The Best Foods to Eat When You’re Sick

Our immune systems are fine-tuned, cold-fighting machines, but even the best of us come down with something occasionally. Factors like stress and sleep can make you even more susceptible.

When you’re nursing a cold or fever, your first instinct is often to refrain from eating or drinking. This is especially true if you’ve got stomach flu and can barely keep anything down. But it’s important to remember that your body needs nutrients now more than ever.

If you’re looking to fight off the cold, here are a few foods to eat and avoid while you’re sick.

For Colds and Sore Throats

There are many foods that can coat and relieve a sore throat. Peppermint tea with honey both soothes and protects the throat. Honey is an antiseptic and has wound-healing properties. Just make sure the tea is warm and not hot! Try creamy foods like mashed potatoes, oatmeal and applesauce that won’t worsen your symptoms.

While spicy foods are known to help blocked noses, they can also irritate sore throats. Avoid spicy, and instead try salty soups like chicken noodle. The proteins in chicken can break down mucus. It’s also packed with nutrients that your body desperately needs when sick, like sodium. Adding turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties, will help to decongest.

For Nausea

When you’re feeling queasy, steer clear from spicy or fried and greasy foods. Instead try easily digestible, protein-packed foods, like peanut butter. A lack of protein often worsens nausea; so make sure to monitor your intake.

Ginger has a whole host of benefits, but it’s most famous for its anti-nausea properties. Ginger tea is especially beneficial, but ginger soda can also help to settle an upset stomach. Even sucking on a few pieces of raw ginger can alleviate symptoms. Mint works similarly, and ingesting mint tea or chewing on the leaves raw can fight nausea.

For Diarrhea

Simple, nutrient dense foods will be the best option for you if you have diarrhea. Carbohydrates like toast, potatoes and rice will help to soothe your already irritated stomach. Lean meats like chicken and turkey will give you the protein and calories you need, and applesauce and bananas are equally beneficial.

If you’ve been dieting, ditch the artificial sweeteners and stop counting calories. Some artificial sweeteners are difficult to digest and can inflame the stomach, worsening diarrhea. Try fruit juices and salty broths, which will combat dehydration and replace lost nutrients.

The faster you start eating more of these foods, the faster you’ll see an improvement in your health. A balanced and nutritious diet will combat those cold weather sniffles before they even happen!

January 27, 2016
Written by Bailey Morgan
Content Writer at Nutex Health, Inc

Let us know your favorite food to eat when you’re sick! Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. With our 24 Hour Emergency Rooms in Port Arthur and Orange, we can treat you promptly with our expert team of nurses and board certified ER doctors.