Food & Drinks

Soothing Solutions: 18 Best Food for a Sore Throat

A sore throat can be a common, yet bothersome ailment that most people experience at some point. From minor irritations to painful swallowing, dealing with a sore throat is no easy feat. Thankfully, our diet can play a pivotal role in managing this discomfort. This article is dedicated to understanding and uncovering 18 best food for a sore throat.

Understanding Sore Throats and the Role of Diet


A sore throat is a common symptom that can be caused by several factors. It’s often a sign of a viral or bacterial infection such as a cold, the flu, or strep throat. Allergies, dry air, pollution, and conditions like acid reflux can also lead to a sore throat.

The pain and discomfort can be quite bothersome, but the good news is that your diet can play a vital role in providing relief and speeding up recovery. Consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals can strengthen your immune system and help your body combat infections more effectively. Hydrating foods and those with soothing textures can also help alleviate the discomfort associated with a sore throat.

However, it’s essential to differentiate between foods that can help soothe your throat and those that might make the pain worse. Some foods and beverages can potentially exacerbate the discomfort, including alcohol, spicy foods, or anything else that can dehydrate or irritate your throat.

Best Foods to Eat for a Sore Throat

1. Soup


Especially chicken soup, is often hailed as a go-to remedy for colds and sore throats. It’s warm and soothing, and it helps keep you hydrated, which is key for recovery. The steam from the soup can also help clear nasal congestion, which is often a culprit behind a sore throat.

Besides, the salt in the soup can help soothe the throat and has antibacterial properties. Not to mention, the ingredients in the soup, such as vegetables and chicken, provide essential nutrients that the body needs to fight off infection.

2. Herbal Tea

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint have properties that soothe inflammation, providing relief for a sore throat. Additionally, teas are generally hydrating and can warm up a sore throat, making them an excellent choice.

Specific teas, like chamomile, have been noted for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent (drying) properties. When paired with a spoonful of honey, which has antibacterial properties and can coat the throat, a warm herbal tea can be a significant relief.

3. Cooked Cereal

Cooked Cereal

Cooked grains like oatmeal or rice porridge are soft and easy to swallow, which makes them a good choice for when you have a sore throat. They’re also hearty and filling, giving your body the energy it needs to fight off illness.

Oatmeal in particular is rich in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, copper, and iron that help boost your immune system and overall health.

4. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are not only soft and easy to swallow but are also loaded with nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium, both of which are important for immune function. Furthermore, the comforting warmth of mashed potatoes can soothe a sore throat. If your sore throat is accompanied by a lack of appetite, mashed potatoes can be a good option due to their high calorie and nutrient content.

5. Yogurt


Yogurt is a soft, cool food that can help soothe a sore throat. Its smooth texture can help coat the throat, easing pain and irritation. Additionally, yogurt is a good source of protein and provides essential vitamins and minerals, like calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, potassium, and magnesium.

Importantly, yogurt contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria that can support the health of your immune system and overall gut health, potentially helping you fight off what’s causing your sore throat faster.

6. Popsicles


Although it may seem a bit surprising, popsicles can indeed help soothe a sore throat. They offer a numbing effect that helps ease the pain temporarily, providing some relief. Opt for popsicles made from 100% fruit juice to avoid the added sugars found in many popsicles. Not only will you get the benefits of the numbing cold, but you’ll also receive the hydration and the vitamins that fruit juice offers.

7. Ice Cream

Ice Cream

Like popsicles, ice cream can also provide a temporary numbing effect that can help soothe a sore throat. However, keep in mind that ice cream, especially varieties high in sugar, should be consumed in moderation.

The coolness of the ice cream can be soothing, but too much sugar can potentially irritate the throat or weaken your immune response. A better choice might be a simple vanilla ice cream or a non-dairy version made from almond or coconut milk if dairy tends to bother your throat.

8. Bone Broth

Bone Broth

 This nutritious liquid, made from simmering animal bones and connective tissue, is packed with beneficial nutrients such as collagen, gelatin, and amino acids like glycine and proline. Collagen can help repair the mucosal lining, potentially easing the discomfort associated with a sore throat. Bone broth is also extremely hydrating, and its warmth can provide soothing comfort for throat pain.

