“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
It seems as if someone around me is always sick. Sniffles, coughs, and sneezes are like a symphony in my classrooms. It’s been the soundtrack of my college years.
On most college campuses, we are fortunate enough to have access to a free health center. The health center is a great resource and can be helpful when cough drops and Advil aren’t cutting it for your seasonal cold. But it’s really important that we take care of the root cause of our illnesses and pay closer attention to the factors that may be contributing. If you treat your body like a trash can, it’s going to fight back.
Eating those “comfort foods” while you’re sick (think bread, pasta) is not doing your body any favors and is putting it at a disadvantage when it needs to rally most. A more holistic approach to combating seasonal sickness or allergies is paying closer attention to what you are eating and nourishing your body in a way that will help it heal and stay stable and strong. Below is a list of a few foods you should think about including in your diet when you’re sick, feel like you’re getting sick, or simply want to boost your immunity.
Think beyond oranges & orange juice. Vitamin C is found in many other fruits and vegetables as well. Broccoli is packed with vitamin C, known for helping your body form and maintain tissues, bones, and blood vessels.
Also known as the earth’s candy. Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that are vital for battling infection. Not to mention they taste great and are easy to throw into a smoothie.
Avocados are rich with healthy fats as well at Vitamin A and E, which speedup the regeneration of cells. And who isn’t looking for an excuse to eat more guacamole?
Spinach is also rich in vitamin C and folic acid (which helps your body produce and maintain cells). If a giant raw spinach salad doesn’t excite you, try throwing it into a smoothie or sauteing it with some eggs for an extra boost of vitamins
Cinnamon has incredible blood-sugar lowering qualities and also acts as a bacteria fighter. Sprinkle it on your oatmeal, on a cooked apple, or a banana for a healthy and delicious treat. (A snickerdoodle is not the answer here.)
Walnuts are rich in Omega-3s and have anti-inflammatory properties, making them a good protector against a number of diseases. In fact, walnuts contain certain nutrients that are found in virtually no other foods.
Nothing rare or exotic here, these are healthy choices that are easy to find in virtually any grocery store. Incorporating them into your daily diet could result in significant health benefits, most importantly a boosted immune system for when you are under the weather.