What to Eat When You Have a Sore Throat

A sore throat is often caused by a bacterial infection and can be accompanied by aches, fever, and chills. When you have a sore throat, you often don't want to eat, because it hurts. But when you're sick, you need to eat nutritious foods to fuel your immune system and help your body fight off the illness.

What to Eat When You Have a Sore Throat

1. Bananas

Bananas are a soft, non-acidic fruit that will go down easy when you have a sore throat. Rich in vitamin C, potassium, and B6, they are also a low glycemic index food. If your throat is really sore, mash the banana or whiz it in a blender so it just slides down your throat.

2. Chicken Soup

Grandma's home remedy of hot chicken soup isn't just outdated folklore. It really helps to relieve congestion by protecting the mucus membranes from viruses coming in contact with them, and has mildly anti-inflammatory properties. Add garlic, onions, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, and turnips to boost the nutrients and healing powers.

3. Lemon Juice and Honey

Heat some lemon juice hot enough to blend the honey into the juice, then let it cool until it is a comfortable temperature to drink. The vitamin C in the lemon juice will help, in addition to the inflammation-reducing properties in the mixture. Honey has healing properties that will help soothe your sore throat.

4. Scrambled Eggs

What to eat when you have a sore throat? Plain scrambled eggs without added spices are an easy to digest protein that will help deal with inflammation and pain. They will provide nourishment without being too difficult to swallow. Scramble just the egg whites if you are concerned about cholesterol. Eggs are also loaded with omega-6 fatty acids, which will aid with fighting inflammation.

5. Ginger and Honey Tea

Ginger helps clear mucus from the throat and nose, opens up the sinuses, and has anti-inflammatory properties. A cup of ginger and/or honey tea will soothe an irritated throat. The honey coats the throat, while the ginger does its work of decongesting. Inhale the steam from the cup to help loosen congestion in the chest.

6. Oatmeal

A bowl of cooked oatmeal is another food easy to swallow when you have a sore throat. Add some banana and honey for extra soothing properties and nourishment. Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, helps to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol, is high in protein, and is a low-glycemic index food.

7. Sage

Sage has long been used as a medicinal herb and is known for its healing properties and as a sore throat remedy. Sage contains flavonoids, phenolic acid, and oxygen-handling enzymes. It tastes good in soups or tea and many other foods as well.

8. Whole Wheat Pasta

Whole-grain wheat pasta cooked until soft and bathed in a low-fat sauce can be an easy food to swallow when you have a sore throat. Probably best not to put a tomato-based sauce on it, though, as the acid in the tomato may irritate your throat. Whole wheat pasta contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, and E, as well as zinc, iron, and fiber.

9. Carrots

What to eat when you have a sore throat? Cooked carrots are good when you are sick, but don't try to eat them raw, as that will hurt your throat rather than be gentle on it. Carrots are nutrient-rich, containing vitamins A, C, and K, and potassium and fiber. If your throat is really raw, you may want to puree the carrots, making them even easier to swallow.

10. Cabbage

In your grandma's day, an old folk remedy for sore throat was to wrap a cabbage leaf around the patient's neck. Now we realize that just eating cabbage will give more health benefits because it's loaded with vitamin C, anti-oxidants, sulphur, and other nutrients that help reduce inflammation. Stir-fry some cabbage in olive oil with some turmeric to reduce the inflammation even more.

11. Ice Cream

A sore throat is a good excuse to have some ice cream. Not only does it simply melt down your throat, the cold helps numb the pain. If you're concerned that the dairy product may increase the mucus, recent discoveries have proven this to be false. Or try a non-dairy frozen confection instead.

12. Smoothies

Here's one more suggestion to keep you from wondering what to eat when you have a sore throat. Smoothies are a great way to get some nutrition into your body to help fight off infection. They go down so easily, and the cold liquid will feel soothing to your sore throat. Start with your favorite liquid, then add fresh fruit, yogurt, greens, or whatever you like. Add some ice to chill it instantly.

More Remedies to Soothe Your Sore Throat

1. Plenty of Rest

Here's a good excuse to catch up on your sleep. The body repairs itself while you sleep, so get as much as you can. Even just resting helps. Staying in away from others protects both you and others from being exposed to your illness.

2. Hydration

Drink plenty of water, even when it feels and tastes unpleasant. Keeping your throat lubricated will ease swallowing and keep you from becoming dehydrated.

3. Salt Water Gargling

Gargle with warm salt water to help relieve a sore throat. Mix a quarter teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water.

4. Humidifier

A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help ease your discomfort. A cool-mist humidifier may be more beneficial for sore throats than a warm one. Clean it daily to destroy any mold or bacteria that easily form inside.

5. Avoiding Irritants

Stay away from irritating smoke and fumes. Cigarette smoke is especially irritating to a sore throat, but paint fumes or fume from cleaning products can also exacerbate the problem.

6. Lozenges and Sprays

Throat sprays such as Chloraseptic temporarily numb the pain of a sore throat. Menthol and eucalyptus cough drops can also lessen the pain and irritation and stimulate saliva production to keep your throat moist. 

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