9. Honey


Honey is a powerhouse when it comes to health benefits. Its natural sweetness can help soothe a sore throat, while its viscosity coats the throat, relieving irritation. Honey is also rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial properties, which can help your body fight off infections. Specifically, honey can combat certain bacteria and viruses, potentially shortening the duration of a sore throat.

10. Lemon


Lemons, especially when mixed with warm water or tea, can offer significant relief for a sore throat. The citrus fruit is rich in vitamin C, which can bolster your immune system and hasten recovery. Additionally, the acidity of lemon helps break down mucus and reduce swelling, providing some pain relief.

11. Ginger


Renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, ginger can help soothe a sore throat. Gingerol, the main bioactive compound in ginger, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Consuming ginger in various forms, whether in teas, as a spice in meals, or even raw, can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with a sore throat. Additionally, ginger has thermogenic properties, meaning it can warm the body from the inside and further soothe a sore throat.

12. Garlic


Garlic is a potent health booster with strong antibacterial and antiviral properties. Its active compound, allicin, is known to fight the microbes causing a sore throat. Besides, garlic boosts the overall immune system, helping the body to combat infections and diseases. Consuming garlic – either raw, cooked, or in supplement form – can offer health benefits and potentially soothe a sore throat.

13. Bananas


This fruit is soft, non-acidic, and easy to swallow, making it ideal for those with a sore throat. Bananas are packed with vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium, which are essential nutrients for boosting immune function and promoting recovery. They’re also high in fiber, which can help regulate digestion.

14. Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

Eggs are a high-protein food that’s easy to swallow when you have a sore throat. They’re rich in vitamins D, B6, B12, and minerals such as zinc, iron, and copper. All these nutrients are essential for maintaining a robust immune system. Additionally, eggs contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

15. Cooked Carrots

Cooked Carrots

When cooked and softened, carrots are easy to eat and full of health benefits. They’re an excellent source of vitamin A, promoting good vision and a healthy immune system. They’re also high in antioxidants and vitamin C. The sweetness of cooked carrots can also be soothing to a sore throat.

16. Rice or Quinoa

These grains are easy to swallow and digest, making them ideal for those suffering from a sore throat. Both rice and quinoa are excellent sources of carbohydrates, providing the body with the energy it needs to recover. Quinoa has the added benefit of being a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. It’s also rich in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and antioxidants.

17. Tofu


This plant-based protein is soft and easy to swallow, making it perfect for sore throat days. Tofu is a great source of protein, which is necessary for tissue repair and recovery. It also contains all nine essential amino acids and is an excellent source of iron, calcium, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamin B1. Its high isoflavone content provides antioxidant benefits, which can aid in recovery.

18. Jell-O


Jell-O or other gelatins can indeed be soothing for a sore throat. Their cool temperature can help numb the throat and reduce pain. Gelatin desserts are also easy to swallow, which makes them a good choice when solid foods are hard to get down. While they’re not as nutrient-rich as some of the other foods on this list, the sugar can provide a quick energy boost.

However, it’s important to balance this with other, more nutritious foods to make sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs to fight off infection. It’s also worth noting that too much sugar can sometimes exacerbate throat irritation, so it’s best to consume in moderation.

Foods to Avoid When You Have a Sore Throat

While it’s crucial to know the best food for a sore throat, it’s equally important to understand which foods to avoid. There are several types of foods and beverages you might want to avoid when you have a sore throat, as they can potentially exacerbate discomfort:

1. Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits

Although citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are packed with Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, their high acidity can irritate the throat and potentially exacerbate the pain. When consumed in moderation and combined with other foods or diluted, their impact may be lessened. However, if your throat is raw and inflamed, you might want to hold off on eating these fruits until your condition improves.

2. Spicy Foods

Spicy Foods

Foods that contain a lot of spices or capsaicin (the compound that gives chili peppers their heat) can irritate the lining of your throat. The sensation of burning or stinging that these foods can produce may increase discomfort during a throat infection. It’s advisable to avoid spicy dishes such as hot sauces, spicy curries, or dishes with a lot of chili peppers when you’re nursing a sore throat.

3. Alcohol


Alcohol dehydrates the body, and this dehydration can extend to the throat, leading to dryness and increased soreness. It can also lower the immune system’s effectiveness, making it harder for your body to fight off any potential infections causing the sore throat. Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol when you’re trying to recover from a sore throat.

