When you are sick with the cold or flu, it is of vital importance that you work on your diet. You want to make sure you are constantly eating not only a balanced diet that contains all the proper nutrients, but also one that excludes foods that can make your illness worst.
This can be difficult for some because the cold and flu has a way of making us miserable and when we don’t feel good, we tend to seek comfort. It can be easy to find this comfort in our favorite food, but you have to remember that greasy slice of pizza will only bring you momentary relief, and will most likely worsen your overall condition.
It may be challenging but try to focus on eating nutrient dense foods like homemade chicken noodle soup or a hot vegetable stew complete with vitamin C rich bell peppers. There are many different foods and dishes to rely on when you’re feeling sick, and they can easily turn into comfort foods if you know what you’re doing.
And you don’t have to avoid all of your routine comfort foods either; just learn how to spot the really bad ones and use them sparingly. Below are 5 of the worst foods to avoid when you’re suffering from the cold or flu.
1. Greasy Foods
This can be a hard one to give up, not only because many of our favorite foods like pizza or pakora are fried and greasy, but also because they’re easy to prepare or obtain. The ease of access is what really makes greasy food difficult to give up when you’re sick. It can be hard to motivate yourself to cook properly if you’re feeling under the weather and have to rely on yourself.
But it’s important to avoid greasy food because it can be difficult to breakdown in your stomach and gastrointestinal system. When you’re sick, your body needs to dedicate all of its resources to breaking down foods and extracting nutrients. You don’t want to make things more difficult for your already overburdened system.
2. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol
As a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid consuming foods that can cause you to become dehydrated. Caffeine and alcohol both fit this bill, which is why it’s dangerous to consume them while sick. When you’re sick, it’s harder to retain water; your body tends to sweat and emit fluids constantly. That’s why the liquid you should be consuming most of the time is simple water.
But tea and alcohol are also cures used in many home remedies. They have legitimate uses for easing the symptoms that you’re suffering from. So, you don’t have to avoid them entirely, but do try and limit their use.
3. Dairy Products
It can be very difficult for some people to give up dairy products while they’re sick. People who tend to like dairy never want to stop eating it (talking to the cheese lovers out there). Unfortunately, consuming dairy can cause your body to generate mucus in the nose and lungs, which can make it difficult to breathe at a time when breathing is of the upmost importance.
4. Sugary foods and drinks
The first thing most people turn to when they’re sick is a vitamin C dense fruit drink like orange juice. Vitamin C is a well-known immune system booster so it makes sense that you would want to ingest some when you are suffering from a cold or flu. Most store-bought vitamin C drinks also contain lots of excess sugar and sometimes even have the majority of their nutrients filtered out. Make your own homemade juice to avoid this. The extra sugars are especially bad because they can inflame your immune system and cause extra damage to your body while ill.
5. Difficult to digest grains
As previously mentioned, the flu can be hard on your stomach and digestive system. That means certain type of grains that are very high in fiber should be avoided. You may be dedicated to your rye bread, but when you’re sick is not the time to burden your digestive system. Try to eat simple grains that are low in fiber and are easy to digest such as saltine crackers, toast, or low fiber noodles.