Medically Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on October 23, 2020
Ice Pops

Ice Pops

1/10

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. 

Turkey Sandwich

Turkey Sandwich

2/10

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. 

Vegetable Juice

Vegetable Juice

3/10

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. 

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

4/10

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.

Garlic

Garlic

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.  

Ginger

Ginger

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. 

Hot Tea

Hot Tea

7/10

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.

Banana

Banana

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.

Toast

Toast

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. 

Meal Replacement Drinks

Meal Replacement Drinks

10/10

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.

Show Sources

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

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

REFERENCES:

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.