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Photo: Good Housekeeping

Nutrition is a crucial part of your general health and well-being. A good diet with balanced nutrition can improve the speed of your body’s recovery ten-fold. A bad diet can deter recovery time just as dramatically. The foods you eat when you’re sick play their part in a speedy recovery.

So, note down KnowInsider's healthy diet below to get better:

Some good foods to eat when you're sick


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Photo: Nutrition Force

Considered the go-to food for almost every common disease ranging from flu to the common cold or even allergies, ginger is recommended by doctors. Research suggests that ginger has promising benefits for symptoms like nausea and vomiting. But, further research into this is required.

Hot tea

Drinking tea (especially Chinese, Japanese, or American varieties) while you’re under the weather can help your body fight off infections. This is thanks to natural bacteria-fighting compounds in tea, especially green tea.

Plus, warm liquids can soothe a sore throat and alleviate congestion. Freshly brewed tea or hot water with lemon is ideal for staying hydrated while helping out that stuffy nose.


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Photo: Medical News Today

When you’re sick, your body uses a lot of energy to recover. At times, this can leave you with a reduced appetite for food. This is where bananas come in. Not only are they a rich source of fibre, potassium and good sugars, they are also one of the best soft foods to eat when sick.

The best part about bananas is that you don’t have to chew them a lot and they provide your body with the energy to fight illnesses like flu and the common cold. Bananas are also great for conditions like constipation. They are commonly recommended for those who struggle with numerous digestive issues, according to Parenting.firstcry.com.


There are few foods as good for infections and allergies as garlic. It is full of minerals, vitamins and a component known as allicin which has huge medicinal benefits. Garlic is also used to treat lower blood pressure, maintain body temperature during a fever, fight septic infections and lower blood sugar.


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Photo: Food Network

Like bananas, applesauce is also a great food to eat when you’re sick. It’s highly nutritious and doesn’t take a lot of energy to digest. It’s also a great energy food for people with a high fever. Applesauce is also high in fibre which helps loosen stools and beat conditions like constipation. It’s normally recommended for those who have digestive issues or face conditions like respiratory infections and stomach flu.

Broth-based soup

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Photo: Johnies Inc

This one isn’t just an old wives’ tale — chicken noodle may actually help soothe a cold.

For starters, the broth contains vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, which you’ll need if you’ve been sweating. Plus, a landmark study from 1978 showed that hot broth helps keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration, and fight inflammation in the throat, as cited by Greatist.

Cranberry Juice

An essential component used to treat mild urinary tract infections, cranberry juice is also recommended to those who are constipated. It is also recommended for those who have cardiac problems and acid reflux. Additionally, cranberry juice has cancer prevention properties and more. It is packed with antioxidants that counteract free radicals in your body. The same research proves that cranberry juice prevents coronary artery disease.

Coconut Water

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Photo: Eat This, Not That

In South and South-East Asia, coconut water is considered a cure-all. It is commonly used in India to help with hangovers, headaches, digestive issues, and dehydration. This water is rich in digestive enzymes, electrolytes, and dietary fibres.


When you’re sick, the first breakfast dish that would come to mind is toast as it’s rich in fibre, carbs and easy to digest. Depending on the type of toast, it can help with controlling cholesterol, blood sugar and improving digestion. Toast is the T in a BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) diet and is considered good for those with food poisoning, diarrhoea, nausea, and the flu.


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Photo: Food Network

Another great breakfast dish, oatmeal is soft, easy to digest and packed with high dietary fibre. Another big benefit of oatmeal is that it’s packed with complex carbs that make you feel full while consistently helping your body recover from illnesses like flu and bacterial and fungal infections. These infections are counteracted by the antibiotic properties found in oats.

Worst foods that you should avoid when being sick

Spicy and acidic foods

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Photo: Psomagen

While spicy foods might be good for clearing nasal congestion, they can be rough on your stomach. This is thanks to a powerful ingredient called capsaicin, which can disrupt your digestive tract.

The same goes for citrus. The vitamin C may be beneficial for cold-like symptoms, but fruits like grapefruit, oranges, and lemons can also irritate your stomach lining and cause more pain and discomfort. Steer clear of both if you have an upset stomach.


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Photo: Pinterest

If ever there was a time for comfort food, being sick in bed would be it, right? But a high sugar intake can contribute to inflammation and a lowered immune response. Even though fro yo sounds like a good idea, it’s best to skip it when you’re feeling under the weather.

Greasy foods and refined carbs

Pass on the burgers and fries. Greasy foods cooked in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils contain artificial trans fats. These fats lower the HDL (“good”) cholesterol in your body, and they increase inflammatory markers — the last thing you need when you’re sick.

Might as well ditch the bun, too. Studies have shown that refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, pancake) cause a sharp insulin spike and create inflammation in the body.

Being sick is your body’s way of telling you to Slow. Down. Right. Now. It’s annoying, sure, but it’s also serving a pretty huge purpose — to get you back into a state of equilibrium. So let’s honour that. At the risk of sounding like your mother: Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and fill your plate with lots of nutrient-rich foods. Maybe even tuck into a Netflix series. You’ll be back on your feet in no time.
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