What To Eat When Sick?

healthy foods to eat when sick

What To Eat When Sick?

While I think this is an important subject to cover, I would rather not be experiencing being sick! LOL However, it gave me the idea to blog about it so there is my silver lining! Eating well when sick is particularly important. Your body is under stress and it needs fuel to fight infection and inflammation. I know when I am sick it is easy to crave unhealthy foods, but it will not help me heal faster and overall you feel worse. I know this from experience! When combined with sufficient rest and medical treatments, when necessary, eating appropriate foods while you’re sick can enhance your wellness and recovery. Healthy foods can also strengthen your immune system.

healthy foods to eat when sick

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide valuable amounts of antioxidants — nutrients that aid in recovery from illnesses and help prevent additional medical conditions from developing.  Glutathione is an example of a powerful antioxidant that fights infection. It’s found in the red, pulpy fruit of the watermelon, and also cruciferous veggies like broccoli, collard greens, kale, and cabbage. Other Fruits particularly rich in antioxidants include citrus fruits, berries, cantaloupe, papaya, apples, pears, plums, apricots and kiwi. Antioxidant-rich vegetables include asparagus, red and green bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, kale, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, string beans, carrots, baked potatoes (with skin) and sweet potatoes.

Soups and Broths

Clear broths like miso, chicken soup, and veggie broth will keep you hydrated and are easy to digest if you don’t have much of an appetite. If you are feeling hungry, soups that contain chunks of veggies, whole grains like barley, and some kind of lean protein like beans will offer vitamins and nutrients to help your body fight infection. The hot liquids will also warm your body if you have the chills, and relieve congestion. 


Probiotics are healthy bacteria that support digestive health and help prevent infections caused by harmful bacteria. Choose ones that contain the bacterial strains Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus reuteri, since these two are the ones linked to improving immune response. Greek yogurt is a great option since most contain at least 10 grams of protein per serving. Shakeology also contains probiotics and is a great way to get antioxidants from vegetables as well as increase your fluid intake. I had vegan chocolate shakeology for my breakfast.shakeology benefits while sick probiotics


Make sure to have LOTs of Fluids.  Fluids help flush toxins from your body and support hydration while recovering from illnesses. These can come from many sources including soups, teas, shakes and water. Green tea supports the immune system, and if you add a little honey, it will also coat your scratchy throat. Fluids can also help prevent dehydration and other complications of diarrhea and vomiting. Fresh fruits, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, berries and tomatoes, also enhance hydration.

Easily Digestible Protein

Proteins strengthen your body, as it supplies amino acids — substances that support lean tissue growth and repair.  When I am sick, I know I do not have the energy to cook. Therefore choosing easily digestible proteins that take little or no time to prepare such as eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, fish, chicken, nuts, shakeology, and beans.  I always have some grilled chicken on hand that is easy to microwave. Lean poultry is also rich in zinc which can enhance your immune system.

healthy food to eat when sick

I took my own advice 🙂 Here are a few things I have eaten today on the left.  I also had some greek yogurt. I love tracking via myfitnesspal.com I have made sure to drinks lots of water!



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4 comments… add one
  • Wish I would have read this last week when I was sick 🙂
    I pretty much lived off of soup that entire time!

    • Christina Bove

      I am glad you are feeling better Kristen!

  • This was a very helpful article! I will definitely be coming back with the cold and flu season coming this way! Thanks!

    • Christina Bove

      Hi Val. Glad it was useful. Stay Healthy! Christina

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