When you’re sick, you may find yourself not eating as usual. You may not even wantwater. Being unwell makes your body less energetic, and not eating only makes you weaker. Therefore, you’ll have to eat certain foods that will boost your energy.

Sicknessmakes you have no appetite or makes you feel too tired to bite food. Even so, you can try to eat light meals that are easy to digest so that your body has something to sustain its daily functions. So, what are the best foods to eat when sick?

Why do you eat less when you’re unwell?

When you’re sick, your appetite maybecome less than usualand can lead to weight loss. Sometimes it’s because your body feels constipated and your mouth is sore.These symptoms can be reduced through some medications, though it’s challenging to get rid of them most of the time. Most of the time, it’s the ailment itself that makes you have nodesire to eat. In turn, you’ll eat less than what you usually eat. You may notice that even the amount of foods you can take or water levels you can drink changes within days or even from hour to hour, and you can’t explain why. Anytime you discover there is a change in your appetitewithout any improvement,let your doctor know soonest. They will look for options that’ll help you get back your normal eating habits.

What’s the reason behind having a small appetite?

Prolonged illnesses or of chronic diseases like cancer prompts the body to produce chemicals that’ll break down muscle and fat. These components also trick the brain into thinking you don’t want to eat, thus limiting your appetite. That’s why you’ll find yourself getting full after only having few mouthfuls, or even when you’ve not eaten anything.

Which foods should you eat when sick?

Fruits are common solutions for supporting good health and improving your immunity. They provide vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals. Most fruits offer Vitamin C, which strengthens the immunity system. There are also excellent in anti-inflammatory properties, provide antiviralproperties, work asgreatimmune-boosters.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are important when you’re sick because they offer plentiful amounts of calories, minerals, and vitamins. More so, they’re soft and easy to digest. Consider taking more avocados and olive oil because of their healthy fats.


Dark leafy greens are essential for sick people because of their richness in minerals, fiber, vitamins, iron, folate, Vitamin C, and vitamin K. Foods like lettuce, kale, spinach, and other vegetables contain polyphenols which offers the body with protection against cell damage and inflammation.

Protein sources

Your body will need proteins to help you with your recovery. Soft animal proteins like salmon are easy to digest and will improve your immune system. In addition to that, they’ll provide essential nutrients that’ll help your body get strong.

Spicy foods

Spices are known for causing running nose and making eyes watery, yet, it has other beneficial impacts that will help you when you’re unwell. Spicy foods have desensitizing abilities that’ll help to reduce pain and constipation effects. However, avoid spicy foods if you’re experiencing an upset stomach.

Hot drinks

One cup of hot tea is a cure for sicknesses like flu and cold. Hot drinksrelievecongestion and help you stay hydrated. More so, tea and ginger drinkshave polyphenols that offer plenty of health benefits, including anticancer effects, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatoryproperties.Ensure your drink is not too hotto avoidhurting your throat.


Even in the earlier days, soups have always helped in treating sicknesses. Soups are rich in electrolytes and healthy fluids required to replace water lost after fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Hot or spiced liquids helpreduce congestion due to the warmth it provides.


Oatmeal is a great remedy when you’re sick. It’ll provide you with enough energy, vitamins, and minerals. Though not yet proved, it’s claimed it could help with digestive issues. Being sick makes you insensitive to taste, so you may choose to add honey or a sweet fruit in your oats to make it have a betterflavor.


Water is a solution for most illnesses. Drinking plenty of water when sick will keep you hydrated after losing body fluids from vomiting and diarrhea. For illnesses like stomach upset, you can try coconut water which is healthful and high in potassium. This drink can help to minimize inflammation too.

What should you avoid eating when you’re sick?

Dairy products-Dairy products contain lactose which may cause nausea and bloating.

Artificial sweeteners-They have laxative effects, making your bowel movements highly active, and this may cause discomfort, especially when you’re weak.

Caffeine-keep off from drinks containing caffeine because they can cause cramps and increase bowel movements.

Chilies-Due to capsaicin chemicals, chilies can affect the stomach lining, making you feel pain and experience discomfort.

Foods with lots of fat– Greasy foods with high amounts of fats are hard to digestand likely to causenegative effects on your stomach.

What will help you eat more when sick?

Pick foods that you love

Try to eat foods that you enjoy and that your body can comfortably digest.

Let those around you know what you want

If your family, friend, or nurse is there to help you, let them know the meals you feel like eating instead of forcing yourself on foods you don’t have an interest in.

Try to eat part of the meal

If you have no appetite at all, don’t reject the whole meal. Try to eat at least a portion of the plate. For example, if served with a full plate of different meals, you can choose only to eat fruits and leave the vegetable and carbohydrates served.

Eat many times

It’s okay if your body won’t be able to manage a large meal. Have cereal, soup, yogurt, milk, or anything light, and eat it as many times as possible but in small amounts.


Whether it’s a stomach upset, colds, flu, or any other illness, you’ll need foods that’ll help you get back to your normal self. Often you’ll have no appetite when you’re sick. Still, you’ll need energy and nutrients that’ll help your recover fastest. Fruits, vegetables, spicy foods, hot drinks, water, healthy fats, and soups will help you regain your strength and improve your immune system. Medications, a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep will also help you heal faster.

Julia Davis

Mental health expert MS, University of Latvia I am deeply convinced that each patient needs a unique, individual approach. Therefore, I use different psychotherapy methods in my work. During my studies, I discovered an in-depth interest in people as a whole and the belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and the importance of emotional health in physical health. In my spare time, I enjoy reading (a big fan of thrillers) and going on hikes.