The Mysterious World of Synchronicity

Do you often see 11:11? 12:34? 3:33? Or any other synchronistic patterns?

Do you ever have strange coincidences that defy logic, and often lead to magical unfoldings?

In this article we’ll explore the strange world of synchronicity.

What brought you here? Why in this very moment when you could be anywhere doing anything, is it that you have found yourself on this blog? Chances are that you saw the image and it made sense to you! Do you see 11:11? Does it boggle your mind and at times create weird and wonderful confusion? Are you struggling to make sense of its meaning? Don’t worry, I totally understand, and I hope this article can be of some comfort…

This article is not going to be just about numerology, that is only a small part of the mysterious world of synchronicity. I am going to try and bring some kind of meaning to something that is hard to understand at a purely logical view point, and something that I have to admit I do not fully understand. But it is my belief that synchronicity does not work on that kind of level. I know it is significant, I know that following it can bring great things, but it is not something that can be fully understood by the mind.

What is Synchronicity?

Synchronicity is a sequence of events that coincide with each other, and have significant meaning related to each other. These events would appear on the surface to be just chance, but are in no way a coincidence.

An example would be: You want to pursue your dream job and you are trying to make an excuse not to do so and for every excuse you make a solution seems to fall in your lap. Or you attend an event you would usually avoid because every time you switch on the TV, radio or speak with someone it’s all you hear about. Then as a result of attending that event you meet someone significant, like a partner, a business associate or a future friend.

One extreme example from my own life was when I was thinking about giving up on my passion of writing and sharing information about spirituality and growth due to the financial strain it was causing. I had gone online looked up some jobs and was ready to quit, that night I went to bed and said, “If you are going to give me a sign, now is the right time”. The next day I received a cheque from a family member that fixed that problem.

Synchronicities differ from coincidence, a coincidence could be you sneezing and at the same time a firework going off. It may be a little weird that it happens, but in most cases there would be no significant meaning.

Types of Synchronicity

Predictive: This is where you see, think or do something that links to an outcome. The classic example is thinking of someone and them calling you.

Guiding: This is where all signs guide you to a specific outcome. This could be you thinking of giving up on your music career because of a lack of work and just as you are about to do so, you get a phone call from someone trying to book you for work.

Reflective: This is where you are forced to reflect due to a synchronistic event. An example would be if you decided to cancel your gym membership and then as you go to do it an email hits your inbox about the benefits of exercise, making you reflect on if you have made the right decision or not.

Testing: This is where synchronicity tests you ego. An example would be if you had a food addiction and absolutely loved fried chicken, when thinking about this addiction a fried chicken advert comes on the TV. Testing your ability to fight the temptation. Be strong, don’t do it!!!

Synchronicities are Always Happening

One thing I have noticed is that there have always been synchronicities in my life, maybe not quite in the quantity that they are happening now, but they have always been there. Your job is to follow the synchronistic events. The magical thing is, the more you follow them the more they happen.

Don’t go searching for something that is not there, but learn to recognise when something is in front of you. If the perfect relationship seems to fall from the sky at the perfect moment and you decide not to pursue it, you are seeing the synchronicities, but not following them.

When you start to live out these synchronistic events you will start getting the little cosmic nudges, like 11:11 or in my case 33, I see this number everywhere and it was only on a doing a little research I realised the spiritual significance of it.

 

Synchronicity in Your Life

Think back to every significant event in your life, I am sure it is full of synchronicity and it is usually the bigger the life event the more synchronicities coincide with it.

A while back I had been trying to get in front of a bigger audience. These events led towards me being able to work at Truth Theory:

Synchronicity number 1: I had a list of around 30 blogs I wanted to write for, out of that list I sent my article: 6 Ideas For An Educational Revolution to Truth Theory.

Synchronicity number 2: The owner of Truth Theory was working on an educational website so he was drawn to the article.

Synchronicity number 3: Out of anywhere in the world he could have lived, he lived just 5 minutes from my house.

Synchronicity number 4: We decided to meet up and it turned out we were pretty much on the same wavelength and that he needed someone to write for Truth Theory.

If anyone one of these events didn’t happen, I would not be here writing this article. But they all did and now I am here.

What Is The Point of Synchronicity?

Synchronicity serves many purposes; it can serve as a reminder that you are on the right path, it can be for guidance, sometimes it is to test you, sometimes it will lead you to form significant relationships and other times it is just for you to stop and be present!

