The Best (And Worst) Foods To Help You Recover When You’re Sick

The Best (And Worst) Foods To Help You Recover When You’re Sick

When you’re sick with a cold or stomach problems, eating might be the last thing you feel like doing. To recover as fast as possible though, you need to nourish your body. To that end, Greatist has a list of the best and worst you can eat when you’re sick.

Picture: mmmarilyn/Flickr

The article breaks down the best items by category: cold-like symptoms and stomach problems. You’ve no doubt already know about chicken soup and hot tea. As with its guide to the best drinks for every occasion, Greatist offers the research behind each food. For example:

Citrus Fruits
It’s a myth that vitamin C can cure the common cold, and there isn’t actually much scientific evidence behind the theory that it’ll reduce the length or severity of colds, either [5]. However, while citrus fruits might not be a cure-all, the soft white layer of skin found on oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes does contain flavonoids, which can help boost the immune system and are great for speeding recovery [6].

Staying properly hydrated while sick with a chest cold can keep mucus thin and help lessen congestion. While it’s generally better to eat fruit rather than drink it,popsicles are great as a different way to hydrate and are especially easy on the throat. Bonus points if they’re 100 per cent fruit juice, or made from whole fruit!

Spicy Foods
Spicy foods can make our noses run and our eyes water, but they’re alsoeffective natural decongestants. Eating chilli peppers, wasabi, or horseradish can help relieve the symptoms of congestion [7] [8].

Greatist advises sticking to a regular eating schedule even when you’re sick, because you need those calories to get better. Try eating smaller portions throughout the day if a big meal turns you off.

Check out the full list of nourishing foods at the post below.

The Best and Worst Foods to Eat When You’re Sick [Greatist]


  • one time when i started getting that achey feeling in my glands before getting full sick, i went out to the supermarket to grab some supplies. made a roll with spinach, mushroom, tomato and 2 garlic sections sliced – it was one of those moments where you just keep telling yourself ‘its gonna help me, its gonna help me’ while smashing it down. needless to say, i didnt get sick – garlic win!

  • If sick with vomiting or diarrhoea, avoid milk & milk products. In the intestines when the contents & lining is irritated the tips of the villi (microscopic little projections that line the intestines) corrode away (they do grow back when illness recedes).
    On the tip of these villi is where the enzyme to digest milk & milk products is made.
    So when you have a stomach bug, milk products can remain undigested, and instead of being digested in the upper small intestine, it travels through all the intestines making you feel bloated, and changes your faeces…

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