By Dt. Shikha Mahajan
Holistic Nutritionist and Founder of Diet Podium
Snuggling in your bed, drinking a cup of a hot tea or coffee and munching on some fried snacks is certainly one of the most ideal ways to spend lazy and chilly days in winter. Unfortunately, with this weather comes the fear of falling prone to infections, thanks to your weakened immunity system.
During the winters, you are in for a heightened risk getting cold, cough or flu. Did you know your diet could also have a role in aggravating your condition? If you have not known this already, you should know about some foods that can greatly contribute to excessive cold and cough.
However, you need to know first what happens when you suffer from cold. You suffer from a cold when a virus attaches to the lining of your nose and throat. The immunity system sends white blood cells to counter against these viruses, but tends to fail, considering they are weak enough to get defeated. Your nose and throat then become inflamed and makes plenty of mucus. With so much energy wasted in fighting the cold virus, you are left feeling fatigued, dizzy and miserable. A weak immune system and the virus can totally get you down. You must know that certain foods could invite more problems than resolving them.
- Dairy Products
While you must have heard everything good and healthy about dairy products, there is a chance that they could be sneakily increasing your cold, forcing your body to produce more mucus. Though do not completely give up on dairy as it is a good source of protein and vitamin D that can assist your body counter against infection. Just make sure towards a limited intake in order to avoid causing excessive mucus.
- Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine filled foods and drinks such as coffee, tea and carbonated drinks are all diuretics that tend to dehydrate your body and this could lead to much thicker mucus, encouraging cold and cough and a lot weaker immunity. Try not to consume caffeinated drinks as much as you can and remain healthy.
- Fried Foods
Fried junk food is not only responsible for adding the excess to your waistline, but it can also become a serious cause of cold and cough in your system. The fats and oils available in the fatty foods, that are derived from animal products such as butter, lard, and omega-6 fatty acids might cause you to produce mucus, further worsening cold and flu. Stick to healthier foods and put aim on improving your immunity system than making the situation grave.
- Histamine Dense Foods
Histamines are chemicals which are made inside your immune system. They assist your body to get rid of something which is not doing any benefit to you, for example, allergens. They alert you when you have ingested something that might be allergic to you. So, if you have a cold or any allergy, histamines prompt thin walls to make even more mucus, which can result in mucus formation. You could get a runny or a stuffy nose. There are foods that are naturally high in histamines, which can aggravate the problem and make it even worse. Try not to eat avocados, mushrooms, strawberries, dry fruits, yogurt, vinegar, and fermented foods.
Sugar can also cause serious inflammation and weaken your immunity system making your situation of cold and cough worse. Sweets may sound comforting, but try and not to eat them as much as you can. You do not want to remain sick while others enjoy their share of sweet delicacies.
- Fast Food
Fast foods are genetically modified and have ingredients that are of no nutritional value at all. Thus, it is better to not eat them during cough & cold as they do nothing in improving the immune system and make your digestion sluggish.
You should always refrain from juices during the cough & cold. They contain high sugar content that also lowers white blood cells’ capacity to handle illness. The acid in the juices also makes your throat irritated.
One needs to be observant especially when having a cough. There can be several underlying conditions that can trigger cough frequently. If it happens repeatedly you should always consult your doctor rather than just treating it as a normal cough.