10 of the Best Foods to Eat When You’re Sick

Best Foods to Eat When You're Sick

It’s no wonder that when you’re sick, you often feel like you just want to curl up in bed and hibernate until you feel well again. After all, rest is often times the best medicine. Unfortunately, there’s no magical pill that will make you feel better instantly, but there are some foods that can help your body fight a cold, flu, or stomach bug. Here’s a list of 10 of the best foods to eat when you’re sick.

What happens to your body when you’re sick? 

When you have a fever, and your body is hot, it makes it hard for the germs to spread. If you sleep a lot, you will have more energy to fight germs. While you’re sick, you might not want to drink as much as you usually do.  But even if you don’t feel like drinking, you should still drink lots of water! Otherwise, you will get dehydrated. You should also try to eat some of the food listed below as they are 10 of the best foods to eat when you’re sick.

Green Leafy Vegetables and Mushrooms 

green leafy vegetables

Various foods can help fight illness, but leafy vegetables are one the best foods to eat when you’re sick. They’re a significant source of vitamins K, C, and A, fiber, and an assortment of nutrients and minerals. 

If you snack on vegetables, choose those that are low in saturated fat, such as broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and green beans, and high in fiber, such as cabbage, carrots, lima beans, cauliflower, and spinach

These vegetables are a great source of antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals which are molecules that can damage cells in the body. They may also cause chronic diseases like heart disease, asthma, and cancer.

Aside from green leafy vegetables, mushrooms are another good choice. You may just think of mushrooms as a tasty topping for your pizza; but this fungus contains several immune-boosting compounds that can boost your body’s defenses against colds, flu, and stomach bugs.

Juicy Fruits 

Various citrus fruits

Fruit is a good option when you are sick because it helps with the healing process through vitamins and minerals. Oranges, peaches, berries, kiwis, and bananas are rich in vitamin C and contain compounds called flavonoids that reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections. Here is a great list of juicy fruits to pick from:

  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Green Apple
  • Carrot
  • Beet
  • Tomato
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Strawberry 
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Watermelon 
  • Lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Bananas



Honey has long been used to help soothe a sore throat. It’s also often recommended to combat coughs. Honey works by forming a seal over the throat, allowing moisture to be drawn back in. 

Honey is a natural substance that has healing qualities. It contains antioxidants and bacteria-fighting assets that help with the common cold, allergies, infections, and wounds. 

Doctors and scientists have found that buckwheat honey has the highest number of antioxidants which makes it a good choice for boosting immunity in the long run. 

Apart from this, your body consumes honey at a considerably faster rate. When you eat honey, it can convert your body’s fat deposits into energy, making it a great way to gain energy and improve your health in general. 

Important Note: If you are diabetic, honey may cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor to see if honey is a good choice for you.

Garlic and Ginger

Culinary ginger - the type usually used in cooking

There is a state in your body called “Reactive oxidative stress (ROS),” in which your immune system gets too busy to clear away broken pieces of cells and all other harmful chemicals from your body. 

This usually occurs when you’re sick, and defenses in your body fight these chemicals, but sometimes it’s hard for the immune system to fight them when they’re too many. Garlic and ginger can help reduce this dangerous compound in your blood. 

Ginger and garlic will benefit your overall health by protecting your brain from cognitive decline and improving cognitive function. This causes you to feel good and protects against grumpy, sad, or anxious feelings. 

Garlic is a powerful ingredient that can help you fight the flu and colds and reduce the severity and length of symptoms. A compound found in garlic called allicin helps boost the immune system and reduces the severity and length of cold and flu symptoms. 

Garlic has been shown to decrease the number of colds people get, and it cuts the average length of a cold from five days to one and a half.

Dry Fruits

A table filled with the various types of nuts.

Dry fruits are one of the best foods to eat when you’re sick. Not only do they increase energy and stamina, enhance immunity and keep you fit, they are also rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Here is a great list of dry fruits to choose from.

  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Dates
  • Apricots
  • Raisins
  • Pistachios


soup is one of the best foods to eat when you're sick

Soup is one of the best foods to eat when you’re sick. It is good for your body because you can swallow it quickly, and it contains water and other minerals that can be consumed easily by your body. 

Soups don’t just get digested easily but also improve digestive health. People who find it hard to eat three servings of veggies a day to get the nutrition they need can make big pots of soup and eat them throughout the day. 

A couple of nutrients are better absorbed by the body when food is cooked; for example, “beta carotene” & “lycopene” appear to be absorbed better through the body when tomatoes & carrots are cooked rather than eaten raw.

The soup contains a lot of energy and nutrients and is easier for your stomach to digest than solid food. That is why soup is said to be a universal medicine for recovering from illness. Always be sure to cook your soup over low heat for a longer time so that essential nutrients don’t get lost.

Certain Spices

Open spices on the table

Spices and herbs add flavor and aroma to our dishes, and more importantly — they contain antioxidants that increase our overall health. 

The world’s cuisines use over 100 kinds of spices. The majority of spices come from Asia (India and China) but most of the world’s best spices can be found at your local market. 

Here is a great list of herbs and spices to try to incorporate into your daily diet:

  • Turmeric: While winters are notorious for their nastiness, you can always stay safe and healthy by drinking a glass of turmeric milk every day. You can also try sprinkling some turmeric powder onto your food. Even something as simple as this will help your body fight off diseases.
  • Nutmeg: Nutmeg is a warm spice that offers an array of health benefits. Nutrients like manganese, magnesium, and iron help boost the immune system. A cup full of milk infused with nutmeg powder, honey, and cardamom work wonders for mood swings in winter while keeping your body warm and healthy.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a magical spice. It contains powerful antioxidants, which help reduce the growth of free radicals. Cinnamon has many healing properties. A pinch of ground cinnamon mixed with honey provides you with a fantastic immunity boost to fight against colds during winter. This mixture also helps to protect your body from various bacteria.
  • Cloves: Cloves are full of antioxidants and have analgesic, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps ease muscle pains and joint pains too. 
  • Fenugreek: Fenugreek seeds are packed with antiviral properties and can kill viruses that cause sniffles and sore throats. 
  • Pepper: The antioxidants found in pepper helps to reduce excess fat while increasing your metabolism and improves digestion.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea has something called catechin (scientifically named epigallocatechin-3-gallate) (EGCG) in it, and catechins help your body fight infections. 

These substances can reduce the effects of free radicals, keeping the body healthy. They protect cells and molecules from damage. Green tea contains compounds that block the growth of bacteria in your mouth, which means fresher breath all day long. 

Studies suggest that drinking green tea may improve blood cholesterol levels, making it a heart-healthy drink. 

Coconut Water

The compounds in coconut water are called tannins, and they can reduce the inflammation of your stomach lining. 

Coconut water is a healthy alternative to sugary drinks and it’s rich in sodium and potassium. For the body to recover from diarrhea or vomiting, it needs to retain as much water as possible. Coconut water gives you the same hydration level as sports drinks without any chemicals and sugar.

Drink Milk

Milk is one of the best drinks when you are not feeling well as it is very easy to digest. It’s full of essential nutrients and vitamins and rich in calcium, protein, and other nutrients that help your body stay healthy. 

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