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What can you eat for a sore throat?

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  • What causes a sore throat?
  • You should NOT eat these foods if you have a sore throat
  • 8 foods that can relieve a sore throat

Your throat hurts when you swallow, your throat is red and your voice may already be gone: you seem to have taken a good bite out of something. No matter whether it’s tonsillitis, flu or corona – now it’s time to relieve the symptoms and optimally support your body’s immune defense.

An extra portion of vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin C and D, zinc & Co.) are exactly the right thing now. So just throw in some supplements? Please don’t: Natural foods are the better choice because the nutrients they contain (i.e. carbohydrates, proteins and fats) provide you, among other things, with the energy you need to effectively combat pathogens. “Food is a highly underestimated remedy for a sore throat,” says Dr. Cynthia Li, internist and author of Brave New Medicine.

What causes a sore throat?

Many viruses and bacteria can cause pharyngitis (also known as strep throat), sinus congestion, or coughing, which irritates the throat and can lead to swelling. “The most common cause of strep throat is a viral infection,” says Dr. Nate Favini, senior physician at Forward, a state-of-the-art “medical practice of the future” in LA Depending on the severity and duration of symptoms, it is advisable to see your family doctor.

Otherwise: rest and drink as much as possible. Water hydrates the throat and keeps it moist. Warm liquids, such as a delicious broth and tea, are particularly recommended. According to studies, thyme (for example in the form of tea) is particularly suitable for relieving coughs etc., as the essential oils contained in the herb (such as thymol) have, among other things, an expectorant and relaxing effect on the bronchial muscles.

You should NOT eat these foods if you have a sore throat

Despite the sore throat, you should not only drink enough, but also eat something – even if the thought of it hurts. This is the only way your body has the power it needs to fight against pathogens. But there are a few foods that you should avoid right now because their consistency and/or ingredients can make the already painful neck area even more sensitive.

No-gos for an irritated throat and sore throat:

  • Bread with a hard crust
  • Chips / Flips & Co.
  • French fries or fried foods
  • spicy or spicy foods
  • acidic foods
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol

Many of these foods can cause heartburn (also called acid reflux), which can then make your sore throat worse. This means that increased stomach acid production can cause digested stomach contents to rise back up into the esophagus and cause irritation.

8 foods that can relieve a sore throat

“If you have a sore throat, it’s best to eat foods that have a soft consistency and don’t irritate your throat,” says Dr. Favini. Like this one:

1. Chicken soup or broth

Chicken soup has always been considered a natural home remedy that our grandparents drank at the first sign of a cold. Is it all just superstition, or is such a warm broth really a miracle cure for coughs and sore throats?

Chicken soup has already been part of numerous studies on the topic. And lo and behold: Individual ingredients could actually be identified that could explain the healing effects of the broth. Read here what makes broth so healthy.

“Sore throats are basically the result of inflammation and dehydration,” explains Dr. Li. Liquids, like the broth in chicken soup, not only replenish lost water, but the salt helps the body retain fluid in the tissues, she says. The same applies to practically any broth – including vegetable broth.

2. Natural yogurt or probiotic yogurt

Yogurt is not only a good, low-calorie source of protein, but also of probiotic bacteria. According to studies, these bacterial strains help strengthen your intestinal barrier function and reduce the excessive spread of pathogens. They are contained in natural yogurt, but only in large quantities in special probiotic yogurts. Kefir, buttermilk and sauerkraut are also probiotics because they naturally contain viable bacteria (nothing has been added) that have a positive effect on the intestinal flora and immune system.

“Yogurt is also an easy-to-swallow food thanks to its cool and soft consistency, which is beneficial for a sore throat,” says Dr. Li. According to her, there may also be a connection between consuming yogurt and reducing respiratory infections and earaches.

You can also swallow mashed potatoes painlessly due to its soft consistency. Try leaving the peel on the potatoes (only works well with a very fine, clean peel), as it is a rich source of magnesium, vitamin C and antioxidants, all of which support a strong immune system.

And another piece of medical advice: “Make sure that the mashed potatoes are not too hot, as that could irritate the throat even more,” says Dr. Favini.

4. Porridge

Speaking of “porridge”: Oatmeal (also called gruel or porridge) is also excellent for providing you with plenty of energy and at the same time protecting your irritated throat. We have 5 delicious recipe ideas for you here.

