Feeling Sick? 8 Foods to Eat when You’re Sick

Feeling Sick? Berries


Updated: July 8, 2015.
As most of us know, being sick is absolutely no fun, and if you’re like anyone, you’ll want to get over it as soon as possible. The only way to recuperate from common sicknesses like the cold, the flu, or some other virus, is to get plenty of rest, to drink lots of fluids, and to eat the right foods so that your body restores itself naturally.

Here are a few common foods you should eat while you’re sick, and while you’re in the process of getting better.

Feeling Sick? Berries


1. Chicken and other Clear Broth Soups.

This one is probably a no-brainer for many of us, since everyone always associates the cold or flu with chicken soup. The reason that soups are so good for you when you’re sick is that they contain lots of fluid and some sodium that restores much of the fluid you lose after being sick. Chicken serves as a good protein, and noodles are great for giving you energy after you’ve been drained from the cold or flu.


2. Toast or Crackers

Although toast or crackers may seem like fairly boring foods, it’s best to consume foods that are bland when your stomach is relatively weak. Paired with soup, toast and crackers can add that perfect crunchiness to a uniformly liquid diet.


3. Bananas

Bananas are great when you’re sick because, like toast, it’s easy to digest. Bananas are also easy to chew and they’re loaded with vitamins and, more importantly, potassium, that will give your immune system a very much needed boost to aid your body as it recovers.


4. Cottage Cheese

You’ve likely lost quite a bit of weight when you’ve been sick, and your muscles are probably sore and emaciated. This is why consuming protein is especially important. Easy-to-eat proteins like cottage cheese and eggs are probably your best choices, simply because your stomach and digestive system won’t be able to handle steak and other tougher sources of protein as easily.


5. Fruits High in Vitamin C

The stronger your immune system is, the faster you’ll recover from a bout of sickness, whether it’s a cold, the flu, a stomach virus, etc. High vitamin C intake is absolutely instrumental in strengthening your immune system. While taking vitamin C supplements is good, it’s much better to get vitamin C straight from the source since your body will absorb it better this way. Fruits are usually the best choice.

Some examples include oranges, grapefruits, melons, black currants, strawberries, and cherries.


6. Yogurt

Experts suggest that yogurt may be just the thing you need when you are trying to fight off a cold or flu virus. The probiotics that yogurt contains specifically helps to fight disease and create higher white blood cell count. It’s also packed with protein, needs no preparation, and is easily digested by the stomach.


7. Applesauce

Aside from being an absolutely yummy food that reminds you of your childhood and the comforts of home, applesauce is packed with antioxidants and fiber. It also contains many flavonoids, which act as anti-inflammatory agents. This is especially helpful when you are sick, since anti-inflammation can help ease muscle and joint pain from high fevers and lying down all day.


8. Popsicles

Though it may not sound like something particularly healthy, popsicles can serve as the perfect comfort food, which can ease the pain caused by a sore throat. They will also help you get more fluids in your body, since drinking water, Gatorade, or fruit juice all day can become a bit tiring when you’re drinking all day.

Just be sure to read the labels on the popsiclesโ€”purchase the kind made from 100% fruit juice, so that you aren’t just eating frozen sugar water.

Of course, none of these foods listed will necessarily cure what ails you. But having each of these in moderation, coupled with lots of sleep, liquids, and a bit of fresh air, will help you get better faster. Having these foods and making it a point to rest will get you back on your feet and back to work or school in no time! Good luck!



This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 (at)ย  gmail.com


Image: Robert Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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John Mak

Great article Lauren! Yogurt always helps me with my stomach but most of the times if you eat healthy foods you wont’s have serious problems!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for your great tips!

John Mak


Great list! I admit, though, I’m totally digging the popsicles….

    Lauren Bailey

    Haha yes, who knew a kids’ food could be good for you when your feeling ill?


I should be healthy all the time. THe only two I strike are chicken soup, I’d go with veggie broth and popsicles. I’m not reall a popsicle person but I bet they soothe a sore throat.


Nice post and tips! I love cottage cheese. A few weeks ago, when I was sick, I ate a fruit salad every day…




Fruits are very helpful for body because they include lots of vitamins and minerals. It is good to eat one fruit daily for healthy body. Mostly, people started to east fruits when they got sick but regularly eating fruits provides many benefits. This is really good information about different fruits who are useful when person got sick.


I always thought that eating chicken soup when you are ill was an old wives tale, but as I’ve got older and wiser, it always helps me when I’m coming down with something, which isn’t very often ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s eating healthy in the first place that helps keeps those bugs away and keeps you fit as a fiddle ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Lauren Bailey

    Hi Karen, thanks for the comment. Yes, the best way to deal with sickness is to stay healthy in the first place. As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

claudia lamascolo

Chicken soup rules… love the popsicles too! GREAT post!