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Detox Water 101

There’s a lot of hype about the supposed health benefits of “detox water.”

Yes, staying hydrated is important for health. Therefore, it’s often recommended that you drink eight glasses of water per day. However, some people think adding extra ingredients to water boosts its health benefits. The result, called detox water, is said to help your body get rid of toxins, improve your energy levels and help you lose weight.

Here is a detailed look at detox water. It separates the true health benefits from the myths.

What is Detox Water?

Detox water is water that has been infused with the flavors of fresh fruits, vegetables or herbs. It’s sometimes referred to as fruit-infused water or fruit-flavored water.

You can make detox water at home in lots of different ways, using any combination of fruits, vegetables and herbs that you like.

Because it’s made by infusing flavor, rather than juicing or blending, detox water contains very few calories. That makes it a popular drink for detox regimens like the “lemon detox” or “master cleanse.”

Detox water is also often recommended in weight loss plans, especially in place of high-sugar drinks like sugary soda and fruit juice.

Bottom Line: Detox water is made by infusing water with fruits, vegetables or herbs. You can make your own at home using a variety of flavors.

How to Make Detox Water

Four Jars of Fruit Infused Detox Water

Making detox water at home is very simple. All you need is water and a selection of fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Simply chop up your ingredients and add them to hot or cold water, depending on your preference. The more of an ingredient you use, the stronger the flavor will become.

If you’re making a cold drink, you can leave the detox water in the fridge for 1–12 hours to allow the flavors to infuse more deeply. Be sure to remove the ingredients after this time though, so they don’t begin to decompose.

If you’re in a hurry, crushing or bruising your fruit and herbs before using them can help release the flavors more quickly.

Here are some popular detox water recipe combinations:

Bottom Line: To make detox water, add fruits, vegetables and herbs to water and then let it stand. Crushing or bruising fruits and herbs can help release more of their flavors.

Health Claims About Detox Water

Apple and Cinnamon Detox Water

Detox water is said to have many health benefits, including:

  • Weight loss.
  • Toxin removal or detox.
  • Balancing the pH of the body.
  • Better digestive health.
  • Boosting immune function.
  • Improving mood.
  • Increasing energy levels.
  • Improving complexion.

The exact properties of detox water will vary depending on the ingredients you use and the strength of the infusion.

However, many of the health claims for detox water can be attributed to the water itself, rather than the ingredients it’s flavored with.

That’s because you don’t get that many nutrients from the ingredients in detox water, especially not compared to eating them in their whole form.

Bottom Line: Detox water has been claimed to help remove toxins, help with weight loss, balance your pH and boost your immune system.

Real Health Benefits

Below is a detailed look at the science behind detox water’s health claims. A few are valid, even if they are a little exaggerated in some instances.

Helps With Weight Loss

Drinking water may help you lose weight, and this applies to detox water too. Water has been shown to temporarily raise your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories.

Studies have shown that drinking 17 oz (half a liter) of water can increase your metabolic rate by up to 30% for about an hour (1, 2).

In fact, people who drink the recommended amount of water as part of a weight loss program tend to lose more weight than those who don’t (3, 4, 5, 6).

One study found that overweight adults who drank 17 oz (half a liter) of water before their meals lost 40% more weight than those who didn’t (7).

This can be partially explained by a rise in metabolism, but may also be due to the effect water has on your appetite. Drinking water has been linked to reduced hunger, so if you drink water before a meal, you may eat less (8, 9).

Improves Digestive Health

Man Holding Three Jars of Detox Water

Hydration is important for digestive health and maintaining regular bowel movements. Chronic dehydration can cause constipation, which can make you feel bloated and sluggish (10, 11, 12, 13, 14).

Drinking plenty of water may help food pass smoothly through your gut and prevent you from becoming constipated.

Improves Mood and Energy Levels

Even mild dehydration can affect mood, concentration and energy levels.

Studies have shown that dehydration levels of around 1% can significantly decrease mood, reduce concentration span and cause headaches (15, 16, 17, 18).

One study looked at adults who consumed less than 41 oz (1.2 liters) of water per day. When they increased their water intake to 85 oz (2.5 liters) per day, they were happier, had more energy and felt calmer (19).

If you aren’t drinking enough, increasing your water intake could improve your mood and give you more energy.

