Cold and Flu Fighting Volume (4) – (Article 4 of 4)

Cold and Flu Fighting Volume (4) – (Article 4 of 4)

by Dr. Marli Botha

You know the drill. Drink plenty of fluids. Add ginger to the menu when nausea strikes. Get as many nutrients into your body as you can, even if they’re only in liquid form at first. And once you finally work your way back to solid foods again. Easy peasy, right? Well, not so much. There are some otherwise healthy foods that have a reputation for making an already sick person feel worse because they exacerbate or prolong symptoms in some way.

Here are 5 fluid/food types to avoid when you’re already feeling ill:

  1. Between elevated temperatures and increased sweating, dehydration is something to be cautious of when you have a fever. Caffeine and alcohol can make your symptoms worse – especially stomach-related symptoms.
  2. Depending on the severity of your sore throat, foods that are rough or jagged in texture (like raw vegetables) may be harder to swallow and cause further irritation.
  3. The flu occasionally causes you to have an upset stomach, so sticking with foods that are easy to digest like simple/refined carbohydrates is recommended. Foods like dry saltine crackers, toast and pretzels are easy on your stomach and are most likely to be tolerated when you have the flu. That being said, foods that are higher in fibre are also harder to digest, so we’d recommend avoiding them at first.
  4. Dairy foods contain lactose, which the stomach breaks down with the help of a digestive enzyme called lactase. Eating dairy when your stomach’s already feeling sickly can intensify symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain.
  5. The longer foods age, the more histamine they produce, with cheeses like Gouda, Swiss and Parmesan topping the list of offenders. The histamine consumed in those cheeses may cause the blood vessels in the brain to dilate, triggering a headache (or worsening one).

It is important to mention that no food is meant to be a cure-all for any condition, though there are certainly health and skin benefits contained within them. The one thing you should always do before using a new skin care product is to do a patch test to look for allergies and sensitivities.

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