No matter how much you try to keep sickness at bay, it is almost inevitable for you to fall sick once in a while. When you fall sick, your body undergoes a bit of stress and changes as it tries to combat the illness. As this happens, some people find it hard to eat food. However, healthy eating is the key to good health. In fact, food can be as good, if not better, than medicine when you are down with the sniffles, sore throat or stomach flu. "Feed a cold, starve a fever” is generally not good advice. You should eat foods that help boost your immunity and help tone down the symptoms.

What to Eat When Sick

When you are unwell, eating the right types of food can determine how quickly your body goes gets back into shape. Different types of foods give your body different nutrients, which are important when trying to fight off an illness. Some foods are known to relieve symptoms and speed up the healing process.

Chicken Soup

It is only natural for this food to be on the top of the list. Chicken soup has been used from one generation to the next for hundreds of years. Simply soup made from chicken, it is a source of nutrients such as vitamins, calories, good protein and minerals. All these are nutrients your body requires in large quantities when you’re unwell. Chicken soup also nourishes the body with electrolytes and fluids, which are required for hydration. This is important if you have a fever. If you want to clear nasal mucus, using chicken soup has been found to be more effective than any other liquid. It is also a neutrophils action inhibitor. This means that it stops certain white blood cells that can cause a stuffy nose or coughing.


Broth Soups

Aside from chicken soup, other broths are also well known for their infection fighting properties. Soups are mostly recommended when one is unwell because they keep one hydrated and are sources of nutrients. From soups, you can get vitamins and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. They are also great sources of energy.



Wondering what to eat when sick? How about some bananas? Bananas are amazing sources of fat burning nutrients, potassium, choline and vitamins. They are great sources of electrolytes and magnesium that aid in fighting pain. They are also a source of minerals that help fight off headaches and hard to treat migraines. If you’re having a stomach upset or a headache eat a banana for quick relief.


Hot Tea

Warm liquids can help soothe sore throats and ease congestion. Drinks such as green tea are rich in antioxidants and help to support the immune system when it is fighting infection. If you dislike green tea, you can try the other variants in the market as they all mostly comprise of the same health benefits. Also, you can try a glass of hot water with lemon, which also does the trick.



Honey is a great natural remedy for coughs. Two tablespoons of honey each day can go a long way in fighting a cough without having to take medication. Honey is especially ideal for children, but can also work for adults. If you find it hard to take pure honey, you can sprinkle a little on bread or mix it in your cereal. You can also use honey in place of sugar in teas.


Citrus Fruits

It is believed that citrus fruits have the ability to speed up the recovery process from a minor cold. Also, the thin white cover layer found on limes, oranges and lemons contains flavonoids, which are needed to boost the immune system and for speedy recovery.



While using spices in food can make your eyes watery and noses runny, spices are natural decongestants. Consumption of horseradish, chili peppers or wasabi can go a long way in decongesting a blocked nose or chest.


Toast and Crackers

When it comes to what to eat when sick, it is important to ensure you consume foods that are light and easy to digest. This ensures that not too much energy is used in digestion. This energy can instead be used for fighting off the infection. Taking unsalted plain toast or crackers is advised as they are easy on your tummy. These are starchy foods that will not aggravate the stomach. They are ideal for stabilizing digestion. This can be great for someone who keeps vomiting.



Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea. It can help to soothe and even prevent nausea when one is sick. It is also great for treating constipation and bloating. Taking a cup of ginger tea or flat ginger ale is recommended. Ginger is also a great source of antioxidants.



When one is unwell, even the little tasks can look and feel like impossible. This is because most of the times, one is feeling fatigued. Lentils will give you a boost of energy when you’re feeling down and out as a result of the sniffles. They are rich sources of proteins and iron. These are ideal for supplying the body with energy while at the same time boosting your immune system to help fight the infection.


Jasmine Rice

When one is unwell, one of the problems they face is falling asleep. When it comes to what to eat when sick, jasmine rice goes a long way in making sure the ailing person falls asleep with ease. Jasmine also helps ease stomach upsets, which can cause sleeplessness. Also, a mixture of jasmine and the carbohydrates in rice prompt the body to produce tryptophan, which causes drowsiness and sleep. When you sleep, you allow the body time to repair and to fight off infections more effectively.


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