The Healing Power of Pho: Can It Help You When You’re Sick?

Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup that has gained popularity worldwide due to its delicious taste and nourishing properties. Many people claim that is pho good for you when sick, but is there any truth to this? In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of consuming pho when you are feeling under the weather.

What is Pho?

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese dish made up of rice noodles, broth, herbs, and meat (usually beef or chicken). The broth is simmered for hours with spices like cinnamon, star anise, and coriander, which give it its signature flavor.

How Does Pho Benefit Your Health?

How Does Pho Benefit Your Health
How Does Pho Benefit Your Health

Pho has several ingredients that are beneficial for your health, especially when you are sick. Here are some of the ways that pho can help:


One of the most important things to do when you’re sick is to stay hydrated. Pho broth contains water, electrolytes, and other nutrients that can help replenish fluids lost due to fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Immune-Boosting Properties

Pho contains several herbs and spices that have immune-boosting properties. For example, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce cough and sore throat. Star anise is rich in antioxidants that can fight off infection and boost your immune system.


Protein is essential for repairing tissues and building new ones. Pho contains meat, which is a good source of protein, especially when you are sick and need to rebuild your body’s strength.

Vitamins and Minerals

Pho contains several vitamins and minerals that are essential for your health. For example, the herbs used in pho contain vitamin C, which is important for boosting your immune system.

Pros and Cons of Consuming Pho When Sick

Pros and Cons of Consuming Pho When Sick
Pros and Cons of Consuming Pho When Sick

Before consuming pho when you’re sick, it’s important to weigh its benefits and drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons:


  • Hydration: Pho broth is a good way to stay hydrated when you’re sick.
  • Immune System Support: The herbs and spices used in pho can help boost your immune system.
  • Protein: Pho contains meat, which is a good source of protein for repairing tissues.


  • High Sodium Content: Pho broth can be high in sodium, which can exacerbate symptoms like swelling or high blood pressure.
  • Fat Content: The meat used in pho can be high in fat, which may not be suitable for those with digestive issues.
  • Allergies: Some people may be allergic to certain ingredients used in pho, like herbs or spices.

Alternatives to Pho When Sick

Alternatives to Pho When Sick
Alternatives to Pho When Sick

If you’re not a fan of pho, or if you’re looking for other options when you’re sick, here are some alternatives:

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a classic comfort food that many people turn to when they’re sick. It contains similar ingredients to pho, like broth, protein, and vegetables.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is made by simmering bones (usually chicken or beef) with water and other ingredients like vegetables and herbs. It’s rich in nutrients like collagen, which can support your immune system and aid in digestion.

Miso Soup

Miso soup is a traditional Japanese dish made up of fermented soybean paste, seaweed, and tofu. It’s low in calories and high in protein, making it a good option when you’re sick.

Tips for Consuming Pho When Sick

Tips for Consuming Pho When Sick
Tips for Consuming Pho When Sick

If you decide to consume pho when you’re sick, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a low-sodium broth to avoid exacerbating symptoms like swelling or high blood pressure.
  • Request extra herbs like ginger or cilantro to boost the immune-boosting properties of the soup.
  • Avoid adding too much sriracha sauce, which can irritate your throat and exacerbate symptoms like coughing.

Is Pho Good for You When Sick?

So, is pho good for you when sick? This answer is Pho is a tasty and nutritious dish that can offer several benefits when you’re sick. However, it’s important to weigh its pros and cons and consider alternatives if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions. If you do choose to consume pho, opt for a low-sodium broth and request extra herbs to boost its immune-boosting properties.


1. Is pho good for a sore throat?

Yes, pho can be good for a sore throat because it contains ingredients like ginger and star anise, which have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

2. Can pho help with a cold?

Yes, pho can help with a cold because it contains nutrients like protein and vitamins that can support your immune system. The warmth of the broth can also alleviate symptoms like congestion and coughing.

3. What kind of meat is typically used in pho?

The most commonly used meats in pho are beef and chicken. However, some restaurants may also offer variations with pork or seafood.

4. Is pho a good option for those with digestive issues?

It depends on the individual’s digestive issues. Pho can be high in fat and sodium, which may not be suitable for some people. It’s best to speak with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to determine if pho is a good option for your specific dietary needs.

5. Can vegetarians or vegans consume pho?

Yes, vegetarian and vegan versions of pho are available that use vegetable broth and ingredients like tofu or mushrooms instead of meat. However, it’s essential to check with the restaurant or recipe to ensure that all ingredients are suitable for a vegetarian or vegan diet.

About Yen Le

Welcome to Bunker Vietnamese, a website dedicated to exploring the diverse world of Vietnamese cuisine. As a proud Vietnamese-American, my passion for cooking and sharing my cultural heritage has led me to create this platform. Join me on this culinary journey and discover the vibrant flavors and textures that make Vietnamese food so unique and delicious.

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