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You may have heard your grandparents say “feed a cold, starve a fever.” As it turns out, you should eat when you have both. Plenty of foods have properties that help when you’re sick, and today we’d like to talk about eight different types of foods and beverages you should consume when ill.

Carrots, sweet potatoes, and other foods with vitamin A are good because this vitamin helps maintain the health of mucosal surfaces, which include the nose and gastrointestinal tract. Mucus helps prevent infections from entering the body.

Otolaryngologist Mark Abrams, MD

Citrus fruits and leafy greens contain vitamin C, which can help reduce the duration of an illness if taken as soon as you realize you’re getting sick, CEENTA Otolaryngologist Mark Abrams, MD, said.

“I love vitamin C,” he added.

Fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce harmful inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation prevents the immune system from working properly, and that can contribute to colds and the flu.

Garlic contains allicin, which produces antioxidants that stimulate the immune system.

Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory qualities and can also kill the viruses that cause colds.

Honey has strong antibacterial effects, and studies suggest it can stimulate the immune system.

Water keeps you hydrated, which is important when you have a fever, are sweating, or are otherwise dehydrating. Coconut water also has electrolytes, which are important for rehydration.

Yogurt and other probiotic foods lowers the risk of upper respiratory tract infections and also help with digestive health and prevent stomach ailments by replenishing healthy strains of bacteria.

While eating good foods is a delicious way to stay healthy, you shouldn’t forget to go to the doctor if you’re seriously ill or not getting better. CEENTA has ENT doctors across North and South Carolina who want to make sure you are as healthy as your appetite.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. To make an appointment with Dr. Abrams or any of CEENTA’s otolaryngologists, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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