Coming down with a case of laryngitis? It can be tricky to figure out what foods to eat if you have laryngitis, especially if your throat is sore and irritated. But there are some comforting foods and beverages you may want to chow down on, and others you'll probably want to avoid.
Read more: 4 Good Foods and 3 Bad Foods for Your Voice
Say 'Yes' to These Foods
1. Eggs. Eggs are one of the best foods to eat with laryngitis because they're easy to swallow and packed with nutrients like protein, says Bryan Combs, PhD, CRNP, an assistant professor of nursing and associate scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
"Even though most people who are sick typically don't feel like eating, you want to make sure what you're able to eat has the calories and nutritional value that you need," Combs explains. "Sometimes, foods that are high in calories are better for this reason, which is why eggs are great if you have laryngitis," he adds.
2. Chicken soup. A staple of feel-good foods, chicken soup is easier to chew and swallow because of its soothing contents: broth, boiled vegetables, noodles and shredded chicken, says Combs. Not only can this soup's warm broth help relieve pain in the throat, but the chicken in it is a good source of protein, which is important while sick, he adds.
Read more: Is Hot Soup Actually Good for a Sore Throat?
3. Smoothies, ice cream and ice pops. Aside from being tasty, the cold sensation can help the throat, Combs says. "The cold temperature of these foods will help decrease inflammation and help with throat pain," he explains.
In addition, ice pops and other cold liquids like ice water can help soothe the throat by clearing out mucus, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
4. Tea with lemon juice and honey. Tea is often very calming for laryngitis symptoms, and adding honey and a bit of lemon juice can also help, Combs says.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, drinking warm liquids like tea can soothe a sore throat — and honey coats your throat, helping to reduce cough, and even has some antibacterial properties.
Say 'No' to These Foods
1. Too much citrus. A little bit of lemon juice in your tea may be helpful, according to Penn Medicine, because it can help relieve pain and break up mucus. However, having too much citrus of any kind with a sore throat can be irritating due to its acidity, Combs explains.
2. Crunchy, difficult-to-chew foods. Crunchy cereals, crackers and the like are among the worst foods to eat with laryngitis because of their rough texture, which can irritate the throat, says Combs. Until your laryngitis is clear, it's probably best to avoid these foods.
3. Raw foods. Foods like raw vegetables can be difficult to swallow, often aggravating throat pain in people with laryngitis, explains Combs. If you're looking to get your veggie fix while you have laryngitis, boiled vegetables are the way to go. "All kinds of boiled vegetables are good foods to eat with laryngitis because they're easier to chew and softer to swallow," he says.
On that note, blending veggies into a smoothie could also be a way to get veggies down your fussy throat.
4. Spices and spicy foods. If you're craving a spicy dish, you're better served by holding off until you've recovered from your laryngitis. The Mayo Clinic recommends staying away from spicy foods when you have a sore throat, as they can cause irritation.
"When you swallow spicy foods, they're going to aggravate the inflamed tissues in your throat and make the pain worse," Combs adds.
Other Laryngitis Remedies
Besides foods and beverages, there are other potential remedies and treatments that vary by what's causing your laryngitis, says Combs. "If your laryngitis is caused by bacteria, it's important to be taking the right antibiotics, which can be prescribed by your doctor," he explains.
If it's caused by a virus, however, antibiotics will not help, Combs notes. Then, the best measures to take, he says, are supportive ones, such as resting, drinking fluids and eating soft foods.
Laryngitis can also be caused by reflux, Combs says. "For someone who is having laryngitis due to reflux, taking an antacid can help decrease acid buildup in the stomach that could be causing the laryngitis," he explains.