Boosts Immune Function

This is one claim about detox water that may be a little exaggerated.

It’s true that eating fruits and vegetables and even fruit juices can help support your immune system (20, 21).

In particular, vitamin C has been shown to benefit your immune system when consumed on a regular basis (22, 23, 24, 25).

However, the amount of these nutrients that you would get from an infusion like detox water is likely to be minimal and highly variable.

Although it is theoretically possible, it’s unlikely detox water has any meaningful effect on immune function.

Bottom Line: Drinking detox water could help you lose weight, have better digestive health and make you happier. However, you will get all of these benefits from drinking regular water too.

Myths About Detox Water

Berry Detox Water

There are also many myths surrounding detox water.

Some of these are not supported by science, but others have been downright shown to be false.

Myth 1: It Detoxifies Your Body

Detoxification is a popular claim for many diets, cleanses and nutrition products like detox water.

Detox products often claim to facilitate health and well-being by eliminating toxins from the body and aiding in weight loss.

However, both “toxins” and “detox” are vague terms that don’t really define what is eliminated or how it happens.

Your body has well-designed detox pathways that eliminate toxins from the body. There is currently no evidence that any product or diet speeds them up or makes them more efficient (26).

More details: Detox Diets 101: Do These “Cleanses” Really Work?

Myth 2: It Balances Your pH

“Alkalizing” foods and drinks are a popular dietary trend at the moment.

They are said to promote a more alkaline environment in the body. According to the acid-alkaline theory of disease, this will promote better health.

However, this theory isn’t supported by science, since it is impossible to alter the pH of your blood or cells through the foods you eat (27).

Myth 3: It Improves Your Complexion

As with many other detox products, some people claim that detox water flushes toxins from your skin and improves its appearance.

However, there is little evidence to back up these claims.

Drinking water will improve your skin’s hydration if you’re dehydrated. However, it won’t change the appearance of your skin unless the dehydration is severe (28, 29).

There is no evidence that detox water is more effective than plain water for this.

Bottom Line: Detox water won’t help you flush toxins from your body or make it more alkaline. There is also no evidence that it improves complexion.

Take Home Message

The idea that you can speed up and improve your body’s detox pathways by drinking detox water is nonsense.

That said, it is still a healthy drink with a few health benefits. Nevertheless, you could probably get most of these benefits from drinking regular water.

However, people often find plain water boring.

If infusing your water with fruits and vegetables means that you drink more water and less sugary drinks, then it can only be a good thing.

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Capitalism Has Hit a Crossroads

This is morbidly fascinating.

Without us even knowing it, we’ve stumbled across one of the most critical moments we’ve ever reached with regards to our economic ideologies. For decades, the unbridled, free market bent of capitalist thought has dominated society, with the capitalist ethos themselves being the key to the “good life” in the words of John Maynard Keynes. But while it remains the key to ensuring economic prosperity for as great a number of people as possible, its critics have been slowly growing, and people are slowly becoming aware of the gradual damage it’s doing to our societal values. The old Keynesian notion of the good life really doesn’t stand up when we take into account that the Western world is now gradually becoming unhappier and unhappier. The pursuit for material goods and relativist, superficial wealth has resulted in the average person becoming far more preoccupied with their money than ever before, and hence unhappier. Really, though, who can blame them? When laissez-faire capitalism, which in itself rewards the accumulation of capital above all else, has changed all our lives in some way, we’ve no choice but to conform. And that, in itself, is the problem. That is why capitalism needs to change. 

Being regular citizens, there isn’t much we can do as central bank governors and heads of government and state pursue policies that lead to the furthering of the monopoly that capitalism (in its current state) has on all of our lives. As purported by many left wing thinkers, the endless search for the most “efficient” outcome and not the one that is fair per se has led to the dramatic oversimplification and overlooking of many of the issues that plague and will continue to plague humanity in coming generations. Let’s look at Donald Trump, arguably one of the greatest beneficiaries today of the capitalist system. He’s a billionaire that claims that a loan of “a million dollars” from his father was a “small” amount, and given his wealth, for him, it probably is. Notwithstanding the fact that Trump may not have been intellectually superior to others in order to accrue the massive amounts of wealth that he has accrued, he has asserted that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” When someone’s materialistic ideals have corrupted him to the extent that he disregards reputable scientific knowledge, it’s only rational to question what exactly has gone wrong. Given Trump’s substantial popularity in America, serious questions have to be raised about what capitalism has done to today’s generation: is this type of life the one we really want to live?

