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Experts say that our diet plays an important role when it comes to aggravating the common cold. The common cold is a mild infection of the upper respiratory tract which is usually harmless and resolve within a week. However, its symptoms such as blocked nasal cavities, runny nose, nagging headaches, sore throat, fatigue and discomfort can affect our day-to-day activities.
Certain foods contribute to worsening the condition and may cause infection of the respiratory tract. Such foods should be avoided if one is more prone to getting affected by the common cold.
According to Ayurveda, the curd is regarded as a Kapha food that tends to increase the mucus production in people with respiratory problems such as recurring common cold, asthma and sinus. Though curd is known to balance the gut microbiota, its large consumption, especially during winter and night can cause the common cold.
2. Soft Drinks
Soft drinks are cold and have high sugar content which makes them one of the worst foods to consume during the common cold. These foods may cause inflammation and reduce white blood cells count, causing a decrease in immune power.
Candies are filled with sugar and other artificial sweeteners which may decline the health by weakening the immune system. As we know the immune system helps fight various illnesses, consuming candies in large amounts can decline the immune power and cause the illness. Also, candies can lead to scratchy throat due to inflammation of the airways.
4. Fried Foods
Fried foods such as french fries, samosa and chicken strips are known to worsen the inflammation and aggravate the mucus production and other common cold symptoms due to the presence of fats and oils in the food. They may lower the functioning of the immune system and invite illnesses like the common cold.
Cheese has a bad reputation when it comes to the common cold. It is known to increase mucus production as well as make them thicker. This increases the congestion in the airways and worsens the condition. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid cheese if you are prone to the frequent cold.
6. Fast Foods
Market-based fast foods such as pizza, pasta and burger are the main sources of MSG, a flavour enhancer linked to diseases like obesity and diabetes. They tend to lower the immunity, making a person more susceptible to cold and flu.
7. Ice Creams
Ice creams induce inflammation in the body due to the cold temperature. This results in various common cold symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, cough and thick mucus production. They also weaken the immune system and may cause the cold.
Alcohol products like beer, tequila, gin and vodka have diuretic properties which can lead to dehydration. As we know, fluids are necessary to boost immunity, loosen the mucus and clear the pathogens from the body, loss of it can worsen the condition. Though a moderate amount of alcohol is considered good for the immune system, too much of it can negatively affect the body.
9. Processed Meat
Processed meat products such as bacon, beef, sausage and turkey can affect health in a negative way by causing inflammation and weakening the immune response. Though they are a good source of vitamin B12, their large quantity can decrease the antibody production against various illnesses, including the common cold.
10. Sugary products
Sugary products like muffins, cupcakes, pie and cookies are high in carbohydrates that slow down the body's ability to fight infection. They suppress the immune response against inflammatory reactions caused due to the common cold pathogens. This may make a person sick due to compromise of the immune system.
11. Fruits Juices
When fruits are converted into juices, the nutrients in them are lost. Also, the sugar in them (when added) weakens the immune system. Therefore, it is advisable to eat fruits directly and avoid adding sugar to them. Milkshakes are also known to cause inflammation.
12. Dairy Products
Dairy products consumption such as cold milk, butter, and buttermilk can increase mucus or phlegm production, especially in people who are prone to common cold or rhinovirus. Though warm milk with turmeric is good for immunity, cold milk and other dairy products can increase histamine levels which can lead to inflammation.
1. How long does a common cold last?
Common cold usually lasts for a week but may clear up when certain foods are avoided like fried foods, ice creams, fruit juices and processed meats as they tend to slow down the recovery and weaken the immune system.
2. How do you get rid of a cold fast?
Avoid foods that may worsen the common cold such as curd, soft drinks, candies, fried foods and alcohol.