What I eat, when I’m sick – or how I try to shake off colds and flus.
I’ve struggled with a flu for the past two weeks, and it seemed like my body really needed some time to rest. While I am usually not hungry, when I am sick, I do try to eat as healthy as possible to fuel my body with the nutrients and the energy it needs to get better. I know that every body is different, especially during sickness, but there are some points that everyone should keep in mind when it comes to nutrition during unwell phases. This is my daily eating habit for when I have a flu or a cold, so maybe it helps some of you to get rid of unwanted illnesses.
Ginger – Lemon Tea with Honey
Drinking plenty of fluids is especially important when you are sick. Herbal teas are great, but it is even better to use fresh herbs such as mint, which help ease any discomfort and even fever. When I have a cold, I usually make this ginger and lemon tea, preferably combined with raw honey. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and even helps with nausea. Raw honey also contains antibacterial properties, so it is one of the best natural remedies out there.
Breakfast – Blood Orange Porridge with Roasted Almond Slices
Unfortunately I never feel like eating breakfast when I am unwell. However, if my stomach can handle it, I try to eat a little bit of porridge with orange or blood orange juice, stewed berries and toasted almond slices. The oats provide long-lasting energy, the berries some antioxidants (try to warm them over the lowest heat possible) and the toasted almond slices contain healthy fats, which is important for cell recovery.
Snack – Avocado Toast with Basil and Chives
The only food I seem to get along with very well is bread when I am sick. We have a great bakery in my town that only sells whole-wheat products, so I usually ask Jannis to buy a big loaf when I feel unwell. The bread is of such great quality that it even tastes good after three days without having to toast it. Avocado is one of the things that I can always eat, even if I don’t feel like eating anything else.
Lunch – Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup with Ginger and Chili
Soup is one of my favorite foods to make when I do not feel like cooking. I usually let my Thermomix or Vitamix do the work for me, and all I have to do is roughly chop the ingredients. Adding ginger and chili is also great for your health as the compound capsaicin encourages blood circulation in our mucous membranes, which helps release congested noses for example. I will upload the recipe for this oriental sweet potato and carrot soup with ginger and chili next week, so keep your eyes peeled.
Dinner – Oven Roasted Vegetables with Red Onions
I try to eat as many vegetables as possible when I am sick, so roasted vegetables is one of the easiest ways to increase the vegetable intake. I love roasted red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, potatoes, leek, carrots but anything you have in stock will do. However, adding red onions and garlic to your vegetable roast is great for your health as onions contain alliin, a sulfuric-like compound that helps strengthen our immune system. Onions also contain the flavonoid quercetin, which fights viruses, and bacteria, thus helping to shake off colds.
It is no secret that I loooove stews. Whenever I feel like a cold creeping up on me, I make sure to make a big pot of hearty stew to get me through days when I do not have the energy to cook. If I manage to go grocery shopping before the cold breaks out, I buy large bundles of fresh herbs such as mint, parsley or dill, which are a great and healthy addition to stews, as they have amazing heart-healthy properties.
Finally, I like to add that nutrition can only help so much, so if your cold or flu lasts longer than a few days, be sure to seek the help of a physician.
What do you like to eat when you’re feeling under the weather? Let me know in the comments below.