So what should you really do when you’re sick? What should you eat when you’re sick? Do those same old rules “feed a cold, starve a fever” really apply? The truth is, there are some really great nutrition strategies out there to support your immune system so that you can either A) avoid catching an illness all together or B) allow your body to fight off that particular disease more efficiently.
Here’s the scoop:
FOODS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
You might not realize it, but what happens in your digestive tract plays a huge role in how well you’re able to fight off germs. And what you eat — even, at times, whether you eat — can have a direct impact on how quickly you recover from a cold or flu and whether you catch the bug in the first place.
Here are some tips for boosting your immunity and feeling better fast. Plus, we’ve provided a few extra tips below for implementing a plan.
When To Eat: As a general rule, eat when you’re hungry. Don’t force yourself to eat if you’re not hungry. You may want to snack here and there if you aren’t wanting a full meal.
Prebiotics and Probiotics: Prebiotic and probiotic foods will help by building healthy gut bacteria. If you’re already sick, a probiotic supplement may be the way to go. Here are some of the pre and probiotic foods that you may want to consider.
Prebiotic foods: asparagus, garlic, onions, barley, beans, oats, yams, apples, banans, cherries, flax seeds, chia seeds
Probiotic foods: yogurt or kefir with live active cultures, fermented foods like pickles, kraut and miso, refrigerated probiotic supplements with approximately 3-5 billion live organisms.
Fight Germs and Improve Symptoms With The Following:
Bone Broth (homemade or from organic source of chicken or beef if possible)
Fresh organic juices are also great options because they are predigested, your digestion system won’t have to work as hard.
Immune Boosting Foods: Eat colorful fruits and vegetables as well as herbs like tumeric and ginger to provide your body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Bonus: Rest and Recover to help speed recovery. Get proper sleep and rest so your body can heal.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT A NUTRITION STRATEGY FOR STAYING “UN-SICK”
Fitness – Move your body enough … but not too much. Make a workout plan and stick to it. Find something that challenges you but won’t put you in the overtraining category. Each person is different so you may have to figure out what works for you and your schedule. Don’t forget to include recovery activities like yoga, stretching and even foam rolling.
Food – Include nutrient dense foods and mix them up so that you’re getting a range of different nutrients regularly. Try not to eat the exact same foods all of the time. Add in some of the immune boosting foods listed in the picture above as you see fit.
Stress Reduction – STRESS! Get the stress out of your life. Simple deep breathing techniques (breathe in for 5 counts, breathe out for 5 counts), easy meditations and spa treatments like massage and body work can help reduce your stress levels. Quiet time, reading, spending time with loved ones and laughing are also great strategies for stress reduction.
While there is no sure fire way to not get sick, we can fuel our bodies and treat them right to help ward off as many bugs as we can. We hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any questions or comments in the comment section below.
If you need help with supplementation or nutrition, check out our Health & Wellness Coaching to get individual coaching, guidance and accountability.
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