There are many natural foods which are used as home remedy for common cold and flu, like a cup of ginger tea, or turmeric milk, or bowl of chicken soup. But there are several foods that could be bad when you are feeling under the weather and could make your illness worse. Here are few foods you should completely avoid during cold and flu.
Simple and refined carbohydrates foods like breakfast cereals, cookies, soda etc. should be avoided during common cold. Simple and refined carbohydrates are broken down quickly into sugar in our body, which in turn affect the functioning of White blood cells and reduce the ability of our body to mop up viruses and bacteria.
Instead try complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread, beans, oats, grains, quinoa etc. How Sugar affects your Immune System?
Spicy foods are good for alleviating symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection or cold as these foods helps in clearing up the nasal passages. But having an upset stomach along with cold or flu can worsen your illness by making an already upset stomach worse.
Citrus fruits are good if you are having cold or flu. But the same citrus fruit juice can make you sicker during cold or flu, if you take it with added sugar or drink too much Vitamin C loaded juice. Excess of vitamin C can irritate your stomach lining and aggravate your upset stomach.
Sweets like doughnuts, chocolates, candies, even sweetened juice etc. are packed with refined sugars. Eating them during cold or flu, will further worsen your symptoms as the sugars in these sweets cause inflammation and weaken our body’s white blood cells. So try avoiding them until you get better.
Food Items containing artificial sweetener
Sugar free food items like sugar free candies usually contain sorbitol, which is not digestible and can result in stomach discomfort or even diarrhea. Besides stomach ailments, sorbitol can also cause headaches and worsening symptoms of common cold and flu. In spite of sorbitol, try natural honey or honey sweetened cough drops to get relief from itchy throat.
Alcohol affects our body’s immune system same as sugar. It causes inflammation and dehydration. If you are dehydrated during your illness, it can affect your mucous membranes in nasal cavities by reducing their capacity to flush out virus. Instead try water and tea.
Fatty foods worsen cold or flu by suppressing our immune system and causing inflammation. If you have upset stomach, try avoiding these foods as they are hard to digest by our digestive system.