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13 Foods to Eat When Sick With
common cold is an upper respiratory infection and the most common illness in
the world. In fact, the average adult experiences 2–3 colds a year. Symptoms
tend to be mild and may include sneezing, a stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing,
treating a cold, many people turn to medications, hydration, and rest. While
these help, diet can also be a powerful tool to reduce cold symptoms, shorten
the duration of the cold, and boost immune function.
there are over 200 types of cold, rhinovirus is the most common type, earning
it the nickname “common cold”. Symptoms start a few days after someone comes
into contact with the virus and can last up to 10–14 days.
symptoms of a cold include:
(a stuffy nose)
rare cases, more severe symptoms may be present. These include a fever,
dehydration, and trouble breathing.
Diet & Cold Symptoms
science can point us toward certain foods to hydrate and fight infection– and
it can help us stay away from foods that do the opposite, such as fast food or
dehydrating substances like coffee.
we fight infections like the common cold, it’s important to stay hydrated and
maintain a diet with high-quality protein, fruits, and veggies. These foods
offer relief from cold symptoms, strengthen the immune system, and may even
shorten how long a cold lasts. Other foods, like soups, may also prevent
Nutrients for the Immune System
When grocery shopping with a cold, purchase foods with:
Anti-inflammatory properties: a cold is often the manifestation of inflammation in the upper respiratory tract. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties decrease inflammation, reducing symptoms and sometimes shortening cold length.
Antioxidants: foods that are high in antioxidants
neutralize free radicals that harm the immune system. This makes them a great
addition to prevent future illnesses, especially for those who experience
A: thanks to its
anti-inflammatory properties and a high level of antioxidants, Vitamin A may
reduce symptom severity and help prevent future colds.
D: the most famous
vitamin for boosting the immune system, Vitamin D, contains anti-inflammatory
and antiviral properties which can be useful when fighting a cold.
C: As a source of antioxidants, Vitamin C possesses antimicrobial and antiviral
properties that can boost the immune system. A strong immune system can fight
off severe cold symptoms better.
E: Similar to Vitamin
C, Vitamin E is a great source of antioxidants that help reduce symptoms from a
Zinc: like the aforementioned vitamins,
Zinc’s antioxidant properties strengthen the immune system, preventing future
colds. Zinc is also antiviral and may shorten a cold’s length. One study
suggests zinc consumption can shorten a cold’s duration by two days.
Foods to Eat When Sick With A
of the best ways to get enough Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E,
Zinc, and antioxidants is to maintain a healthy diet. When suffering from a
cold, here are some of the best foods to reduce symptoms, shorten the duration
of the illness, and prevent future colds.
list is non-exhaustive, and other foods may offer similar benefits. Read until
the end for even more ideas of food to eat when sick with a cold. Often, the
best foods to eat are those we enjoy and will actually add to our diet.
soup has been a go-to cold remedy for centuries. But is there some wisdom to
this home remedy or is it an old wives’ tale?
chicken soup won’t cure a cold, it can provide temporary relief. Since soup is
warm, it can open up a stuffy nose or sore throat. It also provides fluid,
preventing dehydration and help in thinning mucus.
these benefits are not exclusive to one type of soup. Feel free to swap out
this common remedy for tomato soup or another favorite and experience the same
hot and calming cold remedy is chamomile tea. Like soup, it may provide
temporary relief and thin mucus, but chamomile, or any type of tea, won’t cure
a cold. Chamomile might prevent future colds as it boosts the immune system.
those who don’t like chamomile but want a similar effect, other hot liquids,
like green tea, may work too. However, fewer studies support the effects of
green tea on nasal congestion and cold viruses.
juices, such as orange juice, provide immune-boosting Vitamin C and other
health benefits. These benefits stem from the folate in citrus fruits. Folate
is a nutrient that helps maintain immunological barriers and prevent colds.
