5 Great Sick-Day Foods

You can't seem to fight off that nasty cold or flu, and you're stuck at home for several days. The good news? There are certain foods that can help soothe your symptoms. Although you may not feel like cooking or eating anything right now, these simple treats are easy to prepare and may even get you back to health more quickly.

1. Chicken Noodle Soup

You've heard it before, but it bears repeating: Chicken noodle soup really can make you feel better. Dieticians, nutritionists and doctors agree that chicken noodle soup, like some other liquids, can thin mucous secretions, helping to relieve certain cold symptoms. Other broth-based soups, such as beef broth, beef noodle, and tomato, can also soothe your throat and help to clear out your sinuses. Avoid cream-based soups, however, along with dairy products because they can make phlegm thicker, perhaps making you feel worse.

2. Garlic

Colds can cause your taste buds to react differently to your favorite foods, making everything taste bland. Garlic works like an antioxidant and can be added to any food you already enjoy to bring out the taste. Garlic contains alliin, an ingredient that works like a decongestant. In addition, garlic boosts your immune system. Just make sure you can smell that distinctive garlic odor; otherwise, you are likely to lose many of its health benefits.

3. Chili

When you're sweating with a fever, the last thing you want to do is eat something hot. But spicy, flavorful foods may help you feel better. Foods with hot sauce, horseradish, or intense cinnamon flavors can help clear out nasal passages and help you breathe easier. What's more, chili can be refrigerated and reheated, which means less prepping and cooking time for you.

4. Citrus fruits

Virtually any food with vitamin C will help your body bounce back to health faster. And if you think the only way to get vitamin C is through orange juice, think again. Grapefruit, guava, kiwi, broccoli, strawberry, cantaloupe, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, and red and yellow peppers are all packed with vitamin C. To get C from multiple sources, try mixing fruits or vegetables in a salad.

5. Ginger or ginger tea

Holistic nutritionists have long touted the benefits of ginger, which works as both an antiseptic and an antioxidant. Many people find it extremely useful in treating minor sore throats and relieving coughs. If you opt for ginger tea, you can add honey for additional soothing relief and lemon for taste.