Get better quicker: Avoid these foods when you’re sick

While there are natural medicines like oil of oregano and vitamin C that can build your immune system up to be an impenetrable fortress, there are other foods that break it down, leaving you as weak as a broken-down wall, prey to every germ on the horizon. It is as important to know which foods to avoid as it is to know which supplements and foods are important to maintaining your health.

The following are foods that should be avoided in general, but especially when you’re already sick.

  • Fried foods: Anything fried in an unhealthy oil is going to trigger inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s way of rushing to an area to deal with injury or disease. An example would be if you sprain your ankle, it will swell, feel painful and look bruised; that’s inflammation at work, healing the injured area. When your body has healed, the swelling will go down, the ankle won’t feel painful anymore, and the bruising will fade. Foods that cause inflammation, however, promote that effect in your gut on an ongoing basis, as if that swelling, bruising and pain never goes away. Chronic inflammation leads to disease, and should be avoided by eating correctly, managing or avoiding stress, and getting enough sleep.
  • Fizzy drinks: The sugar and sweeteners in soda are dangerous for multiple different reasons. For one thing, constantly elevated insulin levels put you at much higher risk of developing cancer. For another, sugar depletes your body’s levels of vital minerals like calcium and magnesium, just when you need them most for healing.
  • Red meat: If we were carnivores, we would have no problem with eating a lot of red meat, since meat eaters produce a sugar called N-Glycolylneuraminic acid
    (Neu5Gc) which helps to digest protein. Since we don’t have that special sugar, eating red meat triggers inflammation, which we’ve already seen is vital to avoid.
  • Dairy: Since dairy is difficult to digest, your body sometimes covers undigested particles in mucus. Of course, excess mucus is the last thing you need or want when you’re already fighting off a cold or the flu.
  • Soy: Another mucus-producer, soy should also be avoided. Much of the soy available in the U.S. is also genetically-modified, bringing with it all the health concerns of GMOs. Another reason to avoid soy is that it can cause dehydration, and it is vital to stay well hydrated when you’re ill.
  • Corn and gluten: Both gluten and corn are virtually indigestible, and when the body can’t digest something, it simply covers it in mucus.
  • Cheese: Many illnesses are associated with headaches, and since the proteins in cheese break down to form tyramine which causes increased headaches, it’s probably best to skip the cheese on that sandwich until you’re well again.
  • Red wine: If by this point you’re feeling like there’s virtually nothing you can eat or drink when you’re sick, it’s about to get worse. Though red wine actually offers a host of amazing health benefits, it’s best avoided when you’re ill because it is both dehydrating and contains tannins, which can cause headaches.

So, now that we’ve looked at which foods to avoid when you’re sick, let’s consider some of the best choices you can make to help get you up and about as quickly as possible.

  • Ginger: If you’re feeling nauseous make yourself some ginger tea; it will help you stay hydrated while settling your stomach.
  • Soup: Nothing is more soothing when you’re feeling really awful than a lovely, hydrating bowl of hot soup. Try to include some garlic in your broth, as its antimicrobial properties will help you to heal more quickly.
  • Honey: If you’re looking for relief from a sore throat, add a spoonful of honey to that ginger tea. Honey is also a powerful antimicrobial, which can help kill the bacteria making you sick in the first place.

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