Before you give in to your cold cravings, make sure you're not eating any of the worst foods to eat when you're sick. Some foods actually aggravate cold and flu symptoms. The last thing you want to do is make yourself feel worse. Instead, reach for the standards such as soup, citrus fruits, crackers and ginger. If you avoid the worst foods to eat when you're sick, you might just avoid a worse upset stomach.
1. Sugary Treats
One of the absolute worst foods to eat when you're sick is super sugary treats. The higher the sugar level in a food, the worse you might feel. While chocolate might be a great comfort food, it may do more harm than good when you're sick. Too much sugar works against your immune system and may cause inflammation, making congestion worse. Opt for fruits or popsicles instead.
While some aren't bothered by milk and other dairy products, others have found it makes their mucus thicker. The best way to test this is to drink a small glass of milk and see how it affects you. If you end up more stuffy or congested, lay off the dairy until you feel better. Opt for water and broths in the meantime as they help thin mucus and are ideal for keeping you hydrated.
3. Fatty Foods
Junk food should definitely stay off the menu while you're sick. Any foods high in fat are much harder to digest. The result is often a worse upset stomach or even stomach pain. Since your body is already working overtime to deal with the illness, you don't have much energy to spare for difficult to digest foods. If you're craving fatty foods, limit the amount you eat and mix in healthier options to aid in digestion.
If you can't smell, eggs might not be a problem. If you are still able to breathe through your nose, the potent aroma of eggs is known for making an already upset stomach worse. The eggs themselves are probably good for you, but not if they make you vomit. For the most part, avoid any foods with strong odors that might make you queasy. You'll quickly be able to tell which foods top your list with just a sniff.
For the most part, alcohol isn't helpful when you're sick. It might make you feel better temporarily, but it upsets your stomach more than it helps. Since your body is already weak, it doesn't take much alcohol to make you sick or leave you with a nasty hangover. No one really wants to deal with that while they're already struggling through cold or flu symptoms. Opt for water instead to keep you hydrated.
Most of the fruit juice on the shelves is less than 50% real fruit juice. The rest is just water and sugar. Many juices only contain 10% or less. While the Vitamin C might be good for you, the extras in most fruit juices only make you feel worse. If you want to drink orange juice or any other fruit juice, only buy brands with 100% real fruit juice with no added sugars. Better yet, just buy some fresh fruit and eat those as a snack. You still get to indulge your sweet tooth while getting healthy fruit juice.
7. Fried Foods
The oil and grease in fried foods aren't ideal for an upset stomach. It may even make your congestion worse. Plus, most fried foods are full of fat. Even if you're frying foods in healthy oils, it might be best to hold off on all that crispy goodness for now. Try eating grilled foods instead or even just soups. Your stomach will thank you.
8. Spicy Foods
Spicy foods are great if you're just dealing a head cold as the heat helps alleviate nasal congestion. If you have any stomach problems, spicy foods only aggravate the problem. They result in added stomach pain and nausea. It's better to just drink water to help thin your mucus when your symptoms are below the neck. Your favorite spicy foods will just have to wait.
9. Acidic Foods
Try to avoid any highly acidic foods when you're sick. The acid often causes increased inflammation, causing your body to work even harder to heal itself. This is why some natural remedies, such as apple cider vinegar, are questionable as they agitate the stomach lining, making stomach symptoms worse. If you're not sure how an acidy food will react on your stomach, try eating only a small amount and waiting a few hours.
Everyone has foods they love and hate when they're sick. However, some foods are universally bad. Skip the things that'll just make you feel worse so you get better faster. What foods do you avoid when you're sick?