Orange and strawberry popsickles on platter
1 / 10

Ice Pops

They can soothe your throat when it's sore, swollen, or dry. They also keep you hydrated, which is key when you fight the flu. Getting enough fluids keeps your mucus thin and eases congestion.

Look for ice pops made from 100% fruit juice to make sure you get nutrients and not sugar water. You can also make your own frozen juice bars. 

Swipe to advance
Turkey sandwich with cranberries
2 / 10

Turkey Sandwich

It has lean protein, a key part of a healthy diet. And although you may not feel like it, eating helps give your body energy to fight illness. Add cranberry sauce for a spike of flavor and comfort-food taste. 

Swipe to advance
Vegetable juice with celery, carrots and tomatoes
3 / 10

Vegetable Juice

Since you may not feel up to making and eating a salad while you recover from the flu, try a glass of low-sodium vegetable juice instead. You'll load up on antioxidants that boost the immune system, your body's defense against germs.

Do you crave a sweet taste? Go with 100% fruit juice. 

Swipe to advance
Bowl of chicken soup with crackers
4 / 10

Chicken Soup

It helps you get the fluids you need and it's nourishing, too. Some scientific evidence suggests that it may help with healing. Hot chicken soup may also improve the way tiny hair-like parts in the passages of your nose protect your body from bacteria and viruses, but more research is needed.

Swipe to advance
Garlic sections on pink plate
5 / 10


If you feel up to it, garlic can be a good choice to spice up foods like soup. It appears to have some ability to boost the immune system and may help you get fewer colds. But larger and better studies are needed to see if this is true.  

Swipe to advance
ginger root
6 / 10


It may help relieve your stomachache and nausea. Some studies suggest it fights inflammation, too. You can add it to other foods, either freshly grated or as a powder. Another option: Have a drink of flat ginger ale. 

Swipe to advance
Cup of steaming, hot tea with lemon slices
7 / 10

Hot Tea

Drink green, oolong, and black tea to take in some antioxidants. Breathe in the steam to help clear your stuffy nose. Add a spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon to soothe your sore throat. If caffeine bothers you, try decaf or herbal versions instead.

Swipe to advance
Close up of two banana slices
8 / 10


Whether you slice it, mash it, or eat it whole, bananas are usually easy on the stomach. They can be a go-to food if you’ve been hit with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Swipe to advance
Two pieces of toast popping up from toaster
9 / 10


Toast or crackers are convenient foods when you're fighting illness. They pair well with chicken noodle soup, and their satisfying crunch can take the edge off hunger when your stomach can’t handle much. 

Swipe to advance
Meal replacement drink being poured into glass
10 / 10

Meal Replacement Drinks

If your appetite has returned, try one of these to make sure you get the right nutrients and calories. Look for lactose-free drinks that are low in sugar and have at least 6 grams of protein. But if real food can be eaten, that's always the better choice.

Swipe to advance

Up Next

Next Slideshow Title

Sources | Medically Reviewed on 10/17/2018 Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 17, 2018


1)    Bill Milne / StockFood Creative
2)    Valerie Janssen / FoodPix
3)    Mitch Hrdlicka
4)    Richard Eskite / Workbook Stock
5)    ZenShui / Laurence Mouton / PhotoAlto Agency
6)    Studio Paggy / Getty
7)    Westend61 / Getty
8)    Achim Sass / Photolibrary
9)    Tom Grill / Iconica
10)   Jack Andersen / FoodPix


American Lung Association.
Dziwe, N. Emergency Medicine News, January 2004.
Kliegman, R. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, Saunders Elsevier, 2007.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
National Jewish Medical and Research Center.
Parrish, C. Practical Gastroenterology, June 2007.
Postgraduate Medicine, January 2002.
Rakel, R. Textbook of Family Medicine. Saunders Elsevier, 2007.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 17, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.