11 Foods and Drinks to Help Soothe Flu Symptoms

Flu causes inflammation, leading to a sore throat, joint pain, brain fog, and congestion. Flu reduces your appetite and hunger. The last thing you enjoy is eating during the flu.

Flu gets you dehydrated fast. “Fluid first” is the key to the flu diet plan. The first thing you should perform when diagnosed with flu or symptomatic is to stay hydrated.

We have compiled the list for vegetarians and non-vegetarians to help soothe flu or flu-like symptoms.

Common flu Symptoms

  • Fever–mild to moderate

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vomiting & Nausea

  • Dehydration–the rapid loss of water and electrolytes

  • Running nose

  • Cough & sneezing

  • Chilliness

  • Sore throat

  • Weakness/tiredness/fatigue

Food & Drink to Help Mitigate Flu Symptoms

Note that you do not have to take all the below-listed food together. Take whichever is available, or you can make it easier.

Fruits & Vegetables

Citrus fruits, loaded with vitamin C, are a potent antioxidant that improves immunity, fights infections, and reduce the severity and duration of the common cold, which are some flu symptoms.

The fruits and vegetables that help with flu include −

  • Orange, berries, grapes, strawberries

  • Potatoes & Tomatoes

  • Pepper & Cantaloupe

  • Broccoli & Brussels sprouts

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green includes high fibre, which cleans your stomach and gets digested slowly. They are immune-bolstering, loaded with vitamin C and other essential vitamins, and fight off inflammation.

Spinach, Cabbage, and Kale contain iron essential for producing immune cells, white blood cells that help your body combat infection.

Leafy green raw add to salad and have them with food of your, add them to the soup. If raw veggies do not go well with your palate, roast, steam, or saute, you can have frozen veggies to regain energy.


A common remedy for a sore throat is honey if you have the flu. It fights off respiratory infections. It is more effective than over-the-counter medicines for treating cold and flu-like symptoms and illnesses.

It can help fight upper respiratory infections and medications like antihistamines and cough suppressants.

Honey has antimicrobial properties that treat infections. Honey thickness does not dilute but coats the throat to soothe irritation.

Hot Herbal tea / green Tea

You can add a teaspoon of honey to your tea. Warm beverages soothe sore throat and irritation. The steam can clear the airways and stuffy nose.

Tea contains a group of antioxidants, “polyphenols,” which provide a shield against chronic illnesses. Peppermint tea can go a long way to help digestive symptoms. Chamomile has antibacterial properties.

Green tea contains a type of polyphenol, “catechins,” which can help increase regulatory T cells, which help control the immune system. Avoid black tea that may contain caffeine and may aggravate dehydration during the flu.

Spices and Herbs Like Ginger, Turmeric, Onion, Cinnamon

Some data suggest spices and herbs are beneficial when you are sick with flu-like symptoms. Ginger extracts have antimicrobial properties, and turmeric has a naturally occurring active compound called curcumin, which has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. 

Take these in raw forms in limited amounts as an overdose or as supplements may cause side effects, such as diarrhoea, heartburn, abdominal discomfort, mouth and throat irritation and inflammation if administered in large amounts.

If taken with other medications, please consult a doctor before the intake.

Greek Yogurt

Probiotics can help you restore the healthy bacteria staying in your intestinal tract. As research suggests, if we feed these bacteria, they can improve our health. Yoghurt is a rich and natural source of probiotics.

To add probiotics, add Greek yoghurt to your diet. Ensure you consume yoghurt before sunset and not in the evening or at night. Greek yoghurt contains twice as much protein as regular yoghurt and does not contain lactose. Hence, it is easy on our digestive system.

A typical 150 g of yoghurt contains 15 g of protein, while plain whole milk yoghurt contains 6 g of protein. Yoghurt is an excellent source of protein to be added to your regular diet daily, as it is light, low-fat, and low in sugar.

Sugar-free Popsicles or Ice Pops

You may not find warm fluids giving the relief needed in the flu, may try cold foods to mitigate the sore throat pain. Sugar-free ice pops come in handy in these cases.

Make it at home to control and avoid added sugar. Blend them with fresh fruit to compensate for the lack of sugar. Use berries as they are high in fibre, filled with antioxidants and low in sugar.

Warm Plain Broth

Doctors recommend chicken, vegetable, or bone broth but in low sodium.

One primary and common flu symptom is losing water and electrolytes rapidly, leading to dehydration. You must get plenty of fluids to compensate for the water loss.

Water is a must, but you need some other nutritious fluid to cover up the energy loss along with water.

The warm broth will do wonders for your cough, sore throat, and running nose condition and give strength to your body because of the nutrition.

The hot liquid will produce salivation and airway mucus secretion that will lubricate the offer relaxation to the upper airways.

Chicken Stew/soup

Specific to chicken lovers, you may not handle chicken as meat, but a liquid broth is good enough. But increase sustenance, may add shredded lean chicken streaks to the soup.

The great soup alone can fight influenza infections. It can mitigate inflammation and help your immune system to recover more quickly.

You may top the chicken soup up with protein, non-starchy veggies, and carbohydrates to boost the healing effect. Balance your soup with shredded rotisserie chicken and toss some frozen veggies.

Lean Protein

It is an essential food even when you are hale and hearty. It keeps you strong and provides overall growth and development. Lean protein helps us grow and maintain muscle and body mass at the optimum level.

Flu symptoms may erode body strength. We need to get optimum protein from food sources, keep going when ill, stop muscle waste, feel fuller, foster healing, and promote blood sugar control.

We need a low fat to avoid upsetting the stomach as high fat takes time to empty the stomach, causing further stomach distress already caused by the flu. For lean protein, get low-fat skin poultry, chicken breast, fish, beans, and tofu.


Some vegetarians do not eat garlic in some parts of the world, as they consider it in the same category or effect as non-vegetarians. That is why we categorized it under non-vegetarian food, and vegetarians may consider having it during the flu.

Garlic has a history of treating respiratory and digestive disorders. For some middle-aged people, doctors use it for arthritis, toothaches, insect bites, and chronic cough.

According to research, garlic supplements may improve immune cell function and mitigate severe flu symptoms. However, you can intake raw or cooked garlic with the flu.

Coconut water, watermelon juice, honey with lemon

You can also have plenty of organic fruit juices like watermelon and coconut water, honey, with lemon juice in lukewarm water to increase the fluid level in your body.

Risk Factors

Food and drink to avoid −

  • Fatty and sugary foods

  • Caffeinated drink

  • Alcoholic and sugary beverages

  • Dairy products

  • Processed food

  • Spicy food is heavy on sugar or salt