You’ve done everything you can think of to prevent it, but it happens anyway — you get sick with the cold or the flu. It might be tempting to run to your comfort foods to make you feel better, but that may not be the best thing for your body as it’s fighting off an infection.
Research suggests that eating foods that are low in nutrients but high in sugar, refined starches and saturated and trans fats can hamper the immune system.
With that in mind, here are a few foods that you should try to avoid when you’re under the weather:
Alcohol and Sugary Beverages: Staying hydrated is a must, so avoid alcohol, as it actually dehydrates you. And take a break from sugar-sweetened beverages, too, since they can scale up inflammation. Instead, opt for water, broth, or herbal teas to keep you hydrated.
Fried & Spicy Foods: Fried and spicy food may taste great, but they can be hard to digest during times the body is under stress. It’s best to stick to simple, easy to digest food that also nourishes.
Dairy Products (for some): You may have heard that dairy increases mucus production (especially important when fighting a cold). In truth, there’s no hard evidence to support this theory, but as this study points out, a small subset of the population may have issues. So if dairy makes your congestion worse, skip it until you are all better.
Cake, cookies, candy, etc.: You may enjoy eating them, but cake and cookies contain immune-suppressing sugar and fat. Instead, satisfy your sweet craving with fruit & veggie smoothies or fruit juice popsicles that are full of vitamins and also help with hydration. You’ll be glad you did it when you are on the road to recovery.