Healthy Living

The Flu and Food: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Nov 20 2019

When you’re feeling under the weather, eating and hydrating helps your body recover. However, certain foods and drinks can end up making you feel even worse.

Here are some comfort foods to help get you through flu season, as well as some foods to avoid when you’re sick.

Foods to Eat


Broth-based soups can provide a winning combination of simple carbs, hydrating broth and power-packed protein. To boost your nutrients, try adding some leafy greens into the mix. In addition to the classic chicken noodle, here are some other soups to try:

  • Pho
  • Ramen
  • Potato soup
  • Egg drop soup
  • Vegetable soup
  • Plain broth or bone broth

Simple carbohydrates

These are easier to digest if you have an upset stomach or GI issues. Some good snack ideas include:

  • Plain crackers or pretzels
  • Toast
  • Plain cereal
  • Rice
  • Bananas or apples

Foods to Avoid

Coffee and caffeinated drinks

Because caffeine is a diuretic, it makes you urinate more. This can leave you dehydrated, especially if you have a stomach bug that is already dehydrating you. Instead, drink water, coconut water or caffeine-free teas to boost your hydration. Hydration is critical for your immune system when it is fighting off an illness.

Sweets, sugary juice and soda

Sugar weakens your immune system. It does this by hindering your white blood cells as they try to fight off an illness. Avoid diet sodas with artificial sweeteners too, as they can irritate your digestive system and potential cause bloating, cramping and diarrhea.


Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic, which causes further dehydration when you’re sick.

Fatty and fried foods

If you have a stomach bug, fatty and fried foods will likely make you feel worse. Fatty foods take longer to digest, which can make your stomach to feel upset or cause acid reflux.

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