6 Foods To Avoid When Sick (Number 2 Will Shock You)

6 Foods You Should Avoid When Sick

All humans, at a point in time, get sick. In order to stay strong when down with flu or illness, there are some important types of foods you should avoid, in order for the illness not to worsen. These foods make it hard for the body to recover quickly.

This article provides details on foods to avoid when sick. Below are six foods and beverages you should avoid when you’re sick so you can get better faster.


1.  COFFEE

When you should skip it: If you have any type of illness, but especially a stomach bug.

Why it makes you feel worse: The caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, which can make you urinate a lot and leave you dehydrated.

That’s bad news when you’re battling a virus or other infection, since getting enough hydration helps your immune system fight more effectively, says Kristine Arthur, M.D., an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

Caffeine is even worse when you’re dealing with vomiting or diarrhea since both can cause you to lose fluid. Taking in extra caffeine on top of that will only make that dehydration worse.  Plus, caffeine can actually stimulate the muscles in your digestive tract and make your diarrhea more intense, Arthur says.

2. ORANGE JUICE

When you should skip it: If you have a cough or a sore throat.

Why it makes you feel worse: Orange juices tart acidity is usually refreshing. But when you have a cough or cold, it can hurt your throat.

“It contains citric acid, which irritates the lining of your already-inflamed throat,” says Taz Bhatia, M.D., professor of integrative medicine at Emory University and author of What Doctors Eat.

This means your throat will hurt more and take longer to heal.

3. SWEETS

When you should skip it: If you have any type of illness, but especially a stomach bug.

Why it makes you feel worse: Eating refined sugar can temporarily suppress your white blood cells’ ability to fight off bacteria, says Arthur.

For a few hours after snacking on cookies, candy, or sugary cereal, your immune system is weaker. As a result, it’s less efficient at fighting off the germs that brought about your illness. Refined sugar poses even more of a problem when you’re dealing with a stomach bug.

“Sugar tends to pull fluid out of the GI tract, which can lead to loose, watery stools and diarrhea,” Arthur mentioned.

4. SODA

When to skip it: If you have any type of illness, but especially a stomach bug.

Why it makes you feel worse: Like coffee, caffeinated sodas are dehydrating.

And they’re loaded with sugar that suppresses your immune system and messes with your GI tract, says Arthur. If water just isn’t appealing, try a lower-sugar drink with rehydrating electrolytes—like a sports drink or coconut water, says Arthur. Diet soda is off-limits, too.

“Many artificial sweeteners are large molecules, which are hard to break down and digest well,” Arthur says. This can cause bloating, cramping, and even diarrhea. In other words, it just makes whatever stomach symptoms you’re already experiencing get worse.

5. CRUNCHY SNACKS

When to skip them: If you have a cough or a sore throat.

Why they make you feel worse: The abrasive texture of snacks like potato chips, granola, or even crispy toast will feel like sandpaper on your raw throat, Bhatia says.

And it doesn’t just feel lousy: The more you irritate your throat, the longer it’ll take to heal too. So, you might end up actually prolonging your misery.

6. FRIED OR FATTY FOODS

When to skip it: If you have a stomach bug.

Why it makes you feel worse: “Fatty foods take longer to move through the digestive system, which can make nausea worse and trigger acid reflux,” Bhatia says.

And because they also trigger muscle spasms in your intestinal tract, they can make diarrhea worse. Save the burger and fries for when you’re feeling better.

All these are foods you should really avoid when recuperating from an illness.


Stay healthy!

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