The Best Foods To Eat When You're Sick & Need To Recover ASAP, According To Experts

Whenever you're battling a nasty cold, you're probably pretty focused on getting better as soon as you possibly can. After all, nobody likes to have to carry around tissues or sneeze their way through the afternoon. One of the reasons I personally dread getting colds is that congestion always diminishes my taste buds, which makes sitting down for a delicious meal much less enjoyable. Even if your sense of taste isn't as heightened as it usually is, incorporating these six foods to eat when you're sick into your meals might help you recover as soon as you possibly can, according to experts.

Before you dive into any of these great food options, though, remember to fill up your water bottle, because staying hydrated really is key to getting healthy, says Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and author of the upcoming Keto Diet. "This is probably the most simple and basic of common cold remedies, but don’t underestimate how important it is," he tells Elite Daily in an email. "Adequate hydration is the key to preventing dehydration and loosening up that nasty congestion."

If you're finding yourself a little bored with regular tap water, try adding some mint and cucumber, or strawberries and basil into your glass. Just be sure to aim for at least eight ounces of water every two hours, says Dr. Axe, so that your time being sick stays as short as possible.

Enjoy some creamy oats

If you wake up feeling under the weather, start your day off with some healing oatmeal, suggests Ayurveda specialist Dr. Alka Sharma. As a rich source of nutrients, fluids, and electrolytes, this bowl of goodness can help your body heal from whatever sickness you're trying to kick. Add plenty of fresh fruit on top for extra vitamin support.

Don't hold back on the spices

If you're dealing with a stuffy nose, the more flavor you put into your food, the better your chances are of actually tasting it even without your normal sense of smell. "Hands-down, raw garlic and raw oregano will zap just about anything quickly," Holly Harding, an integrative nutrition health coach and founder of O’o Hawaii, tells Elite Daily. "Garlic in particular has a compound called allicin. This compound has been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when it encounters viruses such as the common cold or flu."

And, of course, from a taste standpoint, there's really no such thing as too much garlic, so load up.

Snack on an orange

I personally swear by eating cold oranges from the fridge to cure jet-lag, but it turns out that the juicy fruit can also help you battle regular colds. "Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells, which fight infections," says Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. "Immune-boosting citrus fruits include foods like grapefruit, kiwi, and oranges," he tells Elite Daily.

Munch on some broccoli

You might not realize it, but the tasty green vegetable you may have hated as a child is packed with vitamin C, which can help your body fight a cold, says Gabby Geerts, a registered dietitian for Green Chef. "Vitamin C is essential for the development and repair of all body tissue," she explains, so roast up a pan of broccoli with lots of garlic, and you'll have a side dish that's sure to put you on your way to wellness.

Cook up a batch of lentils

This protein-packed legume is also rich in zinc, which is a pretty powerful mineral. "Zinc is one of the few supplements that have studies that back up its claims to help prevent and cut short a cold if started early on," health coach and nutrition expert, Jennifer Cassetta, tells Elite Daily. "Adding foods high in zinc can help boost your immune system and help fight off your cold."

If you're not really feeling lentils, try out another food with lots of zinc like garbanzo beans, cashews, turkey, or shellfish.

Sip on some soup

Soup is souper great for kicking a cold, especially if it's made with a bone broth base, says Samantha Eaton, a certified nutrition and eating psychology coach. "The reason it’s such a fantastic source of nutrients and minerals (like magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus)," she explains, "is that they enter our bodies in forms that are easily absorbed so the body can use them quickly and easily."

Eat your soup piping hot, and you'll get the extra benefit of helping to clear out your sinuses.