Italian foods for when you are sick

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This week I’ve been pretty sick and nothing sounds good at all.   The mere mention of any food is enough to turn my face green.  Lovely I know.

But this got me thinking… what foods are good when a person is sick? Specifically what Italian foods?

This really depends on the type of sickness.   If you have a cold and do not have full access to your taste and smell sensors, you might as well stick to more bland options.  

Bland may not be the right word, perhaps less colorful.   For example, my fried chicken cutlets recipe may be good.  Or you could try a basic pasta recipe.

But the best which we all know is homemade chicken soup.  If you don’t have your own stock, use stock from the store but watch the sodium content that it isn’t too high.   What is it about chicken soup that makes us all feel so comforted?   I just don’t know.

Another idea is kale soup.   I know what you are thinking – kale?!    Actually yes – Kale.   Kale is very healthy for you and I swear it’s benefits are enormous.  My husband makes the best kale soup.  Ironically, he’s not a fan of kale soup.   I am.  

The goal with these soups are to make them as loaded as possible with nutrients.  Now, I totally am aware that the more you boil the veggies the more nutrients are lost.   But do they just disappear or go into the broth?   I’m asking because I don’t know.

Kale Soup

Either way, all I can say is these soups work.  It was 3 days before my sister’s wedding and she was sick.  I made her kale soup and she was well by the big day.   Not 100% recovered, but enough to fly through the day at full force.  

I can’t help but believe my soup helped.  

Other options are bread.  I don’t have a bread recipe, although you could make some homemade bread with a bread machine or using a food processor.   Bread is great for dipping in the above soups.    Oh gosh especially in the kale soup.    You just must check out my recipe. 

Ok, what about when you are dealing with morning sickness?   This obviously applies to women, but men listen up because because depending on the severity you might be doing much of the cooking. 

I would suggest bland grains.   Cream of wheat comes to mind which brings me to polenta.    Anything that is easy on the stomach.   But make sure she gets protien so try grains such as quinoa which is a protien powerhouse.

Whenever sick, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to avoid heavy foods which are hard to digest.   Meat is a good example.   It takes the body a lot of energy and effort to process meat through your system. 

However, it takes much less energy to process fresh foods such as veggies, fruit, broth etc.   Since you need as much energy as you can get, avoid the heavy foods and stick to lighter ones.

Here’s to your health…

Easy Italian Recipes


  1. There is no doubt about it, good old chicken soup is certainly a winner when someone is feeling ill. I am going to make your husband’s kale soup, I like kale but have never thought of making it into a soup, so that is definitely a must try for me.
    Love your site Liz, great recipes. Hmmm, love Italian cooking.

  2. Hi about what happens to the nutrients in vegetables when cooked, its actually a combination of both. You lose some like vitamin A and vitamin C because they are heat sensitive and start breaking down when heated over around 120°f. Others are are dissolved into the broth or bound to any fats in the soup, but those you’ll get when you drink the broth. Hope that helps explain some

  3. Hi Steven,

    Great comment and very true. But there are still some nutrients and the warm broth is great to digest. If possible when making soups I try to cook at a low temp for a longer time (unless it has meat then I cook that then lower the temp) and keep as many nutrients as possible. Thanks! 🙂

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