orange juice isn’t only for prevention. It can provide benefits for those with
a cold too. When someone has a cold, they experience sinus inflammation in the
nose and sinus canals. Recent research suggests orange juice may reduce that
inflammation. Eating an orange has a similar effect, but may not be as
it’s from a ginger shot or adding raw ginger to a soup, this herb may help with
relieving congestion and other cold symptoms. Like orange juice, fresh ginger
is an anti-inflammatory food and might reduce puffiness caused by a cold.
also contains antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals that can harm the
immune system. While this property won’t provide immediate relief, the
antioxidants in ginger boost immune function, preventing recurring colds.
a cold has caused a cough, raw honey is a great natural remedy. In fact, the
Centers for Disease Control recommends honey for adults and children over 12
months old with a cough because of the relief it provides.
considered a superfood, turmeric can boost immune response, relieve arthritis
symptoms, and prevent muscle soreness. Many, though not all, of these benefits
stem from turmeric’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These same
properties may relieve the symptoms of a cold.
turn up the spice on cold relief, consider eating chili peppers. Their active
ingredient, Capsaicin, has been linked to a reduction in postnasal drip,
congestion, and sneezing. Other spicy foods with capsaicin may deliver similar
we’ve discussed, certain foods can be useful in fighting inflammation caused by
colds and boosting the immune cells when sick. One such food is a cherry
because it reduces inflammation in the sinuses and digestive tract.
a fresh or frozen fruit, cherries also help people who experience trouble
sleeping because of a cold. They reduce oxidative stress, and less oxidative
stress may help people sleep better at night.
might not be the first food that comes to mind when you have a cold. Yet, they
are often one of the best foods to add to the grocery list, especially if a
cold causes chest pain or other respiratory symptoms.
are a great source of Vitamin A, which helps maintain proper immune health.
Carrots also contain Vitamin C, which has been linked to less severe cold
symptoms, particularly in the respiratory tract.
veggies is always important, but leafy greens might provide extra benefits for
those with a cold. Broccoli and spinach in particular have been linked to
enhanced immune system function and a reduction in cold symptoms, thanks to
high levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.
adults who are prone to the flu might benefit from adding kiwifruit to their
diets. As a source of Vitamin C, kiwifruit boosts the immune system and can
decrease cold duration. Some research suggests these immune-boosting benefits
may have a bigger impact on older adults, children, and others who have a
weaker immune system.
of the most common sources of Vitamin D is fatty fish. Specifically, salmon,
tuna, and herring possess large amounts of vitamin D, keeping the immune system
strong. For those who don’t eat meat, eggs may have a similar effect.
are also a source of Omega‑3,
which is another anti-inflammatory. Omega‑3
has been linked to relieving symptoms of conditions that might flare up when
someone has a cold, such as asthma, but little research has been done on its
impact on a cold itself.
colds are no fun, but they can be prevented with certain dietary changes.
Emerging research points to the Mediterranean Diet as particularly beneficial
for those who can’t seem to shake a cold or who experience frequent cold
a 2016 study, researchers found this reduction led to fewer and less severe
colds in trial participants who experienced recurring colds.
Mediterranean diet consists of a mainly plant-based diet with some lean meats
and seafood. It also involves lighter seasoning on food and using olive oil
instead of butter to prepare foods.
More Fruits and Veggies to
Stock Up On
foods that are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc may
also relieve sinus congestion and other cold symptoms. Fruits and veggies to
stock up on:
Foods to Avoid With a Cold
worst foods for a cold are those that cause nasal inflammation, such as
processed sugars and carbohydrates. Fast food also isn’t a good idea when under
the weather. Beverages that dehydrate, such as alcohol and coffee, can worsen
symptoms too, since a large part of cold recovery is to stay hydrated.
