The food you eat has a major impact on every aspect of your health and well-being. A healthy diet matters especially when you’re sick. Some foods can help you recover faster since they alleviate your symptoms; boost your immune system, and more. Trying to figure out what you can eat when you’re sick might be a bit of a concern. Worry no more! This post can help you identify the best foods to eat when sick.

Role of Nutrition in Recovery from Sickness

Nutrition plays a crucial role when you’re sick because it supports your immune system and promotes the recovery process. Proper nutrition supplies your body with much-needed vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for tissue repair, immune function, and heightened energy. Our immune system works well when we eat the right foods.

A growing body of evidence confirms[1] that nutrition plays a crucial role in the regulation of immunological response by providing sufficient concentrations of nutrients to immune cells. Each stage of the immune response relies on specific nutrients[2]. For example, the growth and function of immune cells require a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and vitamin C, iron, selenium, and zinc. It also needs sufficient amounts of protein. It also helps improve your white blood cell count which helps fight the sickness.

In other words, nutrition can both lower the risk of sickness and help relieve its symptoms. Eating the wrong foods can worsen your symptoms and impair your immune response. Further in this post, you’re going to see ways how to prevent getting sick or how proper nutrition can accelerate your healing process.

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7 Best Foods to Eat When Sick

Since nutrition is important for preventing and managing illnesses such as colds and flu, it’s important to modify your diet and increase your intake of certain foods when symptoms appear. Check the foods listed below and learn what to eat when you have a cold to feel better and recover faster.


BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, all of which are gentle to the stomach because they are easily digested. What makes BRAT among the best foods to eat when sick is that they are rich in starch and contain little fiber. These foods can help you recover fast and can lower the symptoms of gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and nausea.

2. Cereal and Oatmeal

Cereal and oatmeal are easy to digest and are abundant in fiber. They supply the body with energy and nutrients without being too harsh on your stomach. Plus, they’re good for your immune response. A review[3] from the journal Foods reported that oats have the potential to boost the immune system and support digestion. If you’re thinking about what to eat when you have cold, you can always reach for these kitchen staples and enjoy a bowl of cereal or oatmeal.

3. Foods high in vitamin C

Vitamin C is well-known for its immune system-boosting properties. Studies show[4] that vitamin C can shorten the duration of the common cold and decrease the severity of the symptoms. The best vitamin C sources to add to your diet when sick (or to prevent catching cold and flu) include lemon, lime, oranges, kiwi, and grapefruit.

If you’re wondering what to drink when sick, you can try warm water with lemon and a little bit of honey. That way, you can boost the immune system’s defenses and stay hydrated.

While it’s possible to obtain enough vitamin C through diet, taking the NUU3 Multivitamin Gummies can help support nutritional balances and ensure your body receives the right amount of vitamin C and other vitamins daily.

4. Dry foods

What makes dry foods the best foods to eat when sick is that they are easy on the stomach and can help relieve nausea. Dry foods provide carbohydrates for energy. Common cold and flu may deplete your energy levels and can cause you tiredness and fatigue. Foods such as crackers or toast can help avoid that problem.

5. Bland Foods

Bland foods are most suitable for people who have digestive discomfort. They provide gentle nutrition without worsening gastrointestinal problems. Examples of such foods are plain chicken, soups, and steamed vegetables. It is most important to avoid using spices when you have stomach troubles.

6. Fatty fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring are abundant in immunity-boosting nutrients such as vitamin B12 and zinc and also deliver Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have high anti-inflammatory properties that can protect you against viral infections[5]. Regular intake of Omega-3 fatty acids provides many benefits ranging from improved heart health, brain health, and even stronger immunity. Fatty fish is one of the best foods to eat when sick.

7. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a common remedy for flu and colds. It contains a combination of yeast and bacteria that act as probiotics. Evidence shows[6] that probiotics exhibit immune-boosting effects. Polyphenols in apple cider vinegar exhibit antioxidant effects and may help reduce cold symptoms. The easiest way to use apple cider vinegar to recover and keep you from illnesses is through supplementation with NUU3 Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies. This product is packed with nutrients that can optimize your overall health.

Foods or Drink for When You are Nauseous and Vomiting

The key to successful recovery from illness is to modify your diet based on the symptoms you’re experiencing. Nausea and vomiting can deplete energy levels because you can’t keep food down. The answer isn’t to avoid eating until you get better. Here’s what to drink when sick or foods to eat when you’re having these symptoms.

1. Water

Drinking small amounts of water frequently helps prevent dehydration caused by vomiting. Water does not only keep you hydrated but also helps regulate your core body temperature. When it comes to the subject of what to drink when sick, water is a priority.

2. Tea

Herbal teas can soothe your stomach and aid recovery from vomiting. Tea helps relax muscles of the digestive tract and may alleviate nausea and stomach pain. Plus, tea provides comfort and helps you to relax. You can add your favorite herbal tea to your “what to drink when sick” list.

3. Coffee

Drinking a few sips of coffee may increase your energy levels and keep nausea at bay. Don’t overdo it, though. Caffeine may irritate your stomach and exacerbate gastrointestinal issues. A few sips should be enough, high amounts would do more harm than good.

