What To Eat When You Have A Sore Throat

Try talking, swallowing, singing, or any other activity involving your vocal cords while you have a sore throat and it's a recipe for pain and discomfort. The same goes for eating. "Sore throat is usually associated with inflammation of the pharyngeal tissue or throat lining, this causes the discomfort," Inna A. Husain, MD, medical director of Laryngology Community Hospital Munster, tells Health Digest in an exclusive interview. However, Dr. Husain explains that not all hope is lost when it comes to eating with a sore throat. Rather, it's just about making the proper selections.

"When deciding on a diet, [it's] important to remember that what we eat and drink will touch this tissue and can cause additional discomfort, so making the right decision is important," she says. "I do recommend soft textures like potatoes/sweet potatoes, grains like rice, oatmeal, and warm soups (like chicken noodle!)." Dr. Husain also notes that hydration trumps nutrition in terms of importance when one has a sore throat. Therefore, getting plenty of liquids is key, particularly water. "Warm teas like a nice green tea or jasmine can be helpful," she adds.

Which foods are better and which to avoid

Dr. Husain goes on to elaborate as to why foods such as sweet potatoes, rice, and soups are more advisable for those with a sore throat. "These foods are better with a sore throat because [they are] less likely to trigger further irritation of the inflamed tissue," she says. Dr. Husain adds that some of these foods can also help alleviate a sore throat due to their temperature. "Warm soups and teas can be helpful because the warmth can sooth[e] the throat muscles."

Conversely, Dr. Husain notes which foods patients should steer clear of. "Avoid foods with sharp edges like crackers," she says. "Sharp edges can cause mechanical irritation." But texture isn't the only factor to consider, she states. "In addition, foods heavy in spice and acid can trigger acid reflux which can exacerbate sore throat but also can be a cause of sore throat." Therefore, it's best to avoid spices, as well as stick with low-acid food and drink items. Offering one final suggestion, Dr. Husain concludes the interview, stating, "If your sore throat is associated with a cold and mucus, I recommend limiting dairy. It doesn't produce more mucus but will combine with mucus/saliva to give an uncomfortable thickness sensation in [the] throat," she says.

You can learn more about Dr. Husain by connecting on Instagram and TikTok.