Ice Cream and Sore Throats

August 12, 2022

Is Ice Cream Beneficial for Soothing a Sore Throat?

When dealing with a sore throat, various factors can contribute to the discomfort. It could be the aftermath of throat surgery, a common cold or flu, or seasonal allergies causing irritation. Regardless of the cause, indulging in some ice cream might bring a smile to your face. But does ice cream actually help with sore throats?

The answer is subjective and depends on the underlying cause of your sore throat. Some evidence suggests that for patients recovering from throat surgery, ice cream can alleviate pain. A study conducted in 2020 discovered that ice cream provided relief for patients who underwent tonsillectomy. While further research is needed, enjoying a scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor might offer some reprieve and make you feel better.

However, what if you’re trying to cut back on sugar, have a dairy allergy, or simply don’t like ice cream? What other options are there when you have a sore throat? It’s common for people to wonder about the best ways to treat a sore throat and what foods and drinks are suitable. Here, we provide some answers to these common questions.


Are Cold or Hot Foods More Effective for Relieving a Sore Throat?

The answer is both! Depending on the cause of your sore throat, consuming cold or hot foods can offer relief. Cool foods and drinks have a numbing effect on the nerve endings in your throat, thereby reducing pain signals. Cold food also helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the throat, providing a more comfortable experience. Cold foods can be especially helpful if swallowing or breathing through the mouth is challenging.

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On the other hand, warm drinks stimulate salivation and help lubricate the throat. Warm teas and beverages often contain ingredients like honey and lemon, known to have healing properties. There are several types of teas that are recommended for soothing a sore throat. Consider trying one of the following:

  • Slippery elm tea
  • Licorice root tea
  • Horehound tea
  • Chamomile tea
  • Turmeric tea
  • Green tea

When determining what to consume when dealing with a sore throat, it’s crucial to consider the underlying cause. Sore throats can stem from various factors, including viral or bacterial infections, or unknown causes. Symptoms typically start off mild and gradually worsen over a few days. They may include pain in the roof of the mouth or behind the ears, along with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, joint pains, and loss of appetite.


What Are the Recommended Foods and Drinks for Soothing a Sore Throat?

If ice cream isn’t your thing or you have a dairy intolerance, there are other suitable options for easing a sore throat. As a general rule, opt for soft foods that are gentle on the throat. It’s crucial to stay hydrated when dealing with a sore throat and avoid anything that might irritate it further. Here are some of the best food choices when you have a sore throat:

1. Oatmeal

Oats are an excellent choice for sore throats due to their high fiber content. Additionally, oatmeal is low in fat and calories, making it a healthy option. Prepare a warm bowl of oatmeal and add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey for extra flavor.

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2. Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics, which can help boost your immunity. For added taste, consider mixing in some vanilla extract.

3. Broth

Broths, such as chicken or vegetable broth, are rich in nutrients and minerals. They make for a great addition to sore throat meals, providing nourishment and comfort.

Other options include warm pasta, macaroni and cheese, gelatin desserts, mashed potatoes, and cooked vegetables like kale, broccoli, and red onions. Kale, broccoli, and red onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may assist in fighting colds. While research on its efficacy is still relatively new, it shows promise. Avocados are another excellent choice for a sore throat. They are rich in healthy fats, super soft, and packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Preparing avocados is also quick and easy.


What Should You Avoid Eating or Drinking with a Sore Throat?

When dealing with a sore throat, it’s advisable to refrain from consuming certain foods. These include:

  • Raw meat
  • Citrus fruits
  • Spicy food
  • Crackers
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol

Raw meats, such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, shellfish, and organ meats, can harbor bacteria that can worsen a sore throat. If you choose to consume raw meat, make sure to cook it thoroughly and thoroughly wash your hands afterward.

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes, tangerines, and pomelos contain citric acid, which can irritate your throat. It’s best to reduce your intake of citric acid by opting for water instead of soda or juice.

Spicy foods, including hot peppers, chilies, curry, cayenne pepper, paprika, and horseradish, can cause a burning sensation in the mouth and exacerbate a sore throat.

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Home Remedies for Soothing a Sore Throat

You can also try several effective home remedies to alleviate a sore throat without needing to visit a store. Here are some of the most recommended remedies:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Gargle with warm salt water
  • Use throat lozenges
  • Consume honey
  • Use a humidifier
  • Take a steam shower
  • Consider over-the-counter pain relief medications and antihistamines, depending on the cause of your sore throat. If it’s due to acid reflux, an antacid may provide relief. Always consult your doctor before taking any medications for a sore throat to determine the underlying cause.

Ice cream may not be a miraculous cure for a sore throat, but it can certainly help alleviate some of the pain. Remember to listen to your body, rest, and seek appropriate medical care when necessary. For more information about the best foods to eat with a sore throat, check out our Family Cuisine blog.


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