What to Eat When You’re Sick

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Winter is here, and while it brings snow and the much-anticipated holidays, it can also bring sickness. With so many people cooped up inside with the windows closed because of the cold weather, germs can spread much more easily, and many people may find themselves coming down with a cold, the flu, or COVID-19. Thankfully, there are many great foods that can help you feel better when you’re sick. Read on below to find out what they are!

Honey lemon water

For a simple way to soothe a sore throat, mix honey and lemon juice into hot water. Honey is a great antioxidant and can help your body heal faster, and lemon juice is high in vitamin C. Not only is this combo good for you when you’re sick, but it also tastes great too!

Spicy food

It might seem counterintuitive, but spicy food can be one of the best things to eat when you’re sick with a cold or the flu. Hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin that can help clear your sinuses and act as a mild painkiller for the mouth and throat.

Try mixing cayenne pepper into your honey lemon water and gargling it for an easy way to get the healing effects of capsaicin. This approach can work in the same way as gargling mouthwash to help kill bacteria in your throat.


While harmful bacteria can cause sickness, helpful bacteria called probiotics can help you fight sickness. Many studies show that yogurt can help you recover faster when getting sick. Yogurt is very high in probiotics that help to restore gut health, which can be especially helpful if you’re having trouble keeping food down. 

Bland foods

The best foods to eat when you’ve had a stomach bug are foods that are bland so as not to upset your stomach. Bland food options can include crackers, rice, toast, bananas, applesauce, and more. Bland foods tend to be gentle on your insides and can often slip through your digestive system to provide you with much-needed nutrients when other foods can’t.


One great food that’s easy on your stomach but not too bland is oatmeal, which is high in essential vitamins and minerals. Oatmeal is also great because you can add in whatever you want for flavor and additional health benefits.

When you’re sick, skip store-bought oatmeal in favor of homemade oatmeal. Store-bought oatmeal can be high in sugar and low in many of the vitamins and minerals you can add to homemade oatmeal. Try adding fresh fruit, nuts, or honey into your oatmeal for more calories and additional nutrients.

Chicken noodle soup

When in doubt, you can always go with the classic chicken noodle soup. The broth can provide your body with much-needed electrolytes and nutrients that you’re probably lacking if you’re struggling to keep solid food down.

Additionally, the hot broth can help soothe your throat,, and the steam can help clear up a clogged nose and relieve some pressure on your sinuses. Other soups are great for these purposes too, but chicken noodle soup also has vegetables and chicken to give your body protein and fiber. And that’s an unbeatable combo when you’re sick.

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