Trying to combat that cold, or relieve your stuffy nose? Often when we are sick, we rely on medicine from our doctors. While medications may be necessary for some conditions and nutrition is not a replacement for medications, you can ease your symptoms by providing your body with healthy fuel that can help you recover faster. Check out these foods that are good to add to your diet while you are feeling under the weather.


Broths have been recommended as a remedy for illness for a long time. This is because they are a good source of hydration. Broths are also packed with minerals like magnesium, calcium, folate, and phosphorus that help your body recover. In addition, the steam from hot broths can act as a natural decongestant, offering you some relief from that stuffy nose.

Hot Tea

Hot tea is great for clearing mucus and relieving sinus congestion and sore throats. Tea can sometimes be dehydrating, so select a tea with no caffeine. Along with natural ingredients that ease sinus pressure, teas also include a wide range of micronutrients, like polyphenols, which are helpful in providing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal benefits.


Often when you are sick, your appetite is under the weather, too. In addition to being an easy, bland food that’s great for sensitive stomachs, oatmeal can help boost your immune system. Oatmeal provides a meal packed with protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals that benefit you when you are feeling under the weather.


Honey contains a high level of antimicrobial compounds as well as antibacterial effects. Honey is a natural remedy for soothing sore throats and can be mixed into warm water, milk, or tea. However, honey should not be given to children under a year old, as this could be a choking hazard.


Ginger has anti-nausea properties that can help settle your stomach. Ginger can also produce non-steroidal anti-inflammatory effects, as well as antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits for your body.


Salmon is a source of omega-3 fatty acids and is a simple food packed with high quality protein. This fish is a great source of vitamin D, which plays a large role in immune function and produces anti-inflammatory effects.

Spicy Foods

Some spicy foods contain capsaicin, which is used in pain-relieving gels and patches. In addition, spicy foods can help relieve sinus pressure by breaking up mucus and opening the sinus passages. (However, be aware that capsaicin may stimulate mucus production, which could result in a runny nose instead of a stuffed one.) Not only can capsaicin relieve sinus symptoms, it can also act as a natural cough suppressant and lower sensitivity to irritation.


Bananas are another bland food that is great for providing calories and nutrients that assist with recovering from an illness. Bananas are chock full of fiber that can settle your stomach when you are feeling nauseous or dealing with loose stool.


Yogurt is a great source of protein that is rich in calcium as well as other vitamins and minerals. If you are taking an antibiotic, yogurt helps add probiotics (healthy bacteria) to your gut, which are important for your digestive system.

Citrus Fruits and Berries

Fruits provide a beneficial source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help support your body and immune system. Berries contain a compound called anthocyanin that works as an anti-inflammatory, antiviral agent as well as an immune booster.


Eggs are not only easy to make and eat, but they have a high level of protein which helps maintain strength when you are feeling under the weather. Eggs are also rich in zinc, an ingredient commonly found in cold medicines.


While avocadoes are high in fat, it is a healthy, monounsaturated fat that is beneficial as a source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Avocados are a bland, easy to eat food that can help your body decrease inflammation while offering a boost to your immune system.

Leafy Vegetables

We’ve all been told to eat our vegetables, but it is especially important when we are sick. Leafy vegetables, like lettuce, kale, or spinach, are high in vitamins A, C, and K. Naturally, these superfoods are full of fiber and minerals. Green vegetables are packed with compounds that act as antioxidants, protect your cells from damage, and help lower inflammation.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which is useful in creating cells to protect your body against infection and bacteria.


While most vegetables are a healthy option, cauliflower stands out in that it is high in choline and glutathione, which our body uses to help fight off germs and viruses. In addition, vitamin A is useful in keeping healthy bacteria in your gut for your body to use during digestion.


Garlic provides antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effects, as well as a boost to your immune system.

Whether you’re fighting off a cold or recovering with the help of antibiotics, pay attention to what you are putting in your body. Choose foods that are a rich source of proteins, antioxidants, and vitamins that can not only improve digestion but strengthen your immune system to help you fight off whatever is keeping you under the weather.

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