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Diet and Health: What to Eat (and not eat) When You Are Sick

March 03, 2015

Eating Healthy, Eating Healthy

Remember when you were a kid and had a cold and mom told you needed some chicken soup? Whether mom knew it or not, she was actually right; chicken soup is in fact good for a cold. According to an article published on ABCNews.com by Melissa Schorr, Dr. Stephen Rennard (University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha) found that chicken soup actually has anti-inflammatory properties that provide some relief from the side effects of the common cold.

Now, it is not exactly a secret that your diet and health go hand in hand, but exactly what foods are good for you when you are sick and which ones are not? We have put together some common health problems people have and the food "cure" for them. Now, the next time your stomach is doing flips or your body aches, you will know what to eat!

Sore Throat - of course we are going to start here because Manuka honey can help alleviate some of that scratchy feeling you are having in your throat. Try eating soft, creamier foods and avoid harsher foods like potato chips and nuts. After all, there is a reason they give patients who have had their tonsils out ice cream and Jell-o!

Body Aches - your body may be craving things like magnesium and calcium. Some of the common foods containing these nutrients are leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, salmon, and yogurt (helpful if the body aches are part of a cold and you also have a sore throat). If you are suffering body aches, there is also a chance you may be dehydrated, so avoid natural diuretics, like caffeine.

Constipation/Bloating - we have all been there and it is an uncomfortable feeling. You need food that is high in fiber, such as nuts, oatmeal, and prunes. There is a chance you may be dehydrated, so make sure you are consuming your eight glasses of water every day. Avoid foods that are going to add to the problem, such as dairy and chocolate.

Itchy and Inflamed Skin - if you are experiencing excessive itchiness, there is a good chance you are having an allergic reaction to something. Try to remember foods you ate recently and avoid eating them again until you can see your doctor and are tested for specific allergies. Some of the most common food allergies are: nuts, wheat, dairy, and soy. High protein foods are very good for skin care, so try to add these to your diet in the meantime.

Nausea - when you are sick to your stomach, even the smell of food can make you sick. You should be able to keep down bland foods, so once again, mom's advice for toast or Saltines is dead on. Decaffeinated tea should also help. Avoid caffeine, spicy, and greasy/oily foods.

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