What To Eat When Struggling
is not a common symptom of a cold, but if it is present, someone may not be
able to keep food down. When this is the case, they may want to try the BRAT
stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These four foods are easier to
keep down than others and provide some subsistence to those experiencing
nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
you are not experiencing nausea or an upset stomach, it’s best to avoid the
BRAT diet since it doesn’t contain the necessary nutrients for better immune
Ways to Shorten a Cold
changes aren’t the only ways to combat a cold. Staying hydrated, getting lots
of rest, and using saline sprays also relieve cold symptoms. Gargling warm salt
water or using a humidifier may provide relief as well.
cold and cough medications also help. When taking any medication, be careful
about its side effects. For cold and cough medicine specifically, ensure you
are not allergic to any ingredients. Some also contain pain relievers that,
when paired with a pain medication like Tylenol or Advil, could become
avoid unwanted side effects, read the medication label before taking it. If
questions arise, consult the pharmacist or a medical provider.
When To See A Doctor
a cold resolves on its own. In some cases, the intervention of a doctor may be
seeing a doctor if:
don’t improve on their own in 10–14 days
a fever that lasts longer than four days
like a fever or cough improve and then worsen
cold makes it hard to breathe
medical conditions, such as asthma or emphysema, are worsened by the cold
the cold turns into bronchitis or pneumonia, it’s also best to contact a
should I eat when sick with a cold?
suggests foods that are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E can reduce
the severity and length of cold symptoms. Many foods with anti-inflammatory
properties can also reduce symptoms, while foods high in antioxidants
strengthen the immune system.
long does a cold last?
cold usually lasts 10-14 days. It can be shorter, depending on the type of
cold, treatments taken, and how the immune system responds. If longer, consider
consulting a medical professional.
long am I contagious with a cold?
the cold displays symptoms for 10-14 days, it’s contagious for longer. The cold
can spread a few days before someone shows symptoms. It stops being contagious
once all symptoms are gone.
the difference between a cold and the flu?
a cold and flu can cause sneezing, congestion, fever, headaches, sore throats,
and fatigue. Despite these shared symptoms, there are a few key differences
between the two. Flu symptoms are usually more severe and come on more
abruptly. Those with the flu are also more likely to experience fever,
headaches, muscle aches and chest discomfort. A cold is more likely to cause a
runny nose and congestion.
to get rid of a cold fast?
rid of a cold faster often involves mixing multiple treatment options. For
many, this includes cold medicine, at-home treatments, and dietary changes,
such as eating more foods that are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc. For
more personalized advice on chronic colds, consult with a nutrition consultant
or registered dietitian.
you are an older adult and are looking for specialized care in the Mobile, Alabama
area, contact Oak Street Health at 251-450-8017. They have dedicate doctors and care team
members who will take the time to get to know and understand your individual
needs, to help with Medicare and insurance paperwork and help to eliminate the
hassles to help you take care of yourself.
For nearly a decade, people with disabilities have had the option to accumulate savings in a special tax-free account without risking their means-tested public benefits. In 2024, the annual limit on how much money one can deposit into these savings vehicles, known as ABLE accounts, will rise, allowing individuals to add up to $18,000 per year.What Is an ABLE Account?Many people across the disability community rely on such government assistance as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Yet having too many assets to their name can disqualify them from receiving these often critical benefits. For example, in most states, the resource limit to qualify for Medicaid is just $2,000. In 2014, Congress signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act into law to help address this issue.Individuals with an ABLE account can save up to a total of $100,000, tax-free, while remaining eligible for public assistance programs. Family members, friends, and others can make contributions to the account, too. The disabled person can then use these funds to help maintain their independence by spending them on disability-related expenses, including assistive technologies, education, transportation needs, vacations, legal fees, and health care.Unlike a special needs trust (SNT), an ABLE account can be opened by the individual with the disability. This offers them considerably more control over the account funds compared with an SNT. Starting in 2024, the annual limit on contributions to ABLE accounts will be $18,000, up from $17,000 in 2023. Through the end of 2025, ABLE account owners who work can contribute their employment income to these savings vehicles even beyond the per-year deposit limit. (Learn more about these rules under the ABLE to Work Act.)The idea for these accounts derived from the concept of a 529 college savings plan. Similar to a 529 plan, funds in an ABLE account grow tax-deferred over time. In addition, each state administers its own ABLE account program.To qualify, you must meet the Social Security Administrations strict definition of disabled. You also must have incurred your disability before age 26. (Note that the age cutoff will shift to age 46 come 2026. According to estimates, this age adjustment will result in roughly 6 million more individuals becoming eligible to open these types of savings accounts.)Why Open an ABLE Account?People with disabilities are among those most at risk for financial disaster. According to research, just 10 percent of people of working age who are living with a disability are financially healthy.ABLE Accounts, or 529A accounts, can serve as a form of future financial support for these individuals. Yet the vast majority of those who could benefit from these accounts remain unaware of them. As of 2022, 8 million people were eligible for this type of account, yet a mere 120,000 had one in place.Get Support With ABLE Accounts To learn more about setting up this type of savings account, consult with Ashley Day Special Needs & Elderly Law at 251-277-3377.
