Five Food Options for Feeling Better Faster

Whether you have a cold, flu, stomach bug or other illness, know which foods can put you on the road to recovery.

Food is your body’s fuel, and sometimes your diet can fuel healing faster than others:

1. Think BRAT for stomach problems. Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast (BRAT) are the go-to foods for any illness involving vomit or diarrhea. However, any bland food (such as crackers, baked chicken or plain potatoes) is a good starting place for getting nutrients without making your symptoms worse. Eat small portions of these foods six to eight times a day until you’ve recovered.

2. Chicken soup is for more than the soul. It turns out that chicken soup earned its reputation as a good food to eat when sick. Although it won’t cure your cold, the liquid in chicken soup helps you stay hydrated, and the heat and steam from soup can soothe a sore throat and open up your congested nose.

3. Constipated? Learn to love legumes. Legumes (a family of seeds that includes navy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, soybeans and lentils) are high in fiber, an essential nutrient for bowel regularity.

4. Control migraines with cooked veggies. Chocolate, cheese and smoked meats often serve as trigger foods for many migraines. Cooked green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard, are generally safe for migraine sufferers and provide plenty of nutrients.

5. Scrambled eggs are best for a sore throat. When it hurts to swallow, soft foods are the name of the game. Eggs help you stay nourished and get enough calories for the day without further irritating your throat.

Do I Need an Emergency Room?

When you get sick after office hours, you often don’t want to wait until 8 a.m. the next day to receive care. However, emergency rooms are designed to treat the sickest and most injured patients. Go to the emergency room if you are dealing with symptoms of a life-threatening condition, including chest pain, stroke symptoms (such as difficulty talking or drooping in the face), uncontrollable bleeding or loss of consciousness.

Urgent care centers are well-equipped to deal with minor to moderate medical problems. Most types of infection (including ear infections, sinus infections and sexually transmitted infections), minor cuts, bone breaks and strains, fevers, the stomach virus, and rashes can be treated at an urgent care center.

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