What Not To Consume When You Have A Flu
Even though this is the era of the dreaded coronavirus, it is still important to note that as much it shares similar symptoms with the common cold, it ought to be treated differently.
So if you down with any or all of these –nasal congestion, muscle or body aches, fatigue, fever, cough, sore throat – you most likely have flu. As such there are simple things to bear in mind, even if you have been placed on medication. Some of which include your diet; there are certain foods that have been advised for you to stay away from.
Here’s a list of food you should stay away from until you are hale and hearty:
Hard To Digest Grains – like Rice!
The flu occasionally causes stomach upset, leading to nausea and diarrhoea, so you may be tempted to stick to bland foods. As much as this is a good idea, be mindful of how your stomach handles it.
Try to stick to easy to digest foods like simple or refined carbohydrates which are easy on your stomach and are most likely to be tolerated when you have the flu.
Also note that foods higher in fibre are also harder to digest so should be avoided.
If you have a sweet tooth – have a soft spot for eating all things sweet and sugary – then this may appear to be a huge task you have no choice but to face squarely.
According to Irvin Sulapas, MD, an assistant professor of sports medicine in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, “High sugar intake can suppress the immune system. The increased levels of sugar have the potential to inhibit the work of infection-fighting white blood cells.”
Furthermore, sugar increases the number of inflammatory markers called cytokines, which can create inflammation in the body. So, look for comfort anywhere else asides with too many sweet treats (that includes sweetened juice too) until you feel better.
Like sugar, alcohol causes inflammation and weakens white blood cells. It also has the effect of contributing to dehydration which you do not need, considering you are already letting out fluids due to the flu.
Hydration is key when you’re sick; because it helps the kidneys do their job of filtering waste from your body, so you can recover quickly. It also helps to decrease congestion by preventing your mucus from getting too dry so you are able to get it out of your body. You may also find that if you’re already mildly dehydrated from your illness, drinking alcohol can hit you harder than usual.
So rather than reach for a glass of whisky, opt for water instead until you’re feeling well.
If you are down with flu, you definitely would have a sore throat and any crunchy food with rough textures could irritate the throat even more and aggravate a cough or a sore throat.
Some crunchy foods include anything with sharp edges such as crackers, nuts, and even raw vegetables. Instead, stick with foods that have an easy to swallow texture. It has also been advised that doing a saltwater gargle can soothe an irritated throat and speed healing rather than grab a salty snack.
Hot and Spicy Foods
If you have cold or upper respiratory symptoms, there’s no need to say no to sauce or spicy foods like pepper soup as we traditionally turn to, right?
But even though it can actually help clear out your nasal passages thanks to its variety of highly nutritious ingredients, it also has the tendency to upset your stomach should already have ailments like Ulcer. So back down on the bowl of red hot chilli pepper sauce or pepper soup.
Milk or Any Dairy Product
Well, milk and dairy products may not prolong your cold, but it might make you feel uncomfortable. Although it doesn’t actually promote mucus production, there’s evidence that dairy makes your phlegm feel thicker and more irritating. According to Dr. David Kahana, board-certified Gastroenterologist with 1MD, “One common food to avoid is dairy, since it can disrupt the immune system”. And you need a strong immune system if you want to beat the flu.