Are You Needing Physical Rehabilitation Services in Alabama?Crowne Health Care has facilities across Alabama.Whether youre recovering from surgery, an injury or a stroke, Crowne Health Care can help restore function and confidence to your daily routine. Our highly skilled and dedicated team of therapists will also work with you to regain your independence and peace of mind. Your recovery is our top priority, and were with you every step of the way.For over twenty years, Restore Therapy has partnered with our skilled nursing staff to provide rehabilitative services to our residents. Whether you need rehabilitation to bridge the gap between a hospital stay and returning home or need comprehensive therapy as a long-term resident, our professional rehabilitation department is here to strengthen and increase your mobility. Sometimes, a patient is too ill for home care but no longer needs to remain in the hospital or in a surgical bed. When that is the case, physicians order short-term rehabilitation or transitional care in a skilled nursing facility.Your rehabilitation team, guided by your physician, will decide which of the following therapies would be beneficial to you:Physical TherapyPhysical therapy is a branch of rehabilitative medicine that uses specially designed techniques and equipment to help patients recover or improve their physical abilities, including loss of movement, strength, balance, motion, and more. Physical therapy also helps speed up recovery and prevents impairments in patients. At Crowne Health Care, our therapists use state-of-the-art wound-care protocols and pressure-relief techniques to restore skin integrity and treat advanced bed sores.Occupational TherapyOccupational therapy is another branch of rehabilitative medicine that helps people of all ages with physical, sensory, or cognitive issues relearn how to perform daily activities. Through the use of assessment, exercises, and intervention, our occupational therapists help our patients develop or recover meaningful activities for everyday living, such as grooming, bathing, dressing, and more. Occupational therapy helps many of our patients restore their independence.Speech TherapySpeech therapy at Crowne Health Care is a sector of our rehabilitation services that focuses on improving the patients ability to communicate after speech impairments caused by an injury or illness, like a stroke or a brain injury. Speech therapy techniques are performed by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and include articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and other methods.If you qualify for short-term therapy, Medicare may cover 100 percent of your first 20 days in our skilled nursing facility. We also accept private pay residents, some HMOs, most private insurance policies, and supplemental or long-term care insurance.Medical conditions that frequently require transitional care may include: Stroke Tube feeding Wound care Pain management Diabetes Tracheostomy care Respite care If you receive short-term rehabilitative therapy from us, Medicare may cover the first 20 days of your stay in our skilled nursing facility at no cost to you. We also accept other insurance, including private pay, some HMOs, most private insurance policies, and supplemental or long-term care policies.Contact Our Rehabilitation Department TodayBeing injured and losing function in your body can be a challenge. At Crowne Health Care, our goal is to help our residents overcome those challenges by helping them achieve the highest level of function and movement through comprehensive rehabilitation services. Contact us today at one of our facilities across Alabama to learn more. Contact Crowne Health Care at crownehealthcare.com
4 Unique Workouts For SeniorsPhysical activity is essential to our overall health, but theres a misconception that seniors cant participate in many of the up-and-coming fitness trends. While you may find limitations or need modifications for workouts, aging shouldnt stop you from doing the workouts you enjoy. If youre tired of the same old gym routine, consider these five unique workouts to build muscles, flexibility, and mobility. Workouts For Seniors To TryYour age shouldnt determine your workout. Many workouts are for all ages, and as long as your doctor gives you the okay, you should feel free to explore all your fitness options. ZumbaZumba is a high-energy fitness class inspired by Latin dance. It combines various high and low-intensity movements to help you break a sweat with rhythm-driven music to keep the workout feeling like a dance party. Its