing

When your throat is in pain, a nice hot cup of your favorite beverage may sound like the best option, but this may not be the case. In fact, hot beverages can actually further irritate a sore throat. Instead of a hot beverage, try a lukewarm beverage like peppermint tea, which promotes pain relief.

It’s also best to stick to soft foods and avoid dry, scratchy foods like crackers or granola. Focus on eating foods like jello, mashed potatoes, creamy soups, yogurt and eggs.

All Over Aches

A cold or the flu can leave you feeling exhausted and your body achy from head to toe. If you have a headache, chances are you’re likely just dehydrated. Make sure that you’re drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water, especially if you’re also drinking caffeine. To relieve a headache, drink a glass of water and give it at least 20 minutes to work its magic.

If you’re feeling achy all over, foods rich in magnesium and calcium can help alleviate muscle soreness. For foods high in magnesium, try dark leafy greens, nuts, beans, avocados, dried fruit, or even dark chocolate. For that extra boost of calcium, try kale, salmon, almonds and calcium-fortified orange juice.

Serious Sniffles

If you’re battling a runny or stuffy nose, you’re likely looking for relief outside of that box of tissues. While a runny nose may be difficult to soothe with food choices, you can relieve a stuffy nose or sinus congestion by eating these key foods.

One surprising food to eat is spicy foods as these will help to break apart and clear mucus. Similarly, chicken soup, which contains cysteine, will help to clear out mucus. And don’t skip the garlic, with its antifungal and antibacterial properties; it can help to relieve congestion.

The Best Way to Find Relief

It’s easy to put off a doctor’s appointment when you aren’t feeling well. You’d rather stay at home and wait it out. But what if instead of calling your doctor’s office and having to wait to get an appointment, you had two better options?

With the ease of online scheduling at two Gwinnett Medical Group practices, you can make an appointment in the comfort of your own home, at your convenience. ChoiceOne Urgent Care, a partner of Gwinnett Medical Center, has specialists available every day to ensure that you receive expert care when you need it most. 


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