Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that can cause a sore, scratchy throat. While it’s important to get prompt treatment for strep throat, there are also some foods and drinks that can help reduce pain and inflammation. In this article, we’ll discuss what you should eat while you’re dealing with strep throat to help speed up the healing process.
What is Strep Throat
Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that affects the throat and can cause a sore, scratchy feeling. It usually causes symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and white patches on the tonsils. Other symptoms may include coughing, difficulty swallowing, headache, body aches and fatigue. Strep throat is most commonly caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, but can also be caused by other bacteria.
Importance of proper nutrition during illness
It is important to maintain proper nutrition when you are dealing with an illness such as strep throat. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help your body heal faster. It is also important to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other fluids such as juice and tea. Getting enough rest is equally important, so make sure you are getting enough sleep each night.
Soft and Easy-to-Swallow Foods
When dealing with strep throat, it is important to focus on soft and easy-to-swallow foods. These types of foods include: cooked vegetables like squash and carrots; mashed potatoes; soup; oatmeal; applesauce; yogurt; smoothies; cooked eggs; toast or crackers; ice cream or pudding; and gelatin. Additionally, avoiding spicy, acidic, or rough-textured foods is recommended.
Soothing and Moisturizing Foods
Soothing and moisturizing foods can help reduce throat irritation caused by strep throat. These types of foods include warm soups and broths, as well as hot herbal teas with honey. Other foods that may provide relief are mashed bananas, cooked sweet potatoes, cooked rice porridge, applesauce, and smoothies made with yogurt or milk. Additionally, avoiding acidic and spicy foods is also recommended.
Foods with Antibacterial Properties
In addition to soft and moisturizing foods, there are also a variety of foods that have natural antibacterial properties which can help support recovery from strep throat. These include garlic, onions, ginger, and honey which all possess natural antimicrobial activity. Additionally, probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt can be beneficial for strengthening the body’s immune system to fight off infection. Other foods with antibacterial properties include green tea, turmeric, and coconut oil.
Vitamin C and Antioxidant-rich Foods
Vitamin C and antioxidants are important to help boost the body’s immune system when dealing with strep throat. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi, grapefruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale and spinach. Additionally, antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and dark chocolate can help the body fight off infection.
Staying hydrated is important when dealing with strep throat. Proper hydration helps to thin mucus, lubricate the throat, and reduce inflammation. Additionally, drinking plenty of fluids can also help flush out bacteria that may be causing the infection. Experts recommend drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water or other non-alcoholic fluids each day. Other hydrating options include herbal teas, vegetable juices, soups, and smoothies.
Foods to Avoid
It is important to also avoid certain foods and drinks that can exacerbate throat irritation and prolong recovery. These include acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, or vinegar; dairy products; spicy foods; and caffeine. Additionally, alcohol should be avoided as it can weaken the body’s immune system and negatively affect healing. Finally, it is best to avoid sugary foods such as candy and cookies, as well as processed foods.
Following a healthy diet is an important part of managing strep throat and speeding up recovery. While it may be tempting to turn to salty, sugary, or processed snacks for comfort, it’s best to stick with soft, easy-to-swallow foods that are also rich in nutrients and natural healing properties. Foods like pureed fruits and vegetables, herbal teas, and warm soups can help reduce throat irritation and provide comfort. Make sure to also stay hydrated with plenty of fluids to keep your body in good shape.