4. Strained fruit juices

When sipped in small amounts and diluted with water, strained fruit juices may provide some essential nutrients, hydration, and energy. You need to strain them to remove the pulp and some fiber to minimize stomach irritation.

5. Chicken or beef broth

Chicken or beef broth is among the best foods to eat when sick, especially when vomiting because it helps replace lost fluids, electrolytes, and salt. Vomiting causes loss of fluid and thereby impairs electrolyte balance which may also lead to dehydration. The broth is a nutritious solution and it’s gentle on your stomach.

6. Jell-O, hard candies

Jell-O is easy on your stomach and keeps blood sugar levels regulated. It may increase your energy levels so you’re more capable of fighting off illnesses. Hard candies can help calm nausea.

7. Frozen fruit pops

Frozen fruit pops are a good option for people who vomit because they provide hydration without irritating your stomach. Like with other cases, don’t overdo it. Frozen fruit pops can also soothe your throat when it’s dry, swollen, and sore.

Foods to Avoid When you Have a Cold or Flu

To remember the best foods to eat when sick, you need to know which ones to avoid. When you have illnesses such as cold and flu, you should limit or avoid intake of the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Fatty and fried foods
  • Spicy foods (if you’re vomiting)
  • Heavy or greasy meals
  • Dairy
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Processed foods and grains
  • Hard-to-digest foods such as granola, nuts, and potato

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How to Prevent Getting Sick

Cold and flu season is already here. You’re probably wondering how to prevent getting sick. These tips should help you repel potential illnesses:

  • Drink plenty of fluids: staying hydrated is important because it helps the body flush out toxins and maintain overall health. In addition to drinking plenty of water during the day, you should also opt for natural products such as Nuu3 Active Immunity Gummies to strengthen your immune system’s defenses.

  • Get plenty of rest: a well-rested body has a stronger immune response and is more capable of fending off illness. Make sure to get enough sleep every night. Lack of sleep disrupts immune homeostasis[7] and makes you more prone to illness.

  • Eat a balanced diet: it protects you against diseases by providing much-needed nutrients that support immune function. A healthy diet improves the body’s ability to fight infections.

  • Increase vitamin D levels: it would be impossible to discuss how to prevent getting sick without listing the sunshine vitamin because it’s crucial for the immune system. Vitamin D modulates[8] the innate and adaptive immune responses. Supplementation with vitamin D can protect you against cold or flu[9] and reduce the severity of their symptoms.

  • Take zinc: improves metabolism and optimizes the function of the immune system. It can lower the risk of common colds or flu and speed up recovery from these illnesses.

  • Take vitamin C: vital for a strong and functional immune system. You can obtain this vitamin through a healthy diet and supplements such as Nuu3 Immune Plus. It can help improve your immune system.

  • Eat honey: well-known for its antimicrobial properties, honey can strengthen your immune response. Plus, it soothes sore throat and cough. More precisely, honey can prevent and alleviate cold and flu symptoms. If you’re wondering about what to eat when you have cold, you should consider honey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does not eating make the flu worse?

Yes, inadequate nutrition weakens the body’s ability to fight illnesses like colds and flu. Insufficient food intake or skipping meals reduces energy levels, lowers immunity, hinders recovery, and prolongs the duration of illness. While the saying “feed a cold, starve a fever” is quite common, it’s not correct[10]. The immune system needs nutrients and energy, so eating is essential. The abovementioned tips on what to eat when you have cold can help you recover sooner.

Who is prone to getting sick easily?

Young children and older adults are prone to getting sick easily due to their weakened immune system. Age is just one factor, though. People with chronic illnesses and compromised immunity due to AIDS/HIV or cancer treatments are more susceptible to getting sick. Inadequate nutrition makes you more prone to sickness too. An unhealthy diet deprives your body and your immune system of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and other nutrients necessary for stronger immunity.

How long is the flu contagious?

People with flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after the onset of their illness. Moreover, some healthy adults could infect others with flu one day before their symptoms develop and around five to seven days after becoming ill. Getting the right information on how to prevent getting sick can keep your risk of cold and flu to a minimum.


This post presents the best foods to eat when sick. It also talks about what foods to eat and avoid when you’re having gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and nausea. There are also tips on how you can stay healthy and prevent illness. Modifying your nutrition can help during the cold and flu season as it can minimize the symptoms, reduce the severity and the duration, and avoid further complications. Optimize your immunity through a healthy diet and incorporate the best nutritional supplements in your health regimen to keep you active, strong, and healthy.



Amna Eltawil

Amna Eltawil

Amna Eltawil is an Egyptian journalist who grew up on the coast of the Mediterranean in Alexandria, Egypt, before moving to Cairo and getting her bachelor's in journalism. From there, she went on to cover new stories and entertainment news for several local and international platforms. Amna enjoys visiting cities on the Mediterranean reminiscent of her childhood city Alexandria, like Barcelona, and she can never have enough of Paris, where she simply likes to walk the streets of the city and enjoy a simple Parisian crepe or have a chill picnic.

Written by Amna Eltawil

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