Although no specific food can cure sickness, it may help relieve irritating symptoms. What works for one person, may not work for the other. Focus and limit what you put into your body because you are what you eat.

If you are sick, you may not feel like eating, however, you can recover quickly if you eat the proper-nutritious food. This article will list the 10 best foods to eat when sick with a common illness and tell you what foods to avoid.

Foods to Eat

  1. Herbal Teas: Non-caffeinated teas help replenish the body with nutrients and antioxidants. Stay away from caffeinated teas as they will dehydrate and cause an adverse effect on your immune system.
  2. Honey: Honey contains powerful antioxidants, and enzymes, and is great to add to herbal teas. Honey may also help relieve sore throats and gut conditions allowing your body to clear harmful toxins.
  3. Chicken Soup: An easy-to-make soup filled with protein, calories, and vitamins. Chicken soup helps replenish the body with liquids and helps reduce congestion, especially when spices are added.
  4. Oatmeal: Although some may view oatmeal as bland, oats provide a good source of carbs, fiber, calories, minerals, and vitamins. Consider adding fruit/honey to your oatmeal or steel-cut oats to elevate the taste.
  5. Fruits: Fresh fruits contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Focus on consuming juicy fruits like melons, berries, and oranges to help boost hydration. Remember to eat 1½ to 2 cups of fruit a day to keep your body rich with nutrients.
  6. Ginger: Ginger is a natural remedy if you are feeling nauseous or if you can’t hold down your food. This spice has been used for generations and is a great herbal home remedy. Use it in your chicken soup or drink it as a ginger ale or ginger tea.
  7. Anything on the BRAT Diet: If you haven’t heard of the BRAT diet, it consists of Bread, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. This diet is great for people suffering from diarrhea as these foods are easy to digest, add more form to your stool, and help slow down the process. Try making a chicken and rice dish to give you protein and soluble fiber.
  8. Garlic: Garlic has been used in herbal medicine for ages and can help protect against illnesses like the common cold. Incorporating this into your daily diet not only adds flavor but contains antibacterial effects perfect for fighting off cold symptoms.
  9. Coconut Water: Feeling nauseous? Drink coconut water. It’s rich in electrolytes and helps replenish your body, especially if you are vomiting, have diarrhea, or have a fever.
  10. Salmon: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and provides nutrient-rich protein. It also contains anti-inflammatory effects that support your immune system.

Foods to Avoid

  1. Caffeine: If you are feeling under the weather it’s best to avoid things that dehydrate your body. Caffeine can loosen stools and rid your system of nutrients. Remember to drink herbal teas or water to give your body the fluids it needs.
  2. Dairy: Put down that bowl of cereal because dairy tends to thicken mucus. You may be thinking, “Wait a minute what about yogurt?” Although yogurt is great for probiotics, it can slow down your recovery process. 
  3. Alcohol: Ah yes, the ultimate dehydrator. Not only does it dehydrate it may worsen cold and flu symptoms. Although it might be tempting, celebrate with a drink after you’re done being sick.
  4. Greasy Foods: Greasy fast food is hard to digest and can worsen your stomach. If you are feeling nauseous switch over to something in the BRAT diet to speed up your recovery.

It’s best to be proactive than reactive, so remember to stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep, and maintain a nutrient-rich diet. Take care of your diet this summer and stay healthy.