While there are numerous sources out there for natural cold remedies (Vitamin C, garlic, ginger, hydration, chicken soup), it's also good to know which foods to avoid while sick or battling a cold or flu. By eliminating these foods, while hopefully consuming immune-boasting foods, you can recover more quickly and reduce the severity of your symptoms. Here are the TOP FIVE:
- Alcohol -- Alcohol weakens your immune system and dehydrates you. Both of these can make your illness more miserable. Grandma's Hot Toddy might clear things up for a short time, but take it easy and don't overdo it. Keep your body optimally hydrated to help your immune system functioning on high.
- Dairy Products -- Dairy products my be on the fence (in small portions), as consuming them may not aggravate while doing so to others (you could be one of the ''others''). Dairy products are known to increase mucus production, and mucus is one thing you don't need more of when you are sick. If cold water feels good on your throat, opt for a frozen fruit bar. These with numb your scratchy throat and deliver some useful vitamin C.
- Juice Drinks -- If you enjoy juicing and make your own 100% juices -- by all means, drink them. But if you reach for your run-of-the-mill orange juice when you're ill, you'd be better off without. Average juices are loaded with extra sugar and that sugar can reduce the ability of white blood cells to fight the invaders. Any benefits you might get from the vitamin C are nullified by the sugar inside. Avoiding sugar in general is a good idea at this time.
- Fried Foods -- Stay away from excess fats when you are sick. This goes for processed snacks and fried foods as a whole. Foods high in fat produce inflammation and inflammation produces a less active immune system.
- Fast Foods and Processed Foods -- It should be most obvious to steer clear of fast food and processed foods while fighting an illness. Fast food and most processed foods are devoid of nutritional value; that is, they hardly bring anything to the table in terms of boosting the immune system or amplifying your health potential. Not only are much of these foods made from genetically modified foods, but they also contain a slew of immune-suppressing ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, MSG, artificial colours and much more.
When you are sick -- stick with a diet of whole, fresh or frozen foods and plenty of liquids. Drink tea, eat soup (my favourite is Chicken Noodle soup with chopped Shitake Mushrooms - see photo), use spices like turmeric, ginger and garlic, consume some honey and nurse yourself back to health naturally. Generally, the worst symptoms of a cold or flu will only last a few days when you have a high functioning immune system. That's when your body ''rises to the threatening invasion'' and lets you know to rest by making you tired so it can fight with more reserve energy. Don't fight it...that's your body's job.