What to Eat and Drink When You Have the Flu

Give your immune system an opportunity to battle.

Rest and time are the only effective treatments for the flu. No amount of food or liquid can make your symptoms disappear suddenly. However, keeping hydrated and consuming meals high in nutrients will help you avoid feeling worse. Than you already do, as well as help you feel better and get back to your feet more quickly.

When you’re sick, you might not feel like eating much at all. So we asked two dietitians for advice on what meals and drinks are easiest to consume. While still providing the greatest immunity-boosting and symptom-relieving advantages. Based on their own experiences and studies, they advise adding the following to your sick day regimen.

What to Eat and Drink When You Have the Flu

1.Green tea

Drinking hot tea is another way to remain hydrated. Rena Zelig, RDN, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University, adds that drinking warm or hot drinks can help expand airways because upper respiratory symptoms are typically associated with the flu. Possibly more comfortable to drink than room-temperature water

Zelig suggests green tea since it has more antioxidants than black tea. A small amount of honey may help alleviate coughing and soothe sore throats.

Eat and Drink When You Have the Flu


According to Zelig, foods or beverages made with ginger may also help with gastrointestinal issues brought on by the flu. Despite the fact that the majority of studies have focused on pregnancy or motion sickness rather than the flu, research suggests that the root is anti-inflammatory and beneficial against nausea.

Infuse water with raw ginger to create your own healing tonic, or look for ginger in teas or soups. Zelig advises against relying on ginger ale because most kinds have a lot of sugar and little to no ginger. The carbonation may also cause stomachaches and sore throats.

Eat and Drink When You Have the Flu

3.Grain supplements

B vitamins are a major component of foods. That will increase your energy levels while you have the flu, according to Zelig. Eggs, pork, seafood, and dairy products all naturally contain vitamin B12. But if you’re a vegetarian or don’t feel like eating these high-fat foods. You may also find fortified grains in many breads and breakfast cereals.

Eat and Drink When You Have the Flu

4.Eating BRAT

According to Zelig, “those with the flu occasionally have a lot of nausea or GI trouble.” If that’s the case, stick to straightforward, bland foods that are uncomplicated to digest. She asserts that simple crackers and the “BRAT” foods—bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast—are frequently wise choices.

Eat and Drink When You Have the Flu


When you’re unwell, zinc is another nutrient you should consume a lot of: Studies reveal that the mineral regulates the immune system, aiding in the battle against infection, and that taking supplements of zinc may shorten the length of the common cold. Although there is little research on this topic, Crandall believes that obtaining zinc from food sources may also be beneficial.

Around 7 mg of zinc can be found in three ounces of braised beef. Which is around half the daily amount for adults. Additionally, it is high in protein and vitamin B. Both of which may aid in your full recovery from the illness. Oysters and shrimp are other excellent sources of zinc. Though they might not be as tasty or as accessible when you’re sick at home.

6.Orange juice

You can hydrate with antioxidants by drinking: Vitamin C, which orange juice has in plenty, may help shorten the duration of colds and the flu, according to some research. However, consuming too much could make you feel worse: According to Crandall, your body can only absorb a certain amount of vitamin C at once, and consuming too much might result in digestive problems.

She advises combining 4 ounces of orange juice with 16 to 20 ounces of water rather than downing huge glasses of orange juice. You won’t overindulge in sweets or calories while getting 100% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C and maintaining hydration.

7.Colorful fruits and vegetables

Here is a superfood-packed morning smoothie. The berries’ antioxidants and phytonutrients support heart health. Maintain mental acuity, and jump-start digestion. So, to see a demonstration and start your day off correctly, watch the video.


Naturally, chicken isn’t your only protein choice. When you’re sick, you sometimes don’t want to struggle to swallow a chicken breast, claims Crandall. If so, consuming protein in another form, such as a protein drink or a more palatable food source, would be preferable.

According to her, plant-based proteins like beans and peas may not seem as bulky and difficult to digest. In addition, they taste great in hearty, nourishing, and simple-to-slurp soups and stews, just like chicken.

9.Noodle soup

This Cooking Light recipe has everything you need to make a hearty chicken noodle soup. If you’re feeling under the weather or in the need for some excellent comfort food. 


Staying hydrated is crucial when suffering from the flu, especially if you’re sweating profusely, have difficulties swallowing, or are experiencing other flu-related symptoms, according to Jessica Crandall, RDN, a nutritionist based in Denver and a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The simplest answer, according to her, is to make sure you’re drinking water, but include a sports drink or coconut water in your routine will assist ensure you’re replenishing sodium and potassium in addition to fluids.

A flavored beverage could tempt you to drink more by being more enticing than plain water. When exercising, nutritionists sometimes advise against consuming sugary sports drinks. But if you’re not feeling like eating a meal, this can be the quickest method to get some much-needed calories.

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