It’s certainly not the one the poor can sustain for much longer. Recent data has shown that income inequality is rising at unprecedented levels, with the gap between the rich and the poor only continuing to widen, particularly in Western democracies such as that of the US and the UK, two global stalwarts of today’s capitalism. Even more worrying is the fact that up and coming powers such as India are gradually becoming more and more influenced by the Western perception of an ideologically perfect society; they are leaning more and more towards the sort of system that’s ramifications will take us decades to clear up. Lower levels of income for the poorest in society also manifest themselves in other deficiencies further down the line, such as a lack of quality education and a lack of good healthcare. This domino effect culminates with the poor not being able to reach their full productive capacity, leaving a country’s output waning and their productivity slowing, which can only be corrosive to further economic and social progress. While laissez faire capitalism can be a good beginning for any nation, it most definitely should not be treated as a means to an end; the Western world is already seeing the initial consequences of this broken system: the top 1% of Americans earn more than 20% of the country’s national income.

The final and most damning indictment of capitalism today lies in the people themselves. Newspapers such as the Telegraph have suggested that relative wealth, whereby people have large amounts of money in comparison to their relatively poorer colleagues, makes people happier than absolute wealth, whereby they have enough money to fill their stomachs and live a relatively untroubled lifestyle. On the surface, this doesn’t seem so bad: encouraging competition and therefore boosting a country’s productivity. However, it’s also important to note that for every person that is “happy” at having relative wealth, there are large numbers of people who look up to that person and feel frustrated and disillusioned at not having acquired the material and superficial wealth that their more financially successful colleague has. Indubitably, this further leads on to a decrease in productivity as more and more people stop working as hard due to the sheer futility of it all, which is exactly what has been occurring in America. Productivity has decreased for many of the past few quarters, with it again reducing, according to the Wall Street Journal, in the first quarter of 2016. Again, these figures lend more credence to the claim that the problem with the capitalist system today is not only a social one, where people are unhappier and unhealthier, but also an environmental and an overarchingly economic one.

Thanks, capitalism, but no thanks: you’ve helped us get this far and so we applaud you. However, you’ve corrupted our people, beaten our economies and damaged our environment – it’s time for you to change.

Shrey Srivastava, 15

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The Power of Cacao

Our current global environmental and social crisis has reached epic proportions and will need epic solutions to the challenges we are facing, and will continue to face long into the future. I believe the solutions can only be found in nature. It is when we reconnect with the plants we remember our connection with the whole of nature and this shifts our consciousness.

”We can begin the restructuring of thought by declaring legitimate what we have denied for so long. Lets us declare Nature to be legitimate. The notion of illegal plants is obnoxious and ridiculous in the first place.” – Terence McKenna

So why cacao? Cacao has always been considered a very powerful aphrodisiac, exotic food, and medicine by the Mesoamerican and South American cultures, such as the Mayans, Aztecs and Spanish conquistadors. Its Greek nameTheobroma Cacao literally means ‘Food of the Gods, Thea (god), Broma (food), with the Maya word Ka’kau.

The Mayans also called it Chocol’ha, and used the verb chokola’j meaning, ‘to drink chocolate together,’ suggesting that cacao by it’s very nature needs to be drunk in a group, Most of Mesoamerica used cacao as a sacred beverage to commune with their gods. The Mayans believed that the ka’kau’ was discovered by the gods in a mountain that also contained other exotic foods to be used by the Maya. Mayan mythology claims Hunahpú gave cacao to the Maya after the divine grandmother goddess Ixmucané created humans from maize, and was offered up as part of the regular sacrifices to a pantheon of deities.

However, we are not talking about industrialised commercial chocolate made by ‘Néstle’, or ‘Kraft,’ that’s packed full of milk, sugar and fats. In fact, the more cacao is processed, the more of its goodness disappears. We are talking about 100% cacao straight from the bean and ground down into what is known, as the cacao liquor.

Cacao is renowned for its many health benefits that support physical and psychological well-being. Evidence from clinical trials clearly showed that cacao helps to relieve emotional stress. Consuming 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day for a period of two weeks reduced stress hormones and stress-related biochemical agents in volunteers, who rated themselves as highly stressed.

