What to eat when you’re sick

With cold and flu season fast approaching, we have compiled a list of the best and worst things to nibble on when you’re feeling under the weather.

When you are ill, it is common to lose your appetite and simply wallow in bed. But in fact, the body requires more calories than usual to function normally. When you are sick with the fever, it is said that with every rising degree of temperature, the higher the metabolic rate increases.

Not only that, but reducing your calorie intake when you are unwell can restrict the body’s ability to heal and recover.

Hot tea

Drinking tea when you re feeling unwell can assist the body in fighting off infection. Warm liquids can help ease congestion and soothe a sore throat, with thanks to the natural bacteria-fighting compounds found in tea.

To stay hydrated and feel a little better, try drinking hot water, lemon and honey or a warm, detoxifying green tea.


You hear the benefits of chicken noodle soup regularly, but can it actually help soothe a cold?

Chicken contains cysteine, an amino acid that helps thin the mucus that can build up in the lungs during illness. The hot broth works like tea, to prevent dehydration, keep the nasal passages moist and fight inflammation in the throat.

Crackers and toast

Plain or lightly salted savoury snacks are simple and gentle on the tum. If you are suffering with sickness, these starchy foods won’t anger the stomach. They can also help with digestion and recovery.


During an upset stomach, alongside toast, bananas are great choices when keeping your calories up. Rich in potassium and easy to digest, they can help the body replenish lost electrolytes after intense sweating, vomiting or diarrhoea.

Foods to avoid

Spicy foods can be great for easing congestion of the nasal passages, but when you are suffering an upset stomach, spicy foods can aggravate the inflammation.

Sweets, sugar and fatty foods can suppress the immune system and cause inflammation. Try to avoid eating these food items (as much as you may be craving them), as they are hard to digest and will end in more discomfort.

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Written by Ellen Lees
Head of Content.
Written by Ellen Lees
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