What to eat when you’re sick

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I had a bit of a health scare. I’ve been having ongoing pains that stepped up a level on late last week. Short story time: I went to an urgent GP appointment, got sent to hospital and spent the whole of Friday on a specialist ward. I’ve been resting up and taking care of myself and I’m feeling much better for it. I can’t decide if it’s something I want to openly discuss online, you’ll have to just bear with me on that one.

Tea makes everything better!


Anyways, bringing it back to food (as always), I wanted to talk about food for when you’re poorly. This isn’t about specifics, I’m not qualified to be doling out advice, but more about what attitude you might take when recovering from an illness. 

When I was bedbound over the weekend, there is nothing I wanted more than Sainsbury’s Freefrom Triple Chocolate Cookies. My lovely boyfriend made my wish come true and over the course of a day (read: less than an hour), I got through the whole packet. But they didn’t give me the reassurance, the comfort I was looking for. However, that evening, when I tucked into my veggie-loaded beef bolognese, it was like my body heaved a sigh of relief. Even though my head wanted to indulge in the nostalgia of cookies, my body wanted nutrition – carbs, fats and protein in a delicious meal. It would be so easy to eat anything you craved when you’ve been unwell, goodness knows you deserve it. But from my own experience, I felt happier when I stuck to my normal way of healthy eating. Have whatever food lifts your spirits, but personally, I wouldn’t let nutrition fall completely to the wayside. I’m going to try to remember this in the future when this circumstance is sure to come about again. Our bodies need high quality, good food on a daily basis, and even some days more than others. 

Now my body craves natural sugars


I would be so interested to read your thoughts on this one, because I’m honestly still a bit conflicted myself. Would you eat pizza and brownies and what other high calories food to cheer yourself up? Or would you stick to your whole food favourites and get the nutrition in? I would love it if we could start a conversation in the comments section. 

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13 thoughts on “What to eat when you’re sick

  1. I really think that the body tells you what it needs; but, we’ve mucked up that natural message with the unnatural stuff in the modern diet. Chocolate has a lot of antioxidants, and simple sugars provide the brain with glucose. Both of those might reasonably be part of a sick person’s diet. But if you have become glucose intolerant, as most of us now are, those messages from the body don’t work properly.

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    • Thanks for taking the time to leave a lovely comment 😊 Agreed! I think we can interpret the messages our bodies are sending in the wrong way because we’re influenced by nostalgia or quick fixes. I know a little bit of chocolate and a lot of other nutritious food will be my recipe of success πŸ˜„

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  2. I think you have to strike a balance. Still avoid the things that you know make you feel utterly rubbish but at the same time cut yourself a bit of slack. Our bodies are very clever and can tell us what we crave and after a period of illness these cravings are often stronger as a sign that those foods are what we really need!

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    • That’s a really interesting point, thank you. I’m trying to be kind to myself and don’t think of it as too much of a bad thing if I eat a little more chocolate than I normally would 😊

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  3. My grand father used to say “If it is about food, we need to listen to our body than our tongue, and follow brain than heart”, and I am still trying to listen to my body, not always ! πŸ™‚

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  4. It really depends on what your illness is. Certain symptoms will demand certain nutrients. The problem is, a A.Jo Ann said, our body’s have become confused and we don’t always get the correct information filtering through, and we often don’t listen to our body. As a general rule, it is better to stay away from simple sugars as sugar depresses your immune function for up to 5 hours. Another factor to consider is that often when one is craving for sugars, it can be due to anxiety and or fear. Comfort food! A normal reaction when pain or illness strikes. So to answer your question, stick with your healthy food. Your body will thank you!

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    • Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. I agree, I was definitely reaching for the comfort food. Moving forwards, I’m going to stick with my healthy options, but ones that still bring a little comfort to me 😊

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  5. I hope you get sorted whatever you’re dealing with! I used to over eat on junk food when I felt sick or had my period, but I quickly learned what a big mistake that was!! Eat healthy, feel healthy, better moods! But I know how difficult it is… sometimes I buy a ‘vegan’ chocolate bar or a mini bag of vegan crisps, whereas previously I would have scoffed an entire bag of doritos, 5 pack of donuts and a bottle of Dr Pepper! Not anymore though. I try my best to keep healthy all the time!

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    • That’s very kind of you to say, thank you so much. I’m exactly the same, I used to have a real binge eating problem and sometimes I still struggle with it. But I always feel better when I stick to my healthy favourites, and they still feel like treats 😊

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