So why is cacao so effective in reducing stress? Benefits are found in the neurotransmitter modulating agents that act as natural antidepressants. Its high valeric acid content blocks the stress hormones, while triggering the release of dopamine and the endorphin phenylethylamine, both of which are known as ‘bliss chemicals’ and naturally reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and depression. It also contains the essential amino acid tryptophan, which increases production of serotonin, an important brain chemical that helps us remain positive and happy. A lack of serotonin can lead to depression, fatigue and mood swings.  These neurotransmitters also remain in the bloodstream longer after ingesting cacao creating a natural antidepressant benefit, while the theobromine and caffeine content boosts energy levels and relieves fatigue.

Cacao also increases the blood flow to the brain, creating more mental agility, awareness and focus.  It may also delay dementias like senility and Alzheimer’s, increase skin resistance to UV radiation/sunburn, keeps skin smoother in old age, slow down tooth decay and can remove heavy metals from the body.  It also contains potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium which contribute to cardiovascular health. As well as powerful antioxidants, cacao also contains flavonoids along with a significant amount of chromium, which balances blood sugar levels and helps the body’s cells resist damage by free radicals caused by a toxic environment. Likewise, the flavanols have a positive effect on vascular health, lowers blood pressure, improves blood flow to the brain and heart and helps the clotting process of blood.

MORE HEALTH BENEFITS FROM CACAO

Cacao is not only great for our mental and physical well-being, it can also help our emotional and spiritual well-being too. Cacao is a powerful plant medicine that helps us to release emotional blockages that no longer serve us, find forgiveness in ourselves and others, and show us the way forward if we are stuck or afraid of making the necessary life changes in order to move on. It also enables us to access stuck emotions, conditioning, patterns of behaviour and addictions that are buried deep in the unconscious.

What I have learnt is that plant medicines are the bridge that connects us with our inner hidden world and gives us messages from deep within our unconscious that is in tune with nature and the natural flow. Cacao can be kinesethetic, physical, emotional or visual, it works differently for everyone.

During my time working with cacao I have experienced some extraordinary healings and breakthroughs, energy releases and surrendering. Personally, I am more relaxed, my tolerance levels have increased and I don’t get as stressed or anxious. I feel much happier, younger, more vibrant and energised. Most importantly, I no longer suffer from depressive dips, instead I find I look forward to every day and have found a deep sense of inner peace and trust. Here is a quote from one of my long-term students: “Cacao has transformed my understanding of myself and the universe, through surrendering I love myself at last. I feel so grateful and connected.”

WHAT IS A CACAO CEREMONY?

A cacao ceremony gives us time for ourselves in a hectic and stressful world. Using guided visualisation we journey deep within to discover more about ourselves, and find inner peace and clarity. It is the perfect space to switch off the noise, and focus inwards so that we can become clearer of who we are, where we are going, and the opportunities available to us. Whether you’re looking for help shifting an emotional blockage, addiction, habit, conditioning, or you simply need to lift your spirits, these ceremonies can provide the space and focus you need to re-align, and get back on track.

Chocolate! who would have thought this humble confectionery is such a powerful medicine in its natural form? It’s time to share the love!

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Difference Between Cocoa and Cacao

The 15 Best Foods to Eat When You’re Sick

Hippocrates famously said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.
It’s true that food can do much more than provide energy. And when you’re sick, eating the right foods is more important than ever. Certain foods have powerful properties that can support your body while it’s fighting an illness.They may relieve certain symptoms and even help you heal more quickly.

These are the 15 best foods to eat when sick.

1. Chicken Soup

Chicken soup has been recommended as a remedy for the common cold for hundreds of years — and for good reason (1).

It’s an easy-to-eat source of vitamins, minerals, calories and protein, which are nutrients your body needs in larger quantities while you’re sick (2).

Chicken soup is also an excellent source of fluids and electrolytes, both of which are necessary for hydration if you’re making frequent trips to the bathroom.

Your body will also need even more fluids if you have a fever (3).

What’s more, one study found chicken soup to be more effective at clearing nasal mucus than any other liquid studied. This means it’s a natural decongestant, perhaps in part because it gives off hot steam (4).

Another reason for this effect is that chicken contains the amino acid cysteine. N-acetyl-cysteine, a form of cysteine, breaks apart mucus and has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (5, 6).

