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9 Worst Foods for Cold and Flu

Flu season has arrived. It’s time to break out the sweaters, stock up on oranges, and get your annual flu shot.

Preventative measures will go a long way in safeguarding you against colds and flu, but it does not mean you are immune.

When the sniffles arrive, it helps to pay attention to what you are eating and drinking. We all know that ceain foods can alleviate symptoms and even help speed your recovery, but others can actually make you feel worse. In light of this, Eat This, Not That! released a repo Tuesday that listed some of the worst foods you can eat when fighting a cold or flu. Here we look at nine of those items:

  1. Candy. Sugar can cause inflammation, which in turn can compromise your body’s immune system, making it harder to fight infection. If you are feeling under the weather it is best to pass on the candy, which is packed with sugar.
  2. Strawberries. Strawberries are touted as a superfood, so how could they be bad for colds and flu? This berry is actually a histamine releaser, which can stimulate mucus that contributes to congestion and stuffiness.
  3. Milk. When you have a cold, the last thing you want to do is stimulate the production of mucus, which dairy does. If that is not reason enough to ditch the milk, consider this: Dairy can cause harmful allergens to remain in your system longer because of its ability to thicken mucus.
  4. Coffee. Coffee may seem like the perfect pick-me-up when you are feeling tired and run down, but if you have a cold or flu it’s best to skip the java. Caffeine can dehydrate the body, which can affect the way the immune system functions. Skip the coffee and drink water instead.
  5. Bread. Toast is one of the easiest and most convenient things to eat when you are feeling ill but if you have even a slight sensitivity to gluten, ditch the bread. Wheat can cause inflammation, which triggers the body to produce more mucus.
  6. Chili peppers. They may be packed with vitamin C, but chili peppers are definitely something you want to avoid if you are fighting a cold or flu. Spicy foods can irritate the nasal passages and cause your body to produce more mucus.
  7. Papayas. Like strawberries, papaya is a powerful histamine-releasing fruit, which can cause your nasal passages to swell and lead to congestion.
  8. Red Meat. Cold and flu are often accompanied by feelings of nausea, and over-the-counter flu medicine can fuher cause digestive issues. Add meat into the equation and you are asking for trouble. Fatty food is the last thing you want to eat when your stomach is bothering you and red meat tends to have a high fat content.
  9. Oranges. Citrus food has a high amount of vitamin C, which boosts the body’s immune system, but they may also irritate the throat, especially if you have a cold and already are having difficulty swallowing.

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9 Foods to Avoid If You Have A Cold or Flu