As the temperatures change suddenly, Winter’s challenge is to stay away from colds and flus which many of us find hard to avoid. Most people don’t realise how important the right diet is to prevent and treat colds and how the wrong diet can prolong the cold longer than necessary. Less sick days means more productive days!
Many patients that have a cold or flu are eating the wrong foods. Here we discuss the foods to avoid when you are suffering from a cough, sore throat or flu. These are all different in nature and the foods we must stay clear of when we have a cough or flu.
In Chinese Medicine, foods are classified as either hot, cold or neutral in nature. This means it can cause inflammation and heat in the body, cause phlegm or essentially cool the body down chemically.
Here we discuss foods to avoid for different types of flus:
RUNNY NOSE – at the early onset of a runny nose or cold you can take ginger, garlic and some hot tea to prevent it getting worse. A warm bath and getting under the covers with plenty of blankets to sweat it out help.
SORE THROAT – if you are suffering from a sore throat, avoid anything spicy and sweet foods. This includes garlic, horseradish, fennel, onions and red meat. We should be eating more cooling foods like fresh green vegetables, lemon, honey, apples, pears, peppermint, fish etc. whilst drinking plenty of fluids, aim for 3L a day.
DRY COUGH – if you are already coughing, you must avoid anything spicy and sweet in nature. This includes garlic, ginger, onions, chilli, sugar, chocolate etc. This can cause the cough to be worse if we have anything spicy or sweet as well as fried foods. Drink plenty of fluids and soups.
PHLEGMY COUGH – if we have phlegm you should be avoiding all dairy, cold and sweet foods including ice cream, milk, cheese, chocolates, sweets, etc. This causes more phlegm and mucus to build up in the nose and throat.
Other Tips to Preventing Colds:
– Remember to dress warmly when outside and wear a scarf
– Get plenty of rest and sleep to regenerate and build up the immune system
– Minimise spread by washing your hands more.
– Eat warm cooked foods, avoid raw cold foods like Salads.
– Reduce dairy, alcohol and refined sugars
For a full list of foods to avoid please download this Food List pdf.