Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D. — written by Cindy Shih and also Hilary I. Lebow top top October 5, 2015

*
Share ~ above Pinterest
So friend did whatever in your strength to remain away native the office cold (dang it, Linda!). But despite your best efforts, you’re now stuck on the couch for a brutal few days — ugh.

Whether it’s a level old head cold, a stomach virus, or the mother of every flus, the time to share up top top food and also drinks that’ll gain you earlier in tip-top shape in no time.

You are watching: Foods that make you feel better when sick


You recognize that old speak “Feed a cold, starve a fever”? A 2016 examine at Yale uncovered that, yes, eating may aid fight viral infections and also fasting may aid combat bacterial infections. Wang A, et al. (2016). Opposing results of fasting line on tissue tolerance in bacterial and viral inflammation. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.07.026

But hang on a sec. It’s worth noting the the study was done on listeria- and influenza-infected mice, no humans. Also, the topics were force-fed glucose (sugar), an ingredient ~ above our list of no-no’s below. So until more research is done, us can’t tell friend for certain either way.

But what we do understand is that as soon as you’re sick, your body requirements at the very least some nourishment. No matter how awful you feel, it’s important to stick come a continual eating schedule because consuming fewer calories 보다 normal can restrict her body’s capacity to heal.

We recommend eating small, frequent portions of food. Listen to her body to recognize when you’re actually hungry. This provides it much easier to keep a secure supply that fuel while your body recovers.

The best foods on this list will save you hydrated, provide your body extra energy, and provide nutrients to assist you remain strong, every without aggravating her upset stomach or clogged-up respiratory tract system.

Next time you’re feeling under the weather, shot incorporating few of these foods into her diet to endure a much faster — or at least much more comfortable — recovery.


The best means to kick a cold is come drink plenty of fluids and also eat phlegm-fighting foods. Here are part winners.

Broth-based soup

This one isn’t simply an old wives’ story — chicken noodle may actually aid soothe a cold.

For starters, broth consists of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, i m sorry you’ll require if you’ve been sweating. Plus, a landmark research from 1978 verified that hot broth helps keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration, and also fight inflammation in the throat.Saketkhoo K, et al. (1978). Impacts of drinking hot water, cold water, and also chicken soup ~ above nasal mucus velocity and also nasal air flow resistance. Https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/359266

Hot tea

Drinking tea (especially Chinese, Japanese, or American varieties) while you’re under the weather can assist your human body fight off infections. This is many thanks to organic bacteria-fighting compound in tea, particularly green tea.Reygaert WC. (2014). The antimicrobial possibilities of eco-friendly tea.DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00434

Plus, warm liquids have the right to soothe a sick throat and also alleviate congestion. Freshly brewed tea or hot water with lemon is ideal for continuing to be hydrated if helping the end that stuffy nose.

Citrus fruits

While vitamin C, found in large amounts in citrus, can not necessarily cure the common cold, study summarizing 29 trials discovered that it can help reduce the length and severity of colds in both adults and also children.Hemilä H, et al. (2013). Vitamin C for preventing and also treating the usual cold. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4

What’s more, fruits favor oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes save flavonoids, which research study shows have antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.Kozlowska A, et al. (2014). Flavonoids — food sources and also health benefits. Https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25272572

Ice pops

Staying correctly hydrated when sick v a chest cold can thin mucus and also lessen congestion. Because it’s far better to eat entirety fruit than to drink it, ice cream pops are a an excellent way to hydrate.

As a bonus, they are specifically easy on your throat. Buy ones made from 100 percent whole fruit. Extra point out if girlfriend make your own healthy ones in ~ home.

Spicy foods

Spicy foods can do your nose run and your eyes water, yet they’re also effective herbal decongestants. Eating chili peppers, wasabi, or horseradish can help relieve the symptom of congestion.Van Gerven L, et al. (2014). Capsaicin therapy reduces nasal hyperreactivity and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V, receptor 1 (TRPV1) overexpression in patients with idiopathic rhinitis. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.08.026


When it concerns stomach problems (which can accompany the flu), eat bland, easy-to-digest foods and staying hydrated are the ideal strategies because that a rapid recovery. Here are a couple of of your finest bets.

Crackers and also toast

If you hugging the porcelain throne (or about to be), remember this rule: The blander, the better. Plain, unsalted crackers; cereals; pretzels; and also toast are simple foods that are basic on the stomach.

It’s not completely clear why this is, but perhaps it’s a odor thing. Studies show that strong-smelling foods contribute to nausea.Marx W, et al. (2016). Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: A narrative testimonial to notify dietetics practice. DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.10.020

Bananas

Bananas are straightforward to digest and rich in potassium, which is often depleted during bouts that sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Plus, one study proved that pectin (a type of water-soluble fiber uncovered in fruits) relieved cradle distress and inflammation in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.Xu L, et al. (2015). Efficacy of pectin in the treatment of diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25809332

Ginger

Ginger has actually long to be studied for its stomach-soothing properties. Number of studies have shown that ginger is reliable at preventing and treating nausea and other gastric ailments, such as constipation, bloating, and also vomiting.Lete I, et al. (2016). The performance of ginger in the avoidance of nausea and also vomiting during pregnancy and chemotherapy. DOI: 10.4137/IMI.S36273

Drinking ginger tea or flat ginger ale (to stop disrupting her stomach v carbonation) can aid you stay hydrated when relieving ship troubles.


Spicy and acidic foods

While spicy foods can be good for clearing nasal congestion, they have the right to be unstable on her stomach. This is thanks to a powerful ingredient referred to as capsaicin, which can disrupt her digestive tract.

The same goes for citrus. The vitamin C might be advantageous for cold-like symptoms, yet fruits choose grapefruit, oranges, and also lemons can additionally irritate your stomach lining and also cause an ext pain and also discomfort. Steer clean of both if you have an upset stomach.

See more: Fisher Price Newborn Rock N Play

Sweets

If ever before there to be a time because that comfort food, gift sick in bed would certainly be it, right? but a high sugar intake can contribute to inflammation and also a lower immune response. Even though fro yo sounds choose a good idea, it’s finest to skip it when you’re emotion under the weather.Raatz S, et al. (2015). Intake of honey, sucrose, and high-fructose corn syrup produces comparable metabolic impacts in glucose-tolerant and -intolerant individuals. DOI: 10.3945/jn.115.218016

Greasy foods and refined carbs

Pass ~ above the burgers and also fries. Greasy foods items cooked in partially hydrogenated vegetables oils contain fabricated trans fats. This fats lower the HDL (“good”) cholesterol in her body, and they rise inflammatory markers — the last point you need when you’re sick.

Might as well ditch the bun, too. Research studies have shown that sleek carbohydrates (white breads, pastas, pancakes) cause a spicy insulin spike and also create inflammation in the body. Bhaskar B, et al. (2016). Fatality by carbs: included sugars and refined carbohydrates reason diabetes and cardiovascular disease in asian Indians. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6139832/

Milk (maybe)

The jury is still out on this one. Plenty of people believe that drinking milk promotes mucus manufacturing in the lungs, but a 2019 study from Australia confirmed that may not be the case.Balfour-Lynn IM. (2019). Milk, mucus and also myths. DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2018-314896

Even if your phlegm no dining top top dairy, the texture of milk combined with saliva have the right to feel thick and uncomfortable in your mouth. If this bothers girlfriend or you have a recognized dairy allergy, protect against milk if you’re sick.