4. Crunchy, Hard Foods

Crunchy Foods

Foods with a hard or rough texture, such as dry toast, raw vegetables, or crispy snacks like potato chips or crackers, can cause pain and discomfort when swallowing. These foods may scrape an already inflamed throat, leading to additional irritation and prolonging recovery time.

5. Tomato-based Foods

Tomato-based Foods

Tomatoes and tomato-based foods, such as pasta sauces or soups, are acidic. This acidity can further irritate a sore throat. While tomatoes are generally nutritious, they may not be the best choice when dealing with a painful throat. Opt for milder, less acidic foods until your symptoms improve.

6. Dairy Products

Dairy Products

For some people, consuming dairy products like milk, cheese, or ice cream when they have a sore throat can cause mucus to thicken, which may exacerbate throat discomfort and make it harder to swallow. This doesn’t occur in everyone, but if you notice this effect, it might be best to avoid dairy until your throat is feeling better.

Remember, each person might react differently to these foods. It’s always a good idea to listen to your body and observe what works for you and what doesn’t.

Other Remedies for a Sore Throat

Remedies Sore Throat

Alongside a throat-friendly diet, ensure adequate rest and hydration. Over-the-counter treatments, such as lozenges or sprays, may also help manage symptoms. Remember, these methods should complement a balanced diet, not replace it.

If your sore throat persists for more than a week, is accompanied by a high fever, rash, or difficulty breathing, it is crucial to seek medical attention. Persistent symptoms could indicate a more serious condition that requires professional treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sore Throat


Q: What are the best foods and drinks for a sore throat?

A: The best foods for a sore throat are those that are soft and soothing, such as cooked cereal, mashed potatoes, and yogurt. Cold treats like ice cream or popsicles can also provide temporary relief. As for drinks, warm liquids such as broths, herbal teas, and warm water with honey are excellent choices.

Q: What is the best breakfast food for a sore throat?

A: Oatmeal or a similar warm grain, served with a drizzle of honey, can be a gentle and soothing breakfast option for a sore throat. Banana smoothies or scrambled eggs can also be good options due to their soft and easy-to-swallow nature.

Q: What is the best food for a cold and sore throat?

A: Warm chicken soup or broth is a classic go-to food for a cold and sore throat because it’s soothing, hydrating, and rich in nutrients. Eating fruits rich in Vitamin C, such as strawberries or melon, can also help boost your immune system.

Q: What is the best food for stuffy nose and sore throat?

A: Foods with natural spicy components, like ginger or garlic, can help clear up a stuffy nose. However, be cautious not to consume anything too spicy, as it might irritate the throat. Warm soups and broths are excellent options, as they can help with both a stuffy nose and a sore throat.

Q: What is the best food for flu and sore throat?

A: When dealing with flu and a sore throat, the key is to stay hydrated and consume nutrient-dense foods. Chicken soup, bone broth, and warm herbal teas are excellent choices. In addition, easy-to-swallow foods like mashed potatoes or cooked grains can provide energy without causing additional throat discomfort.

Q: What is the best food for fever and sore throat?

A: During a fever, your body needs more energy to fight off infection, so it’s crucial to get enough nutrients. Broths, smoothies, and soft fruits like bananas or avocados can provide essential vitamins and minerals. Cold treats like ice cream or popsicles can also soothe a sore throat and help cool you down during a fever.

Q: What is the best food for cough and sore throat?

A: Honey is an excellent natural remedy for both a cough and a sore throat due to its antimicrobial and soothing properties. You can consume it with warm water or tea, or mix it with lemon for added vitamin C.

Q: What is the best food for a toddler with a sore throat?

A: For a toddler with a sore throat, soft and soothing foods like mashed bananas, applesauce, warm broth, or cooked pasta can be beneficial. Cold treats such as popsicles (preferably made from 100% fruit juice) can also help numb the throat. Remember to keep your toddler hydrated with plenty of fluids. Always consult with a pediatrician if symptoms persist.


While a sore throat can be uncomfortable, choosing the right diet can significantly alleviate the symptoms. Remember, the best food for a sore throat includes soothing and easy-to-swallow items that won’t exacerbate the pain. Finally, always listen to your body and seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

Diane McGee

Diane enjoys cooking, reading, and writing at her desk. She loves to let her words captivate the world and writes regularly for online publications. Diane also enjoys teaching kids during her free time.

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