Regardless of whether you like your porridge to be sweet or traditionally a little salty, the base is always oat flakes. And according to studies, they have numerous positive properties on your body:

  • Provide long-term energy thanks to complex carbohydrates
  • Keep blood sugar levels stable
  • They are very high in fiber and good for the intestines
  • Contain a lot of vegetable protein
  • Are vitamin and mineral bombs (B vitamins, magnesium & Co.)

5. Ingwer(tee)

“Ginger has been shown in studies (like this one) to have analgesic (pain-relieving), antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Dr. Li. It also appears to inhibit the growth of certain harmful strains of bacteria.

Ginger tea is quick and easy to prepare freshly

Dr. Li adds that many sore throats are accompanied by what’s called “postnasal drip.” This is mucus that drips from the nose into the throat and which you then swallow. This can irritate the stomach and cause nausea. And ginger can help there too, because this is probably the best-known property of ginger: according to studies, it helps against nausea. Another compelling reason is to try ginger tea.

This is how you prepare a soothing ginger tea: Cut 3 to 4 thin slices from a ginger bulb. It’s best to use organic ginger so you don’t have to peel it. Place the slices in a cup and pour boiling water over them. Let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Attention: The longer the steeping time, the stronger the spiciness – it’s best to try out different steeping times. Season with a little honey if desired.

6. Manuka honey

Speaking of honey: Honey has been used as a natural remedy since ancient times. “Modern science has shown that Manuka honey in particular is effective against a wide range of infections, both bacterial and viral, including the common cold and some types of streptococci,” says Dr. Li.

Just don’t overdo it in terms of quantity: “In larger doses, the sugar content can prevent the immune system from doing its job,” she says.

7. Creamy vegetable soups

Creamy vegetable soups (don’t eat them too hot) are also beneficial for your throat and are very healthy due to the ingredients. Whether broccoli, pumpkin, carrot or sweet potato soup: simply cook the vegetables of your choice until soft and then puree them. Then just season to taste (season mildly, not too spicy) and refine with a little crème fraîche, sour cream or cream – your delicious vegetable soup is ready. How about this recipe, for example?

A light and quick, exotic pumpkin soup.

Anna_Pustynnikova / Shutterstock.com

Coconut pumpkin soup with ginger

  • 500 g of Hokkaido squash
  • 400 g carrot(s)
  • 1 medium sized potato(s)
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 1 medium sized onion(s)
  • 1 THE Rapsöl
  • 1 TL Currypulver
  • 0.5 TL Kurkuma
  • 750 ml vegetable broth
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 Prise Pfeffer
  • 4 TL Crème fraîche
  1. Wash the pumpkin and carrots, peel the carrots and potatoes and dice both into large pieces. Peel the ginger and also chop it.
  2. Peel and dice the onion, press the garlic and briefly sauté both in hot oil (pot). Now add the vegetables, let them roast briefly while stirring, dust with curry powder, add ginger and then pour in the broth, stir in the coconut milk and cook until soft, about 15 – 20 minutes. If necessary, add more broth.
  3. Then mix finely with a hand blender. Then puree very finely. If the soup is too thick, simply add a little more broth and bring to the boil briefly. Season with salt and pepper and pimp with crème fraiche. For a low-calorie version, simply omit the creme fraiche.
  • Calories (kcal): 328
  • Fett: 21g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g

8. Smoothies

Homemade (!) smoothies are a promising way to absorb as many vitamins and minerals as possible with just a few sips. This gives your body optimal support in the fight against germs. The consistency is also pleasantly cool and can be swallowed easily.

Dr. Li recommends sticking to ingredients like spinach, kale, celery, and berries, which are low in sugar and high in healthy antioxidants. But of course you can also use fruit to give your smoothie a pleasant sweetness. Oranges, apples or (ripe) bananas are ideal. A squeeze of lemon or a little ginger are also great in your smoothie.

Basically, whatever tastes good is allowed. Feel free to try out wild combinations: all you need is a good blender or hand blender.

So the next time you’re lying flat with a sore throat: support your body with the right foods and drinks.

And if you were waiting for the obligatory ice cream in our list: Of course, it’s also allowed for a sore throat. Dr. Favini says cold foods like ice cream “can be especially good because they can soothe the sore throat and even reduce the inflammation.” Just remember not to overdo it with the sugar.

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