We can all hear it — the coughing, sneezing, nose-blowing and other bodily sounds that echo through lecture halls during the winter in Ithaca. It’s flu season, and there is nothing worse than trying to get through your homework with a runny nose and sore throat. There’s an old saying that advises the sick to “feed a cold and starve a fever” if they want to recover. According to WebMD, this isn’t completely correct. When you’re sick, you should eat when you have an appetite and make sure to stay hydrated. Sometimes, this seems like an impossible feat, so I have compiled a list of foods to eat when you’re feeling under the weather and where you can find them in Collegetown and on campus.
Soups, fruit, oatmeal, yogurt and salmon are among the best foods to eat when you’re sick. Soup helps keep you hydrated; fruit has lots of vitamins and minerals; oatmeal is plain and easy to eat; yogurt soothes a sore throat and salmon helps fight inflammation.
Collegetown has an abundance of places with these foods. Oishii Bowl, Vietnam Restaurant and Cafe Pacific all serve ramen and other soups that have chicken broth to soothe a congested chest and keep you well hydrated without making your stomach feel queasy. The Kuay Teow Gai Toon at Oishii Bowl is like a Japanese take on chicken noodle soup, which is what I eat every time I get a cold. Vietnam Restaurant especially offers a variety of fruit juices and ginger ale (which my mother swears is the cure for everything) which not only provide your body with much-needed nutrients but also settle your stomach. CTB offers pre-packaged yogurt parfaits in their grab-n-go section and serves build-your-own smoothies. My favorite is the Fruit Wellness, which has berries, yogurt, orange juice and an antioxidant supplement — it’s light and fruity, making it comforting even when I’m sick.
On-campus eateries and cafes also offer a multitude of “sick foods.” From vegetable stew to beef minestrone to clam chowder, soup in all its forms and manifestations is offered at all Cornell cafes. They also always have multiple types of Tazo tea (either hot or cold) that will also soothe your throat while keeping you hydrated.
Martha’s, the cafe in Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, serves build-your-own salads with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and protein options that are packed with vitamins and minerals. If a salad seems like too much to get down, Martha’s also serves flatbreads that may be a little easier on your stomach. The margherita flatbread is a lighter version of a pizza and equally delicious.
Manndibles, the cafe in Mann Library, offers smoothies and bagels. I recommend getting any of the toasted bagels with peanut butter if your stomach is especially sensitive. I usually don’t like jellies, jams or anything similar, but a toasted plain bagel with peanut butter and apricot jelly from Manndibles goes perfectly with your morning dose of cold meds.
Bus Stop Bagels also serves all kinds of bagels and bagel sandwiches that will be easy to eat and give your body energy to keep fighting against the flu while walking uphill in the snow.
Mac’s Cafe in the Statler Hotel serves both salads and smoothies if you really want to give your immune system a boost.
According to Facebook reviews of the Temple of Zeus in Klarman Hall, the best soup to get is the curry sweet pea or Thai carrot with one of the Temple’s fresh rolls.
And, of course, Trillium has anything any student — sick or not — could ever want, including a simple bowl of chicken broth.
There are also things you should definitely avoid when you’re sick. Eating spicy foods can give you a runny nose, which seems like a good way to relieve nasal congestion, but just results in a stuffy nose later, according to WebMD.
Because it causes dehydration, alcohol is listed as the number one thing to avoid when you’re sick. So even when you’re starting to feel a little better, Fish Bowls is not the first place you should go to celebrate after being cooped up in your room with tissues and Vicks VapoRub for a week!