Foods You Should Avoid and Eat When Your Throat Hurts

Your throat hurts due to the irritation and swelling of the back of your throat (pharynx). Swelling might be caused by many conditions, including bacterial and viral infections, allergies like hay fever, cigarette smoke, and pollution. Having a problem on the throat can be extremely difficult to manage and can also impact your quality of life, making it hard to speak, eat, and even breath. Some foods can scratch and aggravate your pharynx when it's already sore and tender. That's why knowing what to eat and what to avoid will help you relieve some of the symptoms.

Best Food Tips for You When Your Throat Hurts

1. Bad things to avoid if your throat hurts

  • Fatty foods

Avoid eating high-fat foods like dairy products, red meats, deep-fried foods, and baked sweets. According to many dietary specialists, not only can high-fat foods suppress your immunological system, but they are also more difficult for your body to digest. Therefore, you should really stay away from these foods until your symptoms are relieved.

  • Citrus foods

Oranges, tomatoes, limes, lemons, and grapefruits are all acidic foods that might irritate your throat and make the situation worse. Instead, try to consume fruits that are soothing a throat: melons, kiwis, bananas, and peaches are a good start. Many acidic fruits are rich in vitamin C. If you are deficient in vitamin C, pick red peppers or kale instead of irritating foods.

  • Spicy foods

Amongst the bad things to eat with throat pain, there are spicy products such as chilli powder, hot sauce, nutmeg, curry, cloves, and peppers. All of these can worsen and aggravate inflammation in your throat. That doesn't mean you can't add flavor to your cooking; instead, you can use anti-inflammatory condiments like fresh ginger to spice things up. According to a number of scientific studies, garlic can also be great food for throat pain given that it has some amazing properties helping you to recover from colds faster. In fact, it was found to prevent cold symptoms from reoccurring.

  • Crunchy foods

Rough-textured foods such as granola, dry toast, and uncooked vegetables can scratch the back of your throat and increase your pain. Opt for foods that are easy to swallow, semisolid, or soft, such as cream-based soups, eggs, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, mashed potatoes, smoothies, cooked cereals, and casseroles. You can also eat dry foods that were previously moistened with gravy or broth. Boiling your vegetables makes it easier for you to swallow.

2. Foods that help soothe your throat

  • Fat-free foods

If you really want to eat some meat, you can try white meats like chicken, turkey, or even fish. Choose low-fat foods! Also, try to consume products that are soft and moist, such as applesauce or soup. You can even grind or puree your food to make it easier to chew and swallow.

  • Honey and lemon

These two are probably one of the most acclaimed foods for throat pain. Not only are they incredibly effective in your throat healing process, but they will also temporarily ease your pain.

  • Smoothies

It's time to dust off the blender! Green smoothies are powerful sources for lots of nutrients while also having a soothing effect on your throat. In fact, smoothies can also lower your pain and boost the healing process.

  • Chicken soup

Like any type of soup, you'll be getting lots of vegetables and nutrients which are easier for your body to digest. In addition, hot liquids ease the pain and help the swelling in your throat to go away.

  • Eggs

In severe cases, eggs can be your best friends. They are soft and easy to digest while also full of healthy fatty acids and protein. Plus, they are a very flexible food as you can have them boiled poached, or scrambled.

Home Remedies to Relieve Throat Pain

  • Salt water

Gargling with salt water is an ancient home remedy that will help to break down secretions and soothe a throat. Just mix a half-teaspoon of salt in a glass of water. Gargle every 3-4 hours, and you will get back to your feet in no time.

  • Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is a natural home remedy that has been used for medical purposes, such as soothing throats. Studies show that chamomile stimulates the immune system while having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural solution that has antibacterial effects. Because of its acidic nature, it's used for fighting infections and breaking down the mucus in your throat.

  • Humidify the air

Humidifier therapy is a fancy way of just adding moisture to the air. It's often used to prevent dryness that might cause irritation in the body. Humidifiers are extremely effective in treating dryness of the nose, lips, skin, and throat. They are also a great choice to soothe symptoms caused by common colds and the flu.


Eating the right products and trying out these home remedies can make you feel better quickly and might even save you a trip to the doctor's office. Make sure you get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids, and stay away from cigarette smoke and other irritants for a quick recovery.