When you’re feeling down, certain foods will make you feel better. Whether it’s a placebo effect or because you’re eating vitamin packed produce, food can have a massive impact on your road to getting back to full health.

Why is it important to eat good foods when you’re sick?

Winter coughs and colds can prove tricky to shake off. If you’re feeling under the weather for the umpteenth time in the past few months, it’s time to take a good look at your diet.

If you’re eating unhealthy foods, or worse, not eating at all, your body probably isn’t getting the nutrients or nourishment it needs to fight invading viruses. Research has long highlighted a link between healthy eating and a strong immune system, so if you’re not feeding your body the good stuff, there’s a greater chance you’ll catch every virus going – and you’ll find it harder to recover quickly.

Keep reading for our guide to the best foods to eat when you’re sick. These are just some of the feel-good foods that can help fortify your immune system, shake of symptoms and speed up your recovery.

Soup for a Sore Throat

Any warm soup is good to soothe the feeling of a sore throat, but your best options are vegetable-based soups that will help you get the nutrients needed for recovery. Our soup collection of Tomato and Mushroom soups are all vegetable based and nourish your body with vitamins.  Chicken noodle broths are also well-known for soothing sore throats and being an all-round nourishing meal.

Citrus Fruits for a Common Cold

Vitamin C, found in large amounts in citrus fruits – should be your best friend when you are battling a cold or virus. Although it’s not a cure, it is powerful enough to reduce the severity and length of your symptoms, so make sure you eat plenty of oranges, lemons and grapefruit when you feel a sniffle coming on. The skin of citrus fruits also has flavonoids in which have been suggested to boost your immune system.

Soup for Flu-Like Symptoms

Soup is a firm favourite for getting people through tough times. Don’t you agree that, when you’re feeling achy and bunged up, there’s just nothing better than a warm, flavoursome soup to lift your spirits? Research shows that some soups – such as chicken and vegetable flavours – can help the body to kick a cold by easing congestion and inflammation. Stock up on Campbell’s Soup collection to get you through the seasonal sickness.

Magnesium-Rich Foods for Aches & Pains

If your muscles are aching and you are sapped of energy, try increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, bananas, avocados, dark leafy greens and beans. These can help to ease soreness and give your energy levels a much-needed boost. Magnesium can also help you to get to sleep when paired with other specific vitamins, such as zinc. Magnesium is an essential nutrient for nearly every function and tissue in the body – particularly the immune system – so consider taking supplements if you are struggling to get the right foods in your diet. Bananas in particular are well known for being a food high in micronutrients such as magnesium, folate and potassium.

Herbal Tea for a Sore Throat

Often when you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is eat solid foods – especially if your throat is scratchy and sore. Herbal teas such as peppermint, ginger or green tea are good choices for soothing throat pain, and they also provide your body with essential antioxidants to boost your immune system. Combine green tea or peppermint tea with a spoonful of Manuka honey for the best healing benefits.

The addition of caffeine in some teas can help to speed up healing, so why not choose a caffeinated tea for maximum health benefits!

Spicy Foods for Congestion

It can be difficult to eat when you are congested. All of your senses are out of whack, so you cannot smell anything and food tastes bland. This is where spicy foods such as curry and chilli come in handy. Once eaten, the body reacts by loosening up mucus which can help to open up your sinuses and ease the congested feeling. Studies have shown that cayenne pepper in particular can help to relieve pain and congestion linked to colds and flu.

Eat good to feel good

Paying good attention to your diet when you are ill will really help you get yourself on the mend. With so many natural remedies for the common cold and flu it is important to listen to your body.

A good diet is healthy for everyone. To stay in best possible health during the colder months, ensure you are getting your 5-a-day, a good amount of fresh fruit and veggies and stocking up your cupboards with some warming, hearty soup!