What To Eat & Avoid When You’re Sick?

By Juliet D'cruz

Knowing what to eat and avoid is probably one of the most important things when you are sick. So read out this article to find out nutrition guide to deal with sickness.


With the onset of cold weather comes the time of seasonal illnesses. For example, with flu, sore throat, or acute respiratory disease (ARI), you need proper nutrition in addition to appropriate treatment. 

This will not only alleviate the symptoms of the disease but also accelerate recovery. So which foods are better to give up during illness and which ones to give preference to? Find out within this article.

Foods & Beverages To Avoid 

Certain foods can complicate the course of a seasonal cold or flu and hinder the functioning of the immune system. Therefore, you must avoid them not only for the duration of the illness but also after that. These products include:

  • Ready-Made Store Food

Containing various additives and preservatives forces the body, weakened by the disease, to spend additional energy on neutralizing their harmful effects. Such food is also overly saturated with salt, which retains water in the body and makes it difficult to eliminate toxins.

Thus, you must quit eating ready-made store foods, especially during cold weather when you are at risk of getting various infections. Instead, you must replace such food with well-cooked home food. It is not only nutritious but also a safer option in this pandemic.

  • Alcohol

Like coffee, it increases the burden on the heart, as well as on the liver. This organ then has to cleanse the blood not only of harmful substances formed in connection with the infection of the body and medications but also of the toxins contained in alcohol. 

It weakens a person’s immunity and makes him susceptible to diseases. Thus, if you abuse alcohol when sick or in general, it is high time that you get treatment for it because the number of deaths in the US, especially in the State of North Carolina, is on the rise due to alcohol intoxication.

There are many options to choose from for recovery; however, getting detox is the first step to break the cycle of addiction. North Carolina or NC detox centers provide the best treatments and make sure that you return home fully recovered with better immunity to fight diseases.

  • Fried Dishes

Due to the large amount of fat they contain, it becomes difficult for the body to digest fried foods. This food requires additional energy, which during illness must be directed to fight microbes. 

It means that you must avoid eating fried dishes, especially when you have a cold or flu. Besides, it is better to steam, roast, or bake the food instead of frying as such food loses all its nutrients in deep frying.

  • Cheese And Dairy Products

Rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D, they are very beneficial in everyday life. However, in the case of inflammatory processes in the nasopharynx, it is better to refuse these food products. The reason is that dairy products tend to increase the formation of mucus and thereby worsen the course of the disease. In a normal routine, too, you must not overuse dairy products for better health.

  • Pastries And Sweets

It is not recommended due to the high content of harmful carbohydrates and fats. In addition, refined carbohydrates (sugar, white wheat flour, rice, soft wheat pasta) slow down the immune system. For the same reason, you should refrain from store-bought juices with added sugar.

  • Coffee And Foods Containing Caffeine

Drinking coffee in moderation improves the immune system. However, doctors advise against consuming this and other caffeine-containing drinks during illness, especially at high temperatures due to the increased load on the heart, which is already great during this period. 

Among other things, caffeinated drinks can disrupt sleep, which is absolutely necessary for successfully resisting the flu or acute respiratory infections.

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What To Eat During Illness?

For a successful fight against flu and colds, it is important not only to know which foods are harmful but also to understand which foods to eat. There are a number of foods that have been shown to alleviate illness and stimulate the immune system.

  • Warm Beverages

Providing the body with enough fluid is one of the most important conditions for successfully resisting seasonal colds and flu. In addition, a warm drink helps to cope with the temperature, promotes the early elimination of toxins from the body, moisturizes the mucous membranes, and facilitates the course of the disease. 

Any drinks that do not contain caffeine, harmful additives, and an excessive amount of sugar will be useful. Some beneficial beverages include water, herbal teas with antiseptic properties, freshly made juices, and rosehip infusion. The main limitation should be the temperature of the drink. It should neither be too cold or hot as both irritate the mucous membranes and increase the inflammatory process.

  • Protein-Rich Foods

Protein-rich foods are essential for maintaining the immune system. Proteins contribute to the production of lymphocytes, whose task is to destroy disease-causing organisms. During illness, lean poultry meat (turkey meat is especially useful), rabbit, fish are beneficial.

 Lean chicken soup or broth has anti-inflammatory properties, which, in addition, performs two functions at once: provides the body with nutrients and acts as a warm drink.

  • Fruits And Vegetables

By providing the body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, contribute to the more efficient functioning of the immune system. Of the vegetables, cabbage (broccoli, cauliflower, or white cabbage) is especially useful, which has antibacterial properties. In addition, fruits containing vitamin C (citrus fruits, kiwi, and cranberries) help to overcome the disease faster.

  • Garlic

Due to the antibacterial and antiviral properties of this product, nutritionists distinguish it (along with onions) as a particularly effective remedy for combating seasonal diseases. Garlic strengthens the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells.

  • Honey

Another great food item that allows you to cope with viral and bacterial infections quickly is honey. Honey has an antiseptic effect, so it softens an irritated throat, stimulates blood circulation, and helps to speed up the healing process.

Bottom Line

When you are sick, you need to eat food in small portions without overloading the body and not distracting its strength from the fight against infection. It should also be borne in mind that proper nutrition alone is not a guarantee of a successful recovery. In addition, bed rest, sleep, and fulfilling the doctor’s orders are important. 

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