What To Eat When You’re Sick And Feeling Like Hot Garbage

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With colder temperatures keeping people inside this time of year, germs are spreading like wildfire. Even if you eat immune-boosting foods throughout the year to keep your body feeling strong and protected, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll fall ill at some point. Understanding how to nourish your sick body can help decrease symptom severity and healing time.

Here are some of my favorite foods for nourishing your body, mind, and soul when you’re feeling down:

Keep it warm.

Warming foods and spices will help comfort you while providing many wonderful therapeutic benefits. For sore throats, I usually turn to Thyme Tea, made from fresh thyme, lemon and a bit of Manuka honey. Not only does this tea taste delicious, it also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties.

Warming spices, such as ginger, cloves, and turmeric, can also help you feel better with their anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties. You can buy teas full of blended warming spices, or you can make your own at home. Additionally, bone and vegetable broths are a wonderful way to nourish your body with nutrients while you’re sick, especially if your illness affects your appetite.

Eat the rainbow.

It’s essential to continue nourishing your body while you’re sick, as a wide range of vitamins and minerals are known to support strong immune function. The best way to make sure that you’re getting all of these foods is by eating the rainbow.

When you’re sick, a plate full of veggies might not be your go-to food, but it should be. Roasting vegetables with garlic may make them more desirable while you’re feeling down. You (or better yet, someone taking care of you) can also blend veggies together to make a warming soup—add garlic to amp up the viral and bacterial-fighting properties.


Hydration is so important when you’re sick, especially if you have a fever. To boost nutrient intake, I often recommend drinking one green juice a day while sick, along with at least 100 ounces of water throughout the day. Warm water with lemon is a good choice while sick, as it is hydrating, comforting, and packed with a good dose of vitamin C. If you’re vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, make sure to rehydrate with electrolytes. You can buy these in packages or make your own electrolyte beverage with water, citrus, sea salt, and honey.

Now is the time to supplement.

I don’t necessarily recommend taking supplements all the time, but when you’re feeling under the weather, it is an excellent time to bulk up on immune-boosting nutrients. Here are the supplements I recommend when you’re feeling sick (opt for high-quality supplements from a trusted brand):

  • Extra zinc picolinate
  • Liposomal vitamin C
  • Liposomal glutathione
  • Vitamin D
  • Oil of oregano (use caution with this one—it is very strong!)
  • Astragalus
  • Nettle leaf with quercetin
  • L-lysine

Leave these behind.

Inflammatory Foods
Boosting your immune system is also about limiting foods that don’t nourish your body. While you’re sick, try to avoid inflammatory foods, such as processed foods, refined carbs and sugars, and dairy. These foods put added strain on your system, which counteracts the hard work your body is doing to heal itself.

Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits
What impacts your health goes way beyond what you’re eating. When you’re sick, it is also important to rest, practice healthy affirmations to strengthen your mindset, and engage in light movement or breathwork to get the energy moving (if you’re feeling up for it). These mind/body practices will work alongside healthy foods to help you feel better, faster.

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This content is strictly the opinion of Chef Serena Poon and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Serena nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Medical Disclaimer

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