Recovering from an ailment? Here's what you should eat to ease the pain


Woman with stromach ache on couch

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Recovering from an ailment — whether it was something small, like a stomach bug, or something more serious, like a sustained illness — can be a slow and trying process.

Make that double when you factor in food. When we’re sick and have emptied the contents of our bodies through vomiting or diarrhea, it’s tough to know what we should and shouldn’t try to eat. We listen to our bodies, but sometimes the foods we crave will do more harm than good.

Our doctors, of course, are the authority on recommended diets when we’re sick. So make sure that you consult your physician for specific instructions that fit you. But we want to give a loose overview of ways to ease your own pain when you’re not feeling well. Let’s look at general foods that are recommended for consumption when we recover from a lesser illness.


When a bad one hits, it can stop you in your tracks. According to Woman's Day, several foods and drinks help to soothe that headache pain and even help prevent it in the future. Dehydration is one of the biggest causes for a headache, so watermelon can help put water back into your body, while a baked potato provides much needed potassium. Other headache easers include yogurt, coffee, spinach, almonds and spicy salsa.

Stomach bug/flu

We recognize that there is a huge difference symptoms-wise between a 24-hour bug and the flu, and we don’t wish either one on our worst enemies. But for the sake of food and drink needs, they’re pretty similar. When we get physically sick and it affects our stomachs and gastrointestinal tract, it’s important to try to stay nourished and hydrated. This is especially important if — and apologies for the vulgarity – it’s coming out of you at both ends. Many doctors recommend, once sickness stops and the body is hydrated, the BRAT diet — bananas, rice, applesauce and toast — to provide and replenish vital nutrients.

Food poisoning

While symptoms of food poisoning are similar to a stomach bug or flu, the fact that the former was caused by food means that you need to consume different things when recovering. Keep your food mostly soft or liquid until you feed better. Drink broths, soups, fruit juices or soft fruits or even Ensure. In short, avoid anything high in dairy, fat, fiber or sugar.

Premenstrual symptoms

Ladies, we feel your pain, and while the men might not get it, we know that the struggle is real. WebMD recommends easing those symptoms by consuming foods high in calcium; controlling cravings by eating an enriching breakfast; sticking to fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains; skipping the extra sugar and salt; and looking into a supplement for extra nutrients and vitamins.