Get Well Soon: 10 Foods To Help You Get Better When You're Sick & 10 To Avoid

Get Well Soon: 10 Foods To Help You Get Better When You're Sick & 10 To Avoid

It's flu season, which means we're all just looking for ways to get better and FAST. When we're feeling under the weather, we often turn to comforting meals to help us relieve stress. But we're here to tell you, when you're sick, you have to be aware of what you eat too - there are some foods you need to stay away from! In this article, we explore 10 foods that'll help you get better fast, and 10 foods you desperately need to avoid. To help you get over that cold more quickly, keep reading to learn more!

1. Chicken Soup

Turns out chicken soup isn't just for the soul - it's a great choice for fighting off your cold too! The warm, hearty broth will help soothe your sore throat, and it'll also help with keeping your body hydrated. Not to mention, the chicken provides protein essential for speeding up your healing process.

Mmm... Chicken Noodle Soup (4196159918)jeffreyw on Wikimedia Commons

2. Ginger Tea

Ginger has always been known for its anti-nausea properties, so what better thing to drink than ginger tea when you're feeling unwell? A warm cup of ginger tea can do wonders in helping settle an upset stomach; it also provides hydration, which is absolutely crucial when you're sick.

Dominik-Martin-Jyfmyif4N70-Unsplash (1)Photo by Dominik Martin on Unsplash

3. Bananas

Easy to digest and high in potassium, bananas will become your new best friend when you're feeling sick and queasy. These fruits are gentle on the stomach, but also help to replenish plenty of nutrients that may be lost thanks to vomiting or diarrhea.

Anastasia-Eremina-Vi2Riozurks-Unsplash (2)Photo by Anastasia Eremina on Unsplash

4. Oatmeal

When you're feeling under the weather, nothing feels more comforting than a heartwarming meal. A warm bowl of oatmeal is just that! Providing you with an excellent source of energy, it's also easy on the stomach and can be topped with other delicious goodies like bananas or berries for added nutrients.

Olga-Kudriavtseva-S8J1Dlrroo0-UnsplashPhoto by Olga Kudriavtseva on Unsplash


5. Honey

Known and highly regarded for its antibacterial properties, honey is amazing for soothing sore throats and bad coughs. You can add it to tea (a nice and warm honey lemon tea will do the trick) or simply take a spoonful at night to ease throat irritation. You'll be amazed at how effective honey really is!

Art-Rachen-Asj5Dfw8Uaw-UnsplashPhoto by Art Rachen on Unsplash

6. Garlic

While you probably don't want to take a bite out of raw garlic, it's good to know that garlic has incredible immune-boosting properties. So when you're fighting off a cold, it's definitely beneficial for you to incorporate it into meals more often, or a sip on garlic tea for an easy health boost.

Surya-Prakash-7Alcc15W59W-Unsplash (2)Photo by Surya Prakash on Unsplash

7. Leafy Greens

Whenever you're sick, just remember: green is good! Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that support the immune system, helping you to recover faster. The best part? You can easily toss them into a smoothie for that extra boost, or use them in soups for a nutrient-rich, easy-to-digest meal.

Nadine-Primeau-L5Mjl9Qh8Vu-UnsplashPhoto by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

8. Yogurt

Yogurt is surprisingly good for you to consume whenever you're sick; look for yogurts with live and active cultures because they can help regulate your gut bacteria better. This is especially important for your overall health and recovery.

Sara-Cervera-4Caipcmvdii-Unsplash (4)Photo by Sara Cervera on Unsplash

9. Sweet Potatoes

If you love sweet potatoes, you're in luck. Rich in vitamins A and C, this tasty root vegetable is great for boosting the immune system. They're also easy to digest and can be comforting, tasty option when you're looking for a pick-me-up.

Louis-Hansel-Wtgw5Kobw60-UnsplashPhoto by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

10. Avocado

Everyone loves avocadoes, so you'll be happy to hear it's a great food choice when you're not feeling well. They're a source of healthy fats and are easy on the stomach. It's a fantastic way to add energy-rich food into your diet when your appetite is reduced.

Sc-AvocadoImage by Juraj Varga from Pixabay


1. Dairy Products

We know you probably love cheese, but if you're sick, it's probably best if you stay away for a little while. Certain dairy products like milk and cheese are foods that can worsen congestion, especially if you're lactose intolerant. While there's not enough scientific evidence to fully back this up yet, there have been many reports of increased mucus production, which can be problematic if you're already dealing with a stuffy nose or a cough. Sometimes it's better to just play it safe!

Anita-Jankovic-C7Pt4Pzmcna-UnsplashPhoto by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash

2. Caffeinated Beverages

Coffee lovers, we're sorry, but you're going to have to resist that warm cup of joe in the morning when you're ill. Caffeine can lead to dehydration, especially when you're sick, so it's best that you avoid it. Beverages like coffee and certain teas can also disrupt your sleep, which is a crucial step for a speedy recovery.

Mike-Kenneally-Zlwdjoktua8-UnsplashPhoto by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

3. Spicy Foods

While spicy foods might clear your sinuses temporarily, that temporary relief isn't worth it in the long run. Not only will it cause irritation for your already irritable throat, it can also cause stomach upset and heartburn, unideal symptoms when your body is already stressed and trying to fight off the cold.

Emy-Xobyibymx20-Unsplash (1)Photo by emy on Unsplash

4. Processed Sugars

It's a good idea to try and limit consuming high sugar content in processed foods when you're sick. Why? It can suppress your immune system's effectiveness and make your sore throat even worse. We want foods that will help speed up your recovery, not prolong it! So in the meantime, it's best to avoid sugary snacks and desserts.

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5. Fried or Greasy Foods

Although we all love a delicious fried bit of food, eating them while sick can make it hard to digest, even aggravating any stomach discomfort you already have. So during this time, it's better to stick to lighter, more easily digestible foods versus heavy fried or greasy foods.

Andy-Hay-Rj4Lzgc4Yci-UnsplashPhoto by Andy Hay on Unsplash

6. Alcoholic Beverages

There's no need to drink when you're sick, so do your best to stay away from any alcoholic beverages during this period. Alcohol can dehydrate you, but also interfere with your sleep cycle. The most problematic aspect though is that it can hinder your immune system's ability to fight off the illness. We don't want that now do we?

Adam-Wilson-6Uionphza5O-UnsplashPhoto by Adam Wilson on Unsplash


7. Acidic Foods

This one's pretty self-explanatory but when you've got a sore throat, it's best that you avoid foods like oranges, grapefruits, and tomatoes. Those already very acidic and sour fruits won't make your throat feel any better. 

Rayia-Soderberg-I Gmminiwyq-UnsplashPhoto by Rayia Soderberg on Unsplash

8. Hard or Crunchy Snacks

Nothing's worse than a sore throat, so to help avoid any additional discomfort, make sure you stay away from hard or crunchy snacks. Opt for much softer foods that are gentler on your throat, not something that's rough and raggedy which will feel terrible when swallowed.

K8-Ghrt9J21M2M-UnsplashPhoto by K8 on Unsplash

9. Raw Vegetables

Although they're definitely healthy, raw veggies can be tough on a sensitive stomach. Try to only consume cooked vegetables which are easier to digest and less likely to cause you discomfort when you're sick.

Nadine-Primeau-Ffllgrfl5L8-UnsplashPhoto by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

10. Red Meat

Red meat can be tough to digest and might put additional strain on your digestive system. When you're ill, it's advisable to choose leaner protein sources like chicken or fish.

Madie-Hamilton-Gxehl5 Crj4-UnsplashPhoto by Madie Hamilton on Unsplash