Juice & Soda
Say what? Yep. Juice, even natural fruit juices have added sugars and can inhibit the production of white blood cells while your immune system is low. Opt for some herbal tea or water instead. And for those of you who confide in a sparkling glass of Ginger Ale when you have a stomach bug, perhaps go for some Ginger tea, which can help soothe a sensitive belly.
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Very specific, I know. But the higher fat content in red meat creates more mucus. The fats are more complex as well, making it difficult for your body in it’s weakened state to extract any real nutrients. Instead, try something high in protein like boiled eggs or fish. It sounds gross when your sick, but protein will help your body produce white blood cells.
Image courtesy of The Poultry Guide.
Even when you’re not sick, did you ever notice how dairy creates more mucus in the back of your throat? Just avoid all dairy products, including things you might not think of right away, such as butter, cream Popsicles, and creamer or half and half in your tea!
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Again, sugar is no good when you’re sick. Popsicles might seem like a good idea for a sore throat, but they can contain as much sugar as soda–YIKES! Instead, suck on ice cubes to soothe your aches and pains.
Image courtesy of Jessica Gavin.
Bacon is a type of cured meat, which contains fat, sugar, salt, and nitrites. The nitrites are the really scary part, because they really impact your health when your immunity is low. And actually, you really shouldn’t eat cured meats, because those nitrites are linked to cancer :/
Image courtesy of Butcher’s Best.
Soup is great when you’re sick, but again, avoid the dairy. Even if you don’t like chicken soup, and prefer cream-based soups, try to avoid it or you could be feeling worse. If chicken noodle or vegetable soup is really that repulsing to you, add a couple cloves of garlic. Garlic contains allicin, which helps the body protect itself against infections (and it makes everything taste good).
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You’ve heard of a nightcap when you’re sick to help you sleep, but really alcohol suppresses your immune system and will leave you feeling rough the next morning. Also, if you are pretty darn sick, you are likely taking some cold medication or over the counter drugs, which are almost always NOT recommended to be taken in combination with alcohol. Try some of that sweet, sweet, (but gross tasting) cold medicine to get you to sleep soundly.
Image courtesy of Huffington Post.
THE GREASE! It’s as bad as fat! Say hello to more phlegm and congestion. Also, there is no nutritional benefit to fried food, it can actually detract from your healing.
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I know…there goes your morning Joe. I was disappointed too. The caffeine in beverages such as coffee is difficult for our bodies to break down, just like complex fats.
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