Colds and flu are all around during the winter months. While preventing a cold or flu with frequent hand washing, and avoidance of people who are obviously sick, it is still possible to contract an illness. When you have a cold or flu, it is important to avoid alcohol, dairy foods, refined carbohydrates, and sodas.
Drinking alcohol when you have a cold or the flu can be detrimental to your health in several ways. First of all, when you drink alcohol, you dehydrate your body. Congestion can become worse when you drink alcohol because of the dehydration. Rather, you need extra fluids when you have a cold or the flu, to help thin mucus and make it easier to expel. In addition, alcohol can suppress your immune system, leaving you open to other germs. Finally, alcohol may not be good in combination with any cold remedies you may be taking, and could cause unwanted side effects.
While many people believe that drinking milk causes phlegm, this does nto appear to be true. Phlegm is thickened mucus that drips down the back of your throat when you have a cold. Although milk may not cause phlegm, it does seem as if it can make the phlegm thicker, thus making you feel more congested. You may want to avoid milk and choose clear liquids to help keep you hydrated. Water, tea, juice, and chicken broth all make good drinks for added body hydration.
Excess sugar in the diet is shown to suppress the immune system, thus allowing the body to be more susceptible to a cold or flu in the first place. However, once you have that cold, sugars and refined carbohydrates are still not a good idea. They can promote inflammation. Inflammation can lead to more congestion that will cause you to feel poorly.
Soda and Other Sugary Stuff
When you have a cold, soda may not be the best choice either. First of all, the sugars in regular soda can suppress immunity and cause inflammation. In addition, the caffeine in many sodas can be very dehydrating, robbing your body of the liquids it needs. And, furthermore, the carbonation of sodas can be irritating to an already sore throat.
Natural remedy against cold and flu
The best remedies for cold and flu symptoms are extra rest and plenty of liquids. When you feel that sore throat or congestion signaling a cold coming on, you will want to be sure that you stay home and get plenty of sleep. It is beneficial to sleep with extra pillows to keep elevated when you have excess congestion. Warm beverages such as herbal teas or chicken broth, are also a good choice. They will help you keep hydrated, and the steam from them can also help clear your nasal passages. Similarly, a steamy shower may also help clear your nose, and even if it is only temporary, it may make you feel better.
No one likes to be sick and most of us do not have the time to stay in bed. However, getting adequate rest all the time, and taking care to eat healthful foods, will help ensure that you remain healthy. If that cold does strike, a little extra care is needed to battle the symptoms to get well quickly.