What foods should you avoid when you are ill?

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What foods should you avoid when you are ill?
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When you are ill or tired, especially when you have the cold or the flu, some foods can help us to get better while others can have the opposite effect and make our symptoms worse.  Here are 7 foods to avoid when you are ill. 

1) Dairy products and cheese

At the first signs of a cold or an ear infection, it is recommended that you avoid dairy products which includes cheese.  These products are rich in lactose which increases mucus production make nasal congestion worse.  The fats found in these products weigh down our digestive system which needs to produce more mucus to get rid of them.

2) Rough and acidic foods

If you are suffering from angina, pharyngitis or a cough and a sore throat then you should avoid eating foods that can irritate this area.  This includes rough foods like cereals, crisps, bread and anything else that is difficult to swallow… Instead you should eat more liquid or smooth meals like purees, soups and compotes.   At the same time you should avoid acidic foods if you are suffering from stomach related symptoms like a gastroenteritis or an ulcer.

3) Drinks that are too hot

If you have a habit of drinking your coffee or your tea really hot then you could risk aggravating your throat if you have a sore and inflamed throat.  If you’d like to take advantage of the benefits of tea you should drink them while they are just hot or lukewarm.

4) Sugary products

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Products that are rich in refined sugar which are found in cakes, biscuits and and processed food tend to weaken the immune system.  They can temporarily prevent the white blood cells from getting rid of microbes and the liver can struggle to eliminate the sugar.

5) Foods that are rich in gluten

Products that are rich in gluten like pasta, flour based products and bread can increase mucus production in our body.  This is why it is recommended that you avoid eating these food products especially if you have a cold.  Instead you should eat fruit and vegetables.

6) Fatty foods and products

Fatty foods fill our digestive system and lower the effectiveness of our immune system as 70% of our immune defenses are found in our intestine.  However if our immune defenses are weakend, it takes longer for our body to cure itself of the illness.

You should therefore avoid eating chips, fried food, pizzas, burgers, red meat, cream, cream based desserts, cold meat or refined oils…

7) Alcohol

Although alcohol is a drink and not a food product it is still important to mention that you should avoid drinking alcohol until you feel better.  In fact, alcohol contains ethanol which is a type of sugar which can slow down your metabolism.  The liver which doesn’t digest sugar well can struggle to get rid of toxins that sometimes are the cause of a virus.


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