What are the best foods to eat when you are sick? A nutritionist shares

Every summer, rain or shine in Colorado, our entire family gets sick. It’s like back-to-school season is playing a preventative trick, reminding us to nurture a healthy immune system all year long. universe i see you. But when illness strikes during the warmer months, what are the best foods to eat when you’re sick? Spoiler alert: A few scoops of peppermint ice cream may soothe your soul (and temporarily, a sore throat), but slices of fresh citrus, a cup of bone broth, or an anti-inflammatory smoothie will do the trick. really provide the relief you are looking for. With a quick return to backyard barbecues and pool parties in mind, let’s get you feeling better ASAP.

Potential Causes of a Summer Cold

While we often If you associate colds with the cold winter months, it may surprise you that catching a cold during the summer is not uncommon. There are several reasons why we are susceptible to colds, even when the weather is hot.

Summer brings people together

Inevitably, vacations, parties, and outdoor gatherings increase the likelihood of exposure to germs. If we learned anything in 2020, it’s to wash your hands (and sanitize your phone!) frequently.

temperature fluctuations

From hours in air conditioning to spending time in hot, sweltering, and crowded places (hello, airports and public transportation), our immune systems take a hit. In turn, this makes us more vulnerable to viral infections. Rapid changes in weather conditions do this too!

High humidity

Depending on where you live, humidity knocks on the door at the first signs of summer. Unfortunately, high humidity levels create an ideal environment for viruses to thrive and spread.

seasonal allergies

Additionally, seasonal allergies can weaken the respiratory system, making it easier for cold viruses to take hold.

6 things to do as soon as you start feeling sick

Do you feel a disease coming on? Time is of the essence. Remember, the sooner you act, the better chance you have of fighting the disease effectively. This will not only support your body’s natural healing process, but may also minimize the severity of your symptoms. Along with the best foods to eat when you’re sick, here are some essential steps to take as soon as you start feeling sick.

  • Rest and prioritize sleep. Your body needs enough rest to fight the disease effectively. Make sure you get enough sleep. Put an OOO response in your inbox, and as much as possible, take it easy.
  • Keep hydrated. Proper hydration is vital to supporting your immune system and maintaining general well-being. Drink plenty of fluids, such as lemon water, herbal teas, and nutritious broths, to keep your body hydrated and help flush out toxins.
  • incorporate aromatherapy. Essential oils can provide calming effects and respiratory support. Diffuse oils like eucalyptus, lavender, or peppermint throughout your living space, or add a few drops to a warm bath to relax and soothe.
  • Consider herbal remedies. Drinking ginger tea can help relieve nausea and aid digestion. Echinacea or elderberry supplements can boost the immune system.
  • steam inhalation. Relieve congestion by creating a steam inhalation session. Boil water, pour it into a bowl, and add a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or tea tree oil. Place a towel over your head, lean over the bowl, and deeply inhale the steam, allowing it to clear your nostrils.
  • Practice good hygiene. Prevent the spread of disease by practicing proper hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating or touching your face. And once you’re getting better, be sure to wash your sheets!
Image by Teal Thomsen

10 foods to eat when you are sick

This goes without saying, but food is important fuel and powerful medicine. What we eat greatly improves our recovery process! While there is no universal magic ingredient for every ailment, there are certain foods that can provide a much-needed boost to the immune system. Below are 10 foods to add to your grocery delivery. (Let someone else do the shopping for you!).

Image by Riley Reed

1. lemon

Lemons (citrus, in general) are packed with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that supports immune function and helps fight infection. Consuming lemon, in the form of freshly squeezed lemon juice or added to a tea, can help soothe a sore throat and relieve a cough. The acidic nature of lemon juice can also help dissolve mucus and congestion, making it easier to breathe. Additionally, lemon contains natural antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help fight disease. Plus, the refreshing, tangy flavor of lemon can help stimulate your appetite, making it easier to eat nutritious foods and hydrate.

