These Foods Can Help You Feel Better When You’re Sick As A Dog

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We’re officially in the throes of cold and flu season, which means many of us, despite our best efforts, are going to fall victim to some mighty nasty viruses and bacteria strains. There’s already no worse feeling than being seriously ill, so we might as well use nutrition to our advantage and speed up the healing process, right? (That’s what we thought.) So, here are the best foods, spices and beverages for combatting the most common bugs surrounding us this season.

For a cold…

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Citrus Fruits: Yes, what you’ve been told your entire life is true — vitamin C is super helpful in battling pesky head colds. It has the ability to relieve the severity of your symptoms, as well as make recovery a speedier process. And of course, the citrus fruit family is loaded with this vitamin. So stock up on all the lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits your immune system desires.

Sweet Potatoes: These healthy tubers are full of beta-carotene, hence their rich, orange color. And the body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, a vital nutrient for keeping the immune system strong. And there’s no better way to fend off a cold than to kick your immune system into high gear.

Salmon: Vitamin D-rich foods also help to combat colds, and one of your best high-protein sources of this nutrient is this beautifully colored fish. So grab a filet and bake, pan sear or grill to your heart’s content, because this main dish will only do your body good.

For the stomach flu…

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Ginger: This root may have a spicy taste, but it also has a magical way of soothing even the most upset of stomachs out there. It has antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-cancer effects, all of which work to your advantage when nausea has the best of you. So grab a chunk of fresh ginger and toss it in some tea or a simple rice and veggie stir-fry, and you’ll be feeling better before you know it.

Bananas: This tropical fruit is a core component of the BRAT diet (the “B” stands for bananas), which is aimed at relieving any and all upset stomachs. It’s mild in both taste and texture, and it delivers a quality dose of both calories and nutrients that your body needs in the middle of fighting off a stomach bug.

Oats: When you’re having trouble keeping food down, oatmeal can be a great food to try. It’s bland in taste, boosts your immune system and has natural, soothing properties that your digestive system will appreciate. Plus, it’s a little more calorically dense and nutritional, giving your body what it’s probably missing. Just make it with water instead of milk and drop a little honey in there for added flavor and tummy-soothing benefits.

For a sinus infection…

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Chili Peppers: Bring on the heat! These little red peppers have a compound in them called capsaicin, which is responsible for that slight burning sensation you feel when they touch your skin. But it also helps open up and clear out your nasal passages, which usually feels impossible in the middle of a sinus infection. So add some spice to your life and breathe easy.

Apple Cider Vinegar: This stuff reaks, but man is it powerful natural medicine against a sinus infection, thanks to its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Just blend one tablespoon of ACV in a cup of lukewarm water and down it in one go. (It’s okay if you have to hold your nose — we certainly do.)

Garlic: This potent herb has natural antibacterial properties, so considering that a sinus infection is a bacterial infection, loading up on this pungent root can’t hurt. In fact, allicin (the antibacterial compound) is also an antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial and antioxidant — and there’s a lot of it in garlic.

Across the board…

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Broths Of All Kinds: No matter what illness you’ve managed to snag, broths are an sick person’s dream come true. They provide all of the hydration and electrolytes your body needs to recover successfully. Plus, when you pair them with healthy soup ingredients like chicken and veggies, you end up with a nutritional powerhouse of a meal.

Coconut Water: Another hydration winner, coconut water delivers the perfect balance of water, electrolytes and glucose to equip your body to tackle anything that stands in the immune system’s way. It also contains antioxidants that help prevent further cell damage and keep your blood sugars balanced while you heal.

Herbal Tea: Notice a trend here? Hydration is really freaking important, folks. And herbal tea gives us one of the best ways to keep our bodies thriving. Beyond their water content, tea blends pack their own unique combinations of health benefits that can aid in recovery from all sorts of illnesses. So pair your symptoms with the appropriate roots and herbs, and get to sippin’.