Fight diseases with the right diet
For respiratory or gastrointestinal disorders, many people resort to home remedies such as chicken soup or hot tea to fight the disease. But can food really help you get better faster? Yes, says nutritionist Andrea Dunn. In a contribution from the renowned Cleveland Clinic (USA), she explains that the right diet can help fight diseases.
While there is no specific food that can cure a disease, eating the right food can sometimes help relieve symptoms and help you feel better. However, remember that what works for one person may not work for another person, the expert says. The best thing to do when you are uncomfortable is to focus on what is helping you.
Diet for and against dehydration
When you are sick and not feeling well, you may not have an appetite or feel like you are not “bringing down” anything. However, if you don’t eat or drink, dehydration can develop quickly.
“When we’re sick and not feeling well, dehydration often plays a big role,” explains Dunn. “This could be due to vomiting or running to the bathroom every five minutes. Or you feel so sick that you simply have no appetite. “
Dehydration is an enormous health hazard, according to the nutritionist. Those who are severely dehydrated could pass out and hit their heads. Moderate to severe dehydration requires prompt medical treatment. If left untreated, dehydration can cause urinary or kidney problems, seizures, and even life-threatening.
Here are some things to eat and drink when you are dehydrated or to avoid becoming dehydrated:
Beverages: It doesn’t matter if it’s hot, cold, or room temperature – any type of liquid will help fight dehydration. Just try to drink evenly throughout the day. Water is ideal, but coffee, tea, juice or other drinks also contribute to hydration.
Soup: There’s a reason chicken noodle soup is popular with most people when they’re not comfortable. It is usually more filling than regular water because it contains more calories, protein and vitamins. It’s also a good source of fluids and electrolytes. However, if this traditional soup doesn’t suit you, try other types of soups and broths for extra calories and fluids.
Food with a high percentage of liquids: If you have difficulty drinking fluids, look for foods that are high in fluids.
Fruit: Fresh fruit contains many important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs – even when you are not sick! The consumption of fruits causes a nutrient boost as well as a hydration. We recommend juicy fruits, which mainly consist of water, such as melons, berries, oranges and grapes.
What to eat if you have gastrointestinal problems
If you have diarrhea, the food moves too quickly through your body. To slow this process down, foods that contain soluble fiber should be selected. These act as thickeners and help slow down the stool.
According to Ms. Dunn, caffeine and sugar alcohols should be avoided or restricted in gastrointestinal problems. Caffeine can overstimulate your digestive system and make diarrhea worse. Sugar alcohols are fermented by the colon bacteria, which can lead to gas, stomach pain and more diarrhea.
Here’s what you can eat and drink when your bowels are sick:
Everything according to the BRAT diet: Put on the so-called BRAT diet, i.e. bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Most people with diarrhea can tolerate some of these foods.
Mild foods: While not overly exciting, very simple and bland foods can help relieve symptoms. Try pasta, dry cereal, oatmeal, bread, and crackers. But boring doesn’t mean you can’t add protein or vegetables to the mix if you feel like it! Try rice and baked chicken breasts or cheese and crackers.
Some fruits and vegetables: Try adding boiled or baked potatoes, winter squash, baked apples, applesauce, or bananas to your diet.
Diet for nausea or abdominal pain
From gastrointestinal flu to food poisoning and pregnancy – nausea can have a massive impact on the quality of life. “If you feel bad or have a stomach ache, you should really try to eat every few hours,” recommends Dunn. If you feel sick, she recommends the following foods:
Ginger: This spice is known for its anti-nausea effects. Try ginger schnapps, ginger ale, ginger tea or suck on ginger candy. You can also try crystallized ginger, which is softer, tougher and lightly coated with sugar.
Dry foods: If you feel sick, try nibbling on some dry foods every few hours. Try pretzels, dry granola, toast, or simple crackers.
Cold dishes and low-odor food: Since smells can cause nausea (especially during pregnancy), cold foods can be a good choice. Try fruit, yogurt, or ice cream. Even sucking on an ice cube is a great way to get hydrated.
Refill food supplies
Anyone who suffers from the flu or the common cold wants and should stay at home and not spread the infection. Hence, in case you or someone in your house gets sick, there should be enough food supplies. The nutritionist recommends always having a selection of teas, juices, canned fruit and vegetables and crackers at home. And: “Put a few pieces of bread in the freezer so that you have it at hand.” (Ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
- Cleveland Clinic: The Best Foods to Eat When You’re Sick, (Abruf: 15.02.2021), Cleveland Clinic
This article is for general guidance only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.