Image by Michelle Nash

2. ginger

Here at Camille Styles, we love a gingerbread moment Along with its strong flavor, eating ginger when you’re sick can offer multiple health benefits. Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation, ease an upset stomach, and relieve nausea and vomiting. It also acts as a natural congestion reliever, helping to clear the airways. Last but not least, ginger provides warmth and inner fire, making it a comforting option to promote overall well-being.

Image by Ashleigh Loving

3. Turmeric

All hail the powerful turmeric root. Whether you’re craving sweet or spicy, we’ve got turmeric recipes for everyone. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with immunostimulating effects. This can help reduce symptoms of inflammation and pain. By reducing inflammation, curcumin can relieve symptoms such as pain, swelling, and discomfort associated with the disease, promoting a faster healing process. He is truly a miracle worker.

4. Bone broth

There’s a reason chicken soup has been a go-to remedy for generations. Its comforting warmth, combined with essential nutrients like collagen, makes it a perfect choice when you’re sick. Chicken soup contains amino acids that reduce inflammation, relieve congestion, and promote respiratory health. The broth keeps you hydrated while providing essential electrolytes, and the added vegetables provide vital vitamins and minerals.

Image by Michelle Nash

5. Green leafy vegetables

Even when you’re feeling down, don’t skimp on your greens! Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support immune function and aid in recovery. Rich in fiber, they also help support healthy digestion, which is essential for nutrient absorption, detoxification, and general well-being. When you’re feeling sick, there’s no need to eat your greens in a salad! Add them to soups, stews, or smoothies.

Image by Michelle Nash

6. Foods rich in probiotics

More and more research shows that the gut plays a crucial role in our immune system. What is one of the best ways to support your digestive health? Consume foods rich in probiotics. These can help restore the balance of healthy bacteria, especially after a round of antibiotics. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are excellent sources of probiotics that promote a healthy gut microbiome, aiding in digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall immune function.

Image by Michelle Nash

7. Bee Propolis

Have you heard of bee propolis? Bee propolis is a resin-like substance produced by bees! It has antimicrobial and immune-supporting properties, making it beneficial for fighting infections. Bee propolis can be found in supplement form (we love this throat spray from Beekeeper’s Naturals) or as a tincture. Otherwise, add a drizzle of raw local honey to your favorite tea or savory recipe.

Image by Suruchi Avasthi

8. Echinacea

A flowering plant with immune-boosting properties, echinacea is often used to reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms. It is widely known for its immunostimulant properties, as it can stimulate the production of white blood cells and enhance the activity of immune cells. Echinacea tea, or supplements, are widely available.

Image by Suruchi Avasthi


Do you love miso soup? Now is the time to drink it! Consuming miso when you’re sick can be beneficial, thanks to its nutritional and immune-supporting properties. If you haven’t tried miso, it’s a fermented soybean paste. Contains natural probiotics, which promote a healthy gut microbiome and support immune function. It is also rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can help boost energy and aid in the recovery process. The warm and flavorful nature of miso soup can provide comfort and hydration, making it a relaxing option when you’re feeling ill.

Image by Michelle Nash

10. Camouflage Camouflage

Camu camu is a small fruit native to the Amazon jungle. And when it comes to vitamin C, this fruit hits the spot. It is known for its extraordinarily high vitamin C content, making it one of the richest natural sources of this essential nutrient. Camu camu is typically red or purple in color and has a sour and spicy flavor. You’ll likely eat it in powdered form (add it to your favorite tropical smoothie!). Rich in antioxidants, camu camu is worth the shelf space.

Food to go

Ultimately, any illness is simply an invitation to slow down, to give your body the nourishment it needs. Hopefully, you will recover in no time! From incorporating the best foods to eat when you’re sick to getting the rest you deserve (without the guilt!), you can boost your immune system and improve your overall well-being.

The next time you’re feeling under the weather, turn to citrus fruits, chicken soup, ginger, leafy greens, and probiotic-rich foods to fuel your body with the healing power of nutrition. This is to keep you healthy, balanced and resilient for the rest of the year.

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