What to eat when you are

HEIDI SPECK

Editor In Chief

 

The time for cold medicine and “stay away from me, you’re sick” comments is now. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is the infamous cold season. When I am at home coughing up a lung and holding a tissue to the waterfall that has taken the place of my nose, I am not thinking of how much homework I will have to make up. I am pondering my next meal. Chicken Noodle Soup is the cold classic, however there is a vast world of meals out there, why limit “sick foods” just to chicken broth?

When you just really cannot eat another bowl of soup for breakfast but you are truly starved, try an omelette with mushrooms and a side of salsa. The eggs are a great source of protein but that is not the important ingredient in this meal, the mushrooms are. Just like sunblock, mushrooms are a great way to get zinc into your system. Zinc is the perfect way to boost your immune system and eliminate those cold symptoms quickly. Mushrooms can act as a supplement to our white blood cells, the first line of defense when your body is fighting a cold. Spicy foods, such as salsa in this instance, can help clear your sinuses and break down congestion temporarily.

If you want something to wash down your immune-boosting breakfast, dump your the throat-irritating orange juice and make yourself decaf green or black tea. Green and black tea are rich in antioxidants that are crucial to, believe or not, boosting your immune system. When you are sick, you can never drink too many fluids. They can help flush out the nastiness in your system that is causing your cold. And when those fluids can ease sneezing, sore throats, chills and fatigue like black and green tea can, why not? Other snack foods like yogurt, citrus fruits, vegetables, and sweet potatoes can help your immune system with nutrients such as probiotics and vitamin c as well.

All this aside, the cult-classic chicken noodle soup is always a great fall back. Not only does the heat help loosen the mucus and congestion, the broth can sooth every sore throat. Cysteine, an amino acid found in chicken, can help thin the mucus in your lungs to calm your cough and your stuffed nose.

The underlying problem when you get sick is not that your friend coughed on you and passed on their germs, that is only part of it. The cure is not just to eat a magic food, sadly. It means that your immune system is not keeping up with your daily routine. When you regularly do not get enough sleep, are stressed, do not have the best of eating habits, or all of the above, your immune system can be more susceptible to bacteria that can infect your system. It is important to be aware that your own routines could be harming you. My advice to you is to take a breather, take a look at your habits; is their a way to improve them?

 

 

photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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