    Lauren Bailey

    Thank you so much for the kind words, Claudia! Hope my post will be helpful one day for everyone, though I hope more that no one gets sick!


When I’m sick, I prefer to eat a bowl of chicken soup or porridge instead of a plate of rice with grilled chicken because it’s easier to eat, but I will not eat yogurt when ill, it would just make me nauseous. anyway thanks for the food list, maybe I could choose an alternative food other than a bowl of chicken porridge

Lauren Bailey

Hi Tom! Thanks for your comment. I completely agree that it’s important to eat berries only when they are in season. They taste better and it’s better for the environment anyway! Yup, yogurts and cheese are the way to go when you’re sick, especially since they require no preparation


Nice list Lauren! Chicken soup has been a standard home remedy in my family for many generations. In addition to it’s warm comfort, is it said to have anti inflammatory and mucus thinning properties as well.


Chicken soup is really good for the sick. It is even recommended for moms who have newly given birth. Thanks for sharing this info. I’ll try to apply this article when somebody is sick at home.


I like most of these suggestions, the way you explained them was informative. Chicken broth and popsicles are the foods you are given at the hospital for illness. Though tip 4 (cottage cheese) may be hard to stomach when you are already feeling queasy.


Eating healthy is very important and when we are sick, the first thing we should think of is eat healthy like fruits and vegetables..

Asma Khan

Berries are wooow . Fruits with vitamin C are a natural gift/medicine for us. Keeping your self and surrounding clean is also necessary for our health.


I usually eat twice as normal when I am sick ๐Ÿ˜€ .

Kiko Rex

Ha; well, looks like I’m going to be the first Negative Nancy to post on this. *thunder crackle*

While I agree that most of the items on this list are fairly decent “get well soon” foods, I’d like for folks to take some things into consideration.

1) Toast and crackers, and in many instances even “100% fruit juice” popsicles are all highly-refined high-GI carbs. Defibered grains, which are found in the white breads and crackers, and the many other ingredients (sugars, fillers, preservatives) found in these things is not really too healthy to consume when you’re not sick, much less so when you are. As for the point of 100% fruit juice, this type of juice is often from concentrate, and that manner of refining allows its amount of white blood cell-debilitating fructose way up without fiber to stop its ill effects ; definitely not a good environment for your body to get well, as white blood cells are the guys who protect you from various bad bacteria. Even “not from concentrate” juices are often degraded of nutrient content and far from “fresh squeezed” as they have the oxygen stripped from them for preservation purposes (as well as having the all-fructose no fiber problem). The juice you’re drinking may be up to 4 years old!

2) Perhaps another avenue to take would be to avoid eating as much as possible. In concert with drinking fluids (read: water) and zinc and vitamin C supplementation, either through fresh citrus fruits, supplements, or home-squeezed juices, the extra work put on the body by having to digest food can be diverted into processes that help you get well. As you say in the article, it may get monotonous drinking a bunch of fluids day-in day-out, but I’d take a couple of days of that vs. 3 or 4 (or more) with heavier eating!

Yogurt’s a good suggestion, as it has beneficial bacteria, complete protein, and is much less stressful on your system than typical dairy because it has been cultured.

Thanks for the article!

Joe Smith

Yogurt is good but kefir would be even better. Add back in those good bacteria.


Thats a great list, some obvious picks and others not so obvious. I eat most of them even when i’m not sick ๐Ÿ™‚


I agree with most of what you say here, however dairy products are not good for you if you have a cold or flu, they simply cause more phlegm on the chest.


All of these are really yumbo foods. Makes one want to become sick right now lol. I believe that there are ways to keep healthy most of the time and it involves getting the right nutrition every day.


Thanks for the post. I found it informative and interesting. I will keep these tips in mind next time I or someone I know gets sick. These 8 tips seem like a great way to get you healthy and up and running again.


Oh so that’s why my mom always gave me chicken soup and crackers. Makes sense now.


when I feel sick, I drink strong black tea without sugar. Always helps:) recommend to try:)


Thanks for these recommendations of ‘sick’ foods. It is often a quandry when it comes to picking the right foods to eat when sick, always wondering if it would help or aggravate my condition! Although chicken soup and crackers were a long standing sick food in my family as well as yogurts or curds, I didn’t know about the rest, particularly popsicles! That is indeed great to know.



Phil antibiotics are hard, I know for my own experience. Hope you’ll feel much better very soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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