Chicken soup also inhibits the action of neutrophils, which are white blood cells that may cause symptoms such as coughing and a stuffy nose.

Chicken soup’s ability to inhibit these cells could partially explain why it is so effective against some cold and flu symptoms (1).

Bottom Line: Chicken soup is a good source of fluids, calories, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also a natural decongestant and may block cells that cause coughing and a stuffy nose.

2. Broths

Bowl of Broth

Similar to chicken soup, broths are excellent sources of hydration while you’re sick.

They’re full of flavor and can contain calories, vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, folate and phosphorous (7, 8).

If you drink them while hot, broths also have the wonderful benefit of acting as a natural decongestant because of the hot steam (4).

Drinking broth is a good way to stay hydrated, and the rich flavors can help you feel satisfied. This is especially helpful if your stomach is unsettled and you are unable to keep down solid foods.

If you’re salt-sensitive and buy broth from the store, be sure to buy a low-sodium variety as most broths are very high in salt.

If you’re making broth from scratch, it may have even more benefits — including a higher calorie, protein and nutrient content.

Many people rave about the benefits of bone broth and claim it has many healing properties, although currently there are no studies on its benefits (8).

Read this article for more information about bone broth.

Bottom Line: Drinking broth is a delicious and nutritious way to stay hydrated, and it also acts as a natural decongestant when hot.

3. Garlic

Garlic

Garlic can provide all sorts of health benefits.

It has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries and has demonstrated antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal effects (9, 10).

It can also stimulate the immune system (11).

Few high-quality human studies have explored the effects of garlic on the common cold or flu, but some have found promising results.

One study found that people who took garlic got sick less often. Overall, the garlic group spent about 70% fewer days sick than the placebo group (12).

In another study, people taking garlic not only got sick less often, but they got better 3.5 days faster than the placebo group, on average (13).

Additionally, several studies showed that aged garlic extract supplements can enhance immune function and decrease the severity of colds and the flu (14).

Adding garlic to chicken soup or broth can both add flavor and make them even more effective at fighting off cold or flu symptoms.

More details here: How Garlic Fights Colds and The Flu.

Bottom Line: Garlic can fight bacteria, viruses and stimulate the immune system. It helps you avoid illness and recover faster when you get sick.

4. Coconut Water

Glass of Coconut Water with Straw and Flower

Staying well-hydrated is one of the most important things you can do when sick.

Hydration is especially important when you have a fever, sweat a lot or have vomiting or diarrhea, which can cause you to lose a lot of water and electrolytes.

Coconut water is the perfect beverage to sip on when you’re sick.

Besides being sweet and flavorful, it contains glucose and the electrolytes needed for re-hydration.

Studies show that coconut water helps you re-hydrate after exercise and mild cases of diarrhea. It also causes less stomach discomfort than similar drinks (15, 16, 17).

Additionally, several studies in animals found that coconut water contains antioxidants that can fight oxidative damage and may also improve blood sugar control (18, 19, 20, 21).

However, one study found that it causes more bloating than other electrolyte beverages. It might be a good idea to begin slowly if you’ve never tried it (22).

Bottom Line: Coconut water has a sweet, delicious flavor. It provides the fluids and electrolytes you need to stay hydrated while sick.

5. Hot Tea

Brunette Holding a Cup of Tea

Tea is a favorite remedy for many symptoms associated with colds and the flu.

Just like chicken soup, hot tea acts as a natural decongestant, helping clear the sinuses of mucus. Note that tea needs to be hot to act as a decongestant, but it shouldn’t be so hot that it further irritates your throat (4).

You don’t need to worry about tea being dehydrating. Although some teas do contain caffeine, the amounts are far too small to cause any increased water loss (23).

This means that sipping on tea throughout the day is a great way to help you stay hydrated while relieving congestion at the same time.

Tea also contains polyphenols, which are natural substances found in plants that may have a large number of health benefits. These range from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action to anti-cancer effects (24, 25, 26, 27).

Tannins are one type of polyphenol found in tea. In addition to acting as antioxidants, tannins also have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties (28).

One study in rats found that tannic acid in black tea could decrease the amount of a common type of bacteria that grows in the throat (29).

In another study, hibiscus tea reduced the growth of avian flu in a test tube. Echinacea tea also shortened the length of cold and flu symptoms (30, 31).

