Can Ice Cream Help COVID-19 Symptoms?

Actually, yes—especially if you have the Omicron variant. Finally, some sense.

It's extremely difficult to find the bright side in a pandemic, but that's exactly why it's important to focus on the little things. Case in point: Ice cream can be a big help for those with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, reports Eat This, Not That.

Eat This spoke with Robert G. Lahita MD, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Autoimmune and Rheumatic Disease at Saint Joseph Health, who explained the benefits of eating ice cream while experiencing COVID symptoms. "If you don't have diabetes, [eat] ice cream," said Lahita. "Something that will go past your [your throat] in an easy way."

I tested positive for COVID in December of 2020, and my worst symptom was, in fact, a sore throat. Because I live with someone that has lactose issues, I never considered eating ice cream as a way to relieve the pain in my throat. Thinking back, I'm not even sure I would've enjoyed the ice cream; my sense of taste had also left me. When you're stuck at home and not feeling well, comfort foods can be a big help—unfortunately, COVID symptoms can mess with that unique pleasure. Still, it's worth trying.

Lahita adds that, aside from just being a nice treat, ice cream has other benefits for those with COVID-19. For example, some COVID patients experience weight loss due to a lack of desire to eat. Ice cream can help with that. Ice cream also has a good amount of protein, which can help patients to feel full and satisfied.

If ice cream isn't for you, the doctor also recommends yogurt as an equally comforting alternative. With spikes in Omicron showing up everywhere, being fully vaccinated and boosted is the safest bet to ensure your symptoms remain mild if you do happen to get COVID. And for those who already have the virus, hopefully curling up on the couch with a big bowl of chocolate swirl will help you feel a little better.