Five Comfort Foods For When You're Sick

Although a healthful diet can keep you in the pink most of the time, sickness is still a fact of life. Just as I have learned from personal experience what to eat to prevent illness, so too have I come to know what soothes me when I'm ill. Here are my five favorite comfort foods (and drinks) for a sniffly nose, sour stomach, etc., etc.

5. Yellow curry. Usually I steer clear of very spicy foods; however, when I'm stuffed up I request my Thai delivery with extra heat. In addition to containing chiles, which clear the nasal passages, yellow curry also has turmeric, well-known for its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. A couple bowls does wonders for sore throats and aching legs.

4. Orange sherbet. Don't you mean oranges, O'Leary? No. This is my comfort list, remember? If the temperature of my febrile body is only exceeded by the numbers on the local weather report (ah, Houston), I want something sweet, icy and spoon-able. It doesn't matter if sherbet contains only trace amounts of Vitamin C; the "orange" flavor still seems nutritious in my delirious state.

3. Toast. Eat it and you won't be. Har. While hydration is important when you're sick, carbohydrates are also essential for revving up that immune system. Toast is satisfying but requires little effort, a blessing when the walk from the couch to the bathroom feels like a marathon. And stick to white bread. Fiber is fine and dandy when you're well, but refined grains are easier on a harried digestive system.

2. Reed's Extra Ginger Brew. For mild GI discomfort, ginger ale is fine; for severe distress, I like to bring out the big guns. Reed's Extra Ginger Brew's high carbonation and extreme ginger flavor soothe even the most upset of stomachs and deliver a refreshing burst of non-saccharine flavor. Barfing in a blizzard? Microwave a mug for three minutes and serve with a lemon slice.

1. Matzoh ball soup. Chicken soup may be good for the (congested) soul, but I crave more something substantial than rice or noodles when I have a cold. Matzoh ball soup has all the benefits of chicken broth with the added boost from those carbohydrate comets.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Joanna O'Leary