not about perfecting the moves but having fun while you move your body. One of the great things about Zumba is its many different classes based on your fitness level. They even have Zumba Gold and Zumba Gold-Toning classes designed for older adults to improve their cardio, strength, flexibility, and balance. Many gyms offer Zumba. You can find one near you online. And if you want to check out a workout before heading to your first class, check out some of Zumbas online videos. Cardio BoxingCardio boxing takes all of the technique and conditioning from boxing without any safety concerns about hitting another person. Youre working boxing combos on a heavy bag or with a coach holding mitts in cardio boxing. You can build strength, reflexes, and mobility without worrying about another person throwing punches at you. Many older adults feel too old or uncoordinated for boxing, but it is a sport for everyone. You just have to find the right gym and class. A national program called Rock Steady Boxing designs boxing classes for seniors with Parkinsons. This program partners with local boxing gyms and trains coaches to use boxing to improve clients balance, strength, and mobility. You can find a nearby Rock Steady class by following this link. YogaTry yoga if youre looking for a low-intensity workout that will still improve flexibility, mobility, and strength. There are many different types of yoga, but a lot of seniors enjoy two popular yogas: chair yoga and vinyasa.Chair yoga works you through different strengths and balance exercises while sitting on a chair or using a sturdy chair as support. Its slow-moving but perfect for building balance and mobility. Vinyasa yoga is a type of yoga that seamlessly moves between poses. Its a great way to build cardio, but find a beginner-friendly vinyasa class, such as a slow flow, so youre not overwhelmed by the positions. CyclingCycling is a great high-intensity exercise for building cardio, but its low-impact, so its not putting too much strain on the joints and muscles the way running does. You can cycle on a road bike in a low-traffic area or bike path, or consider trying a stationary bike. You can find stationary bikes at most gyms or purchase one if you have space in your home. You can take a cycling group fitness class if youre really adventurous or need motivation during your workouts. Considerations For Staying SafeIts essential to stay safe during your workout, no matter your age. Whether trying something new or sticking to your traditional exercise, consider the following tips to stay safe. Never skip a warm-up or cool-down. Warm-ups prep your body for a workout, while cool-downs allow it to slowly return to its rest state. Skipping warm-ups and cool-downs increases your risk of injury. Ask for modifications. If youre new to a group fitness class and a move is causing pain or difficulty, ask the trainer for a modification. Many exercises work the same muscles and joints, and your instructor should be able to help you find one that works for you. Work with a certified trainer. Working with a certified trainer or coach helps you build the foundation for a safe workout. Trainers can show you the proper form and help you find movements that fit your fitness goals. Take things at your own pace. Your workout pace is not as important as ensuring you do the movements safely. Take things at your own pace. If you need extra time to finish a workout or exercise, take it. Talk to your doctor before starting a new workout routine. Starting a new workout is exciting, but always talk to your doctor about potential workout routines before you get started, especially if youve had recent injuries or a condition that may make it more difficult to work out. Getting Fit With Visiting Angels Sometimes, the best way to discover and stick to a new workout routine is with an accountability buddy. And our caregivers at our Visiting Angels Gulf Shores office are happy to play that supportive role in your fitness journey. Visiting Angels caregivers can help you research gyms and fitness studios in your area, provide transportation to your workout session, help you find online classes, and help you shop for the right gear and exercise clothes. Depending on the caregiver and exercise, some of our caregivers may join you in your workout. You can learn more about our care services online or by messaging us with questions. If youre ready to start your caregiving services, you can schedule a complimentary consultation by calling our Gulf Shores office at 251-943-7525.
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