Skip to content

The One Food to Eat After Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine, Says Science

There’s a reason you crave this food when you’re not feeling so great.

Feeling under the weather after getting the COVID-19 vaccine? When we're not feeling 100%, it's common to turn to the foods that always comfort us and make us feel better—like a mug of steaming tea or a bowl of chicken soup. If this is something you're craving, take this as your sign to reach for those things. Why? Because chicken soup is the best food to eat after getting the vaccine.

Here's why chicken soup truly is for the soul, and for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Your body will be in a state of inflammation post-vaccine.

According to the CDC, you may experience some adverse side effects of taking the COVID-19 vaccine. While this doesn't happen for everyone, some vaccine patients have mentioned experiencing side effects for a few hours after taking the vaccine, including fevers, chills, tiredness, and a headache.

In a Q&A with Cleveland Clinic, Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, says that these side effects are coming from inflammation that is happening within your body. Your body is reacting to the spike protein and is working to fight off the simulated infection. Sore arms, fevers, muscle aches are all common when your immune system is fighting something.

This is why eating immune-boosting foods is important for your recovery, particularly foods with a high-water content. The CDC also states that drinking plenty of fluids is important for recovery after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. This means any anti-inflammatory foods that can also hydrate your body will help immensely with your recovery—especially these 8 Best Foods To Eat Before and After Getting the COVID Vaccine.

Soup is a great anti-inflammatory food to turn to.

In particular, broth-based soup—like chicken noodle, minestrone, or a simple bone broth—is a great food to slurp on if you're feeling under the weather. Plus, if your soup is full of good immune-boosting foods (like kale, beans, lentils, potato, broccoli) you're giving your immune system even more of a boost with that meal.

This brings us back to the trusty ol' chicken soup. If you have to pick any soup to have after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, chicken soup would be your best bet. According to CHEST Journal, chicken soup actually does have "beneficial medicinal activity" when consumed and has a "mild anti-inflammatory effect" on the body. While it's unclear which particular element of the soup is helpful, The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine says that including all of those classic elements (chicken, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, salt, and pepper) have been proven to help fight inflammatory infection.

If you don't necessarily feel like eating anything, sipping on a cup of bone broth can also be a great substitute. According to Healthline, bone broth contains an amino acid called glycine and arginine, which have strong anti-inflammatory effects.

So whether it be a steaming cup of bone broth or a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup, be sure to treat yourself to this best food to eat after getting the vaccine. Especially if you're making our Cozy Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe.

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, with a main focus on food coverage, nutrition, and recipe development. Read more