When you are suffering from a cold, the appetite is at a low and it is difficult to eat normal meals. There are some foods, though, that you should try and incorporate in your diet as they boost the body’s immune system and also provide the much-needed energy the body needs.
Soups: Rather than opting out for processed ready-made soups, it is worthwhile making yourself a broth full of antioxidant-rich vegetables like peppers, beans, carrots and tomatoes that are fresh and organic. Not only is this soothing and comforting but it also gives the body essential vitamins and minerals when it needs it the most. Some people swear by chicken soup when they have a cold, as it seems to provide the boost needed to get the body back on the road to recovery. Adding some onions and garlic to it will add to the anti- viral effect. Moreover, cooked chicken contains cysteine, an amino acid that helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
Fluids: When feeling unwell or suffering from a high temperature it helps to keep the body hydrated and cool by having fluids throughout the day. Rather than having sweet drinks, teas or coffees it is more beneficial to have at least eight glasses of fresh bottled water. This will also be especially beneficial if your doctor has prescribed you a dose of antibiotics. Alternate with diluted fruit or vegetable juices and if you just cannot do without tea, try green tea or vitamin c enriched herbal teas with honey instead. Having warm milky drinks last thing at night can provide the comfort some people need when feeling unwell but if you are lactose intolerant, soy milk can provide the same benefits including the much-needed calcium.
Vitamins & Minerals: By counteracting the harmful effects of free radicals in the body, antioxidant vitamins like vitamins A, C, E help the body fight off colds. They can be obtained from a number of food sources including fruits, which are tasty, easy to digest, do not require any cooking and are ideal to eat when feeling run down. Having a glass of fresh orange juice or drinking water with a dash of lemon juice gives you a good dose of vitamin c as do a handful of berries like strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Some minerals stand out from others when it comes to combating poor health and feelings of being run down. Magnesium, which is obtained from broccoli, cabbage, kale, lentils and brown rice, is especially helpful in soothing aching muscles, boosting the immune system and supporting the nervous system. Omega oil-rich fish oils can also help fight feelings of depression that arise when you are feeling unwell and zinc is well known for promoting healing in the body and strengthening the immune system. Nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, walnuts, Brazil and pecan nuts are other foods you can nibble on to give you extra boost of immune power
Protein: When you are unwell, it is important to have some intake of protein because it helps to repair cells in the body and builds healthy muscle tissue. According to the recommendations of Christine Gerbstadt, MD who is a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, foods like fish, lean meats, chicken and eggs provide the body with good forms of protein. For vegetarians, she recommends soy products, beans or protein supplement drinks. Proteins also provide the body with iron, which is necessary for building healthy red blood cells in the body, and having vitamin C with iron will ensure maximum absorption of it in the body.
Healthy Carbs: Carbohydrates provide the body with the energy it needs to carry out its everyday duties so when feeling run down it is vital to give the body this much needed energy source. Eating foods like potatoes and brown bread, fibre rich breakfast cereals, beans, fruits and vegetables are some healthy sources of carbohydrates. The key is not to go for carbohydrates made with highly refined sugar like biscuits and cakes and to keep an eye on the quantity consumed so as not to add unnecessary calories.