In addition, several types of teas specifically developed to relieve cough or throat pain were shown to be effective in clinical studies (32, 33).

All of these effects make tea an important part of your diet when you’re sick.

Bottom Line: Tea is a good source of fluids and acts as a natural decongestant when hot. Black tea can decrease the growth of bacteria in the throat, and echinacea tea may shorten the length of the cold or flu.

6. Honey

Open Jar of Honey

Honey has potent antibacterial effects, likely because of its high content of antimicrobial compounds.

In fact, it has such strong antibacterial effects that it was used in wound dressings by the ancient Egyptians, and is still used for this purpose today (34, 35, 36, 37, 38).

Some evidence suggests that honey can also stimulate the immune system (38).

These qualities alone make honey an excellent food to eat when sick, especially if you have a sore throat caused by a bacterial infection.

Many studies show that honey suppresses coughing in children. However, remember that honey should not be given to children under 12 months old (39, 40, 41, 42, 43).

Mix about half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of honey with a warm glass of milk, water or a cup of tea. This is a hydrating, cough-soothing, antibacterial drink (43).

Bottom Line: Honey has antibacterial effects and stimulates the immune system. It can also help relieve coughing in children over 12 months of age.

7. Ginger

Fresh and Sliced Ginger

Ginger is probably best known for its anti-nausea effects.

It has also been shown to effectively relieve nausea related to pregnancy and cancer treatment (44, 45, 46, 47).

What’s more, ginger acts similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It has also demonstrated antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-cancer effects (44, 48).

So if you are feeling nauseous or throwing up, ginger is the best food available to relieve these symptoms. Even if you aren’t nauseous, ginger’s many other beneficial effects make it one of the top foods to eat when sick.

Use fresh ginger in cooking, brew some ginger tea or pick up some ginger ale from the store to get these benefits. Just make sure that whatever you’re using contains real ginger or ginger extract, not just ginger flavor.

Bottom Line: Ginger is very effective at relieving nausea. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

8. Spicy Foods

Fresh Chili and Powdered

Spicy foods like chili peppers contain capsaicin, which causes a hot, burning sensation when touched.

When high enough in concentration, capsaicin can have a desensitizing effect and is often used in pain-relieving gels and patches (49).

Many people report that eating spicy foods causes a runny nose, breaking up mucus and clearing out the sinus passages.

While few studies have tested this effect, capsaicin does seem to thin out mucus, making it easier to expel. Nasal capsaicin sprays have been used with good results to relieve congestion and itching (50, 51, 52).

However, capsaicin also stimulates mucus production, so you may just end up with a runny nose instead of a stuffed one (51).

Cough relief may be another benefit of capsaicin. One study found that taking capsaicin capsules improved symptoms in people with a chronic cough by making them less sensitive to irritation (53).

However, to achieve these results, you probably would need to eat spicy food daily for several weeks.

Additionally, don’t try anything spicy if you already have an upset stomach. Spicy food can cause bloating, pain and nausea in some people (54).

Bottom Line: Spicy foods contain capsaicin, which can help break up mucus but also stimulate mucus production. It may be effective at relieving coughing caused by irritation.

9. Bananas

Three Bananas

Bananas are a great food to eat when you’re sick.

They’re easy to chew and bland in flavor, but also provide a decent amount of calories and nutrients.

For these reasons, they are part of the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) that is often recommended for nausea (55).

Another big benefit of bananas is the soluble fiber they contain. If you have diarrhea, bananas are one of the best foods you can eat because the fiber can help relieve diarrhea (56, 57, 58).

In fact, some hospitals use banana flakes to treat patients with diarrhea (59).

Bottom Line: Bananas are a good source of calories and nutrients. They can also help relieve nausea and diarrhea.

10. Oatmeal

Bowl of Oatmeal and Fruit

Like bananas, oatmeal is bland and easy to eat while providing the calories, vitamins and minerals you need when sick.

It also contains some protein — about 5 grams in a 1/2 cup (60).

Oatmeal has some other powerful health benefits, including stimulating the immune system and improving blood sugar control (61).

One rat study also showed that beta-glucan, a type of fiber found in oats, helped decrease inflammation in the gut. This could help relieve symptoms such as intestinal cramping, bloating and diarrhea (62).

However, avoid buying artificially flavored oatmeal with lots of added sugar. Instead, add a small amount of honey or fruit to provide even more benefits.

