Nutrition Articles

15 Comfort Foods That are Good for You

Feel Better While Staying Healthy

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When we're not feeling our best, whether we're stressed out or we're coming down with a cold, we often turn to "comfort food" to soothe ourselves. There's nothing wrong with using food to feel better as long as you don't eat something that will just end up making you feel worse later. But, don't worry, there are plenty of healthy comfort foods that you can enjoy with guilt or regret. Here are 15 delicious ideas:

1. Bowl of Oatmeal. There's no better way to start the day (especially a cold one) than with a warm bowl of oatmeal. Not only will the fiber in oatmeal help you feel full longer, it will also help your heart by reducing the amount of cholesterol you absorb. As if that isn't enough, you can make your breakfast even more special by adding a variety of healthy toppings. Try a 1/4 cup of blueberries, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts and a dash of cinnamon or 1/2 a sliced banana and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. You'll feel good from the inside out.

2. NB&H. Just like the PB&J of your childhood, a nut butter and honey sandwich will hit the spot when you're out of sorts. This grown-up version of the brown-bag staple can be made from any kind of nut or seed. It's easy to make your own nut butters in a food processor. Try almonds, hazelnuts or cashews. Although nuts are high in calories, they pack a huge nutrition punch, providing heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, filling protein and essential vitamin and minerals.

3. Chicken Noodle Soup. Even the Mayo Clinic agrees that chicken soup can reduce inflammation and speed the loosening of mucus in the sinuses, so listen to your Mom on this one. If you're feeling bad, go for soup. If traditional chicken noodle is too bland for your grown-up tastes, there are lots of options to spice it up including ginger and pesto.

4. Baked Potato. It might feel naughty, but if you top your baked potato with Greek yogurt and salsa or grilled chicken and reduced-fat cheddar, you'll have a filling, hearty meal that's healthy, too. But don't stop with just the humble white potato, there are so many other delicious varieties. If you're looking for extra comfort, try baked sweet potato fries! Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, and vitamins A and C. They also don't spike blood sugar levels as much as regular potatoes. 
5. Mmmm, Meatloaf. You don't have to choose between delicious and bad for you or healthy but dry and crumbly. Cook your meatloaf in a crockpot and you can turn extra lean ground beef into a dinner delight. You can change up the herbs in the recipe above to create your own meatloaf variations. Try dill and garlic or spinach and Italian seasoning.


6. Chicken and Dumplings. This version tastes an awful lot like Grandma's but without all the fat and salt that made hers a disaster waiting to happen. Olive oil, boneless, skinless chicken breast and skim milk are combined with fresh veggies and no-salt-added chicken stock to make a meal that will turn any rainy day into a lovely evening. Continued ›

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About The Author

Megan Patrick Megan Patrick
Megan Lane Patrick has been a professional writer and editor for the past 16 years, and was a chronic dieter for at least 30. A combination of weight-loss surgery, mindful eating and daily exercise finally allowed her to maintain a weight loss of more than 100 pounds. When she's not lifting weights at the gym, you can find her walking shelter dogs as a volunteer for the SPCA.

Member Comments

  • I have made several of my own versions of these recipes in the past several weeks! I have a luscious one for Baked Oatmeal (with almond milk). I was sick with sinus infection craving chicken made that with rice, rather than noodles. Yummy lowfat version of meatloaf, a friend made cauliflower pizza which was to "die for" yummy!! I have a really low fat version of pasta alfredo with broccoli that is very tasty! So I think in the comfort food department I have done well!! :) - 3/23/2016 11:02:03 AM
  • Excellent suggestions! I saw at least half a dozen recipes I'm eager to try - crock pot meatloaf and chocolate Greek yogurt? I'm so there! - 2/17/2016 8:13:11 AM
    Excited about the mushroom gravy recipe for biscuits and gravy! I have several lower cal mac and cheeses and other pasta dishes-- I can enjoy some of my favorite foods and feel good at the same time. - 1/27/2016 10:31:56 AM
  • Am a bit surprised at how meaty many of these comfort foods are. - 9/23/2015 4:08:34 PM
  • sounds great...why if they are good for do ppl. not want to eat what is good for you rather than something..loaded with cals...I get a sweet potato..with cinnamon.and that's all and my wife looks at me like I'm an alien...but I will survive... - 12/3/2014 4:17:45 PM
    Great suggestions! I'm going to try the pizza and mousse :) - 9/28/2014 11:32:34 AM
  • Had to laugh at GREENHOME1's comment. Obviously she didn't try it before commenting. Stating it was more like "pudding" instead of mousse because it didn't have egg whites.....yes it does and it IS fluffy and it IS a mousse. Please, people, don't leave a criticism if you haven't tried the recipe. I loved it and so did my entire family. No one new it was a lower calorie version of an old recipe.
    - 4/19/2014 6:45:00 PM
    Great suggestions! Thanks! - 3/29/2014 3:50:48 PM
  • Great info thanks - 1/22/2014 1:32:18 PM
  • I eat all of these but do not lose weight. It is the QUANTITY of the Comfort Food that is really important! - 12/4/2013 11:02:39 AM
  • Hey, you can't call it "mousse" if it's not airy and fluffy from egg whites. Greek yogurt is neither. It's pudding, maybe.

    Otherwise, there are some good suggestions and reminders in that list. Thanks. - 10/31/2013 6:03:03 PM
  • Thanks for sharing. - 10/21/2013 5:41:48 AM
  • lad he baked potato! They re so high in potassium and my body needs potassium! - 10/17/2013 10:50:16 PM
  • I would have thought that there would too mcuh salt for the chicken noodle soup to be on the list. - 10/16/2013 6:39:51 PM
  • Just because a food is a lower calorie version of the original does not make it good for you. The quality of your food is just as important as the calorie content. - 10/16/2013 8:37:14 AM

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