Foods to Eat When You’re Sick

Food to Eat When Sick | Physician OneWhen you’re under the weather, food can either help or worsen the way you feel. While some foods provide comfort when you’re sick, they aren’t always appropriate for certain ailments. If you’re suffering from an illness, learn what to eat and what to avoid.
Illness Remedies and Antagonists
In some instances, the right food can have a soothing effect on unpleasant cold symptoms. In other instances, these same foods can actually make things much worse. To identify the best meal for your particular situation, focus on your symptoms.
Diarrhea
Whether it’s caused by a virus or a gastrointestinal reaction to something you ate, diarrhea calls for mild foods that won’t cause further irritation. For best results, try the BRAT diet, which consists of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. You can also eat boiled potatoes, oatmeal, baked poultry and saltine crackers. Avoid sugary foods and cruciferous vegetables, which may cause bloating.
Nausea
Often caused by excess stomach acid, nausea can be tempered by dry foods, such as pretzels, saltine crackers and small amounts of cereal and dry toast. That said, if your nausea is accompanied by vomiting, refrain from eating for several hours until your body has had enough time to pass a potential virus. Avoid greasy and spicy foods, along with carbonated drinks.
Sore Throat
Opt for soft foods, such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, creamy soups, custards, scrambled eggs and popsicles, which can help soothe the throat. Avoid scratchy foods such as chips, as well as raw fruits containing citric acid.
Body Aches
In some instances, calcium- and magnesium-rich foods can sooth body aches. Try eating beans, bananas, nuts, leafy greens, yogurt, canned salmon and orange juice fortified with calcium. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages which promote dehydration.
Headache
Drink plenty of water and avoid foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG)
The Common Cold
It may seem like an old wives’ tale, but chicken soup does appear to improve the symptoms of the common cold. In fact, research suggests the soup acts an anti-inflammatory, while temporarily speeding up mucous movement through the sinuses. This can relieve congestion, while helping to prevent dehydration at the same time.

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