Bottom Line: Oatmeal is a good source of nutrients and easy to eat. It can stimulate your immune system, improve blood sugar control and decrease inflammation in the digestive system.

11. Yogurt

Pot of Yogurt

Yogurt is an excellent food to eat when sick.

It provides 150 calories and 8 grams of protein per cup. It’s also cold, which can sooth your throat.

Yogurt is also rich in calcium and full of other vitamins and minerals (63).

Some yogurts also contain beneficial probiotics.

Evidence shows that probiotics can help both children and adults get colds less often, heal faster when sick and take fewer antibiotics (64, 65, 66, 67, 68).

One study found that children taking probiotics felt better an average of two days faster, and their symptoms were about 55% less severe (64).

Some people have reported that dairy intake thickens mucus. However, several studies show that dairy intake causes no change in cough, congestion or mucus production, even among those who are sick (69).

Nonetheless, if you feel that diary products worsen your congestion, try otherfermented foods containing probiotics or a probiotic supplement instead.

Bottom Line: Yogurt is easy to eat and a good source of calories, protein, vitamins and minerals. Some yogurts also contain probiotics, which can help you get sick less often and get better faster

12. Certain Fruits

Berries

Fruits can be beneficial when sick.

They are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber, which support your body and immune system (70).

Some fruits also contain beneficial compounds called anthocyanins, which are types of flavonoids that give fruits their red, blue and purple color. Some of the best sources are strawberries, cranberries, blueberries and blackberries (71).

Anthocyanins make berries excellent foods to eat when sick because they have strong anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune-boosting effects.

Several studies found that fruit extracts high in anthocyanins can inhibit common viruses and bacteria from attaching to cells. They also stimulate the body’s immune response (72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77).

In particular, pomegranates have strong antibacterial and antiviral effects that inhibit food-borne bacteria and viruses, including E. coli and salmonella (78).

While these effects do not necessarily have the same impact on infections in the body as in the lab, they likely do have some impact.

In fact, one review found that flavonoid supplements can decrease the number of days people are sick with the cold by a whopping 40% (79).

Add some fruit to a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt for more added benefits or blend frozen fruit into a cold smoothie that soothes your throat.

Bottom Line: Many fruits contain flavonoids called anthocyanins that can fight viruses and bacteria and stimulate the immune system. Flavonoid supplements can also be beneficial.

13. Avocados

Avocados

The avocado is an unusual fruit because it is low in carbs but high in fat.

In particular, it is high in healthy monounsaturated fat, the same type of fat found in olive oil.

Avocados are also a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals (80, 81).

Avocados are a great food when sick because they provide calories, vitamins and minerals that your body needs. They’re also soft, relatively bland and easy to eat.

Because of the healthy fats avocados contain, especially oleic acid, they help to decrease inflammation while also playing a role in immune function (82, 83).

Bottom Line: Avocados are full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that can decrease inflammation and stimulate the immune system.

14. Leafy, Green Vegetables

Romaine Lettuce on a Chopping Board

It’s important to get all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs while sick, but that can be difficult to do with a typical “sick foods” diet.

Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce and kale are packed full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are especially good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate (84).

Dark green vegetables are also loaded with beneficial plant compounds. These act as antioxidants to protect cells from damage and help fight inflammation (85).

Leafy greens have also been used for their antibacterial properties (86).

Add spinach to an omelet for a quick, nutrient-packed, protein-rich meal. You can also try tossing a handful of kale into a fruit smoothie.

Bottom Line: Leafy green vegetables are full of fiber and nutrients that you need while sick. They also contain beneficial plant compounds.

15. Salmon

Grilled Salmon

Salmon is one of the best protein sources to eat when sick.

It is soft, easy to eat and full of the high-quality protein your body needs.

Salmon is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong anti-inflammatory effects (87).

Salmon is also a good source of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, which many people are lacking in. Vitamin D plays a role in immune function (88).

Bottom Line: Salmon is an excellent source of protein. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which fight inflammation and boost immune function.

Take Home Message

Resting, drinking fluids and getting proper nutrition are some of the most important things you can do to feel better and recover faster when sick.

But some foods have benefits that go beyond just providing your body with nutrients.

While no food alone can cure sickness, eating the right foods can support your body’s immune system and help relieve certain symptoms.

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