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7 WORST Foods for a Cold


Filed Under (General) by Rick Kaselj

Hey, it’s Rick! I am coming to you from San Jose.

I am at an exclusive fitness mastermind meeting where I am learning from the many of the best fitness bloggers and YouTubers in the world on how to better help my friends, fans and family through my blog, YouTube videos and emails.

Before I head into the meeting, I wanted to send you this article about the seven worst foods for a cold.

I know right now it is hot and sunny but before we know it is going to be fall season again. Knowing these foods will definitely help you overcome your cold.

So, enjoy the article! We will talk to you again tomorrow.

~ Rick


You sneeze, cough and realize that you have a cold. Oh no … NOT good. Certainly NOT good, but it could get worse too. The common cold occurs quite frequently and a person could suffer from a cold multiple times a year. Every year, more than one billion colds occur in the United States [1]. While what many of us refer to as the common cold is caused by a virus, there are many factors that may make a person more susceptible to getting a cold such as other illnesses, stress and fatigue which can leave the body unable to defend itself as it normally would. Similarly, if you do catch a cold, there are things that could make a cold worse including certain foods. Why is it important to pay attention to information about colds?


Well, one good reason to pay attention is the fact that colds are typically referred to as “common”, as mentioned already. If it occurs frequently, we’d better pay attention. With many more billions of colds occurring around the world each year, it could be great to know not only about how to treat colds but how to make sure that colds do not get worse. Hence, let’s take a look at 7 worse foods that are you should stay away from if you have a cold. Don’t make the cold worse by consuming these foods:

#1 – Fried Foods

You’re doing yourself a huge favor by staying away from fried foods when you have a cold. BUT why should you do this, you may wonder? The reason is with regards to inflammation that fried foods create. Eating fried foods could also result in acid reflux or heart burn [2]. This is not great to have when you are suffering from a cold or at any time, to be honest. When you have a cold, you already have enough to deal with! Right?!! In addition, fried foods could make your immune system sluggish and less “happy”. Happy immune system … happy life! Imagine tackling a cold when your body is not strong enough to do so. Yes, EXACTLY! Not a good situation to be in. As inflammation takes over the body because of the calorie density of fried foods, it can do a lot of harm and is really not something you want whether you have a cold or not. Either way, inflammation is a bad idea.


#2 –  Sugary Foods and Drinks

So many foods and drinks out there contain a lot of sugar! Too much sugar consumption is not a good idea, as well. There is sugar in many processed foods and many juices can contain sugar that has been added in. Vitamin C can provide valuable nutrition, especially during a cold. However, if you’re consuming tons of sugar while trying to get some Vitamin C from juice, you’ll be doing yourself no good because the sugar could cause inflammation. So, while you’re trying to get better through the consumption of Vitamin C, you could nullify its effects by creating other problems for the body when taking in lots of sugar. What can you do? Juices and other foods are fine when consumed in moderation and in natural states. For instance, try consuming fresh, natural juices instead of sugar-filled, processed versions of juice.

#3 –  Processed Foods

If you read the label of processed foods, you will probably come across a few ingredients that you do not know and most likely cannot pronounce. Processed foods can be a whole lot of bad news because these foods don’t add any value to your diet from a nutritional stand-point. Unfortunately, these processed foods contain items that can hurt the immune system rather that helping it fight colds. Processed foods may contain food dyes, MSG, high fructose corn syrup and other ingredient that dilute the strength of your immune system.

#4 – Alcohol

If you’re about to reach for that alcoholic drink …, you may want to reach for something else … like water, for instance. Alcohol is a bad idea when you’ve got a cold because it can adversely affect your immune system by causing dehydration [3]. There are discussions regarding how a little alcohol could help you fight a cold. However, the dehydration possibility can be a serious affair. Hence, this does put alcohol on the “worst list”. Remember … it’s all about being able to fight the virus that is causing the cold. The more alcohol you consume, the more you body become less immune to viruses and other pathogens because your immune systems gets weak with the consumption of alcohol. Hence, help yourself get better and don’t make colds worse by consuming alcohol while you have a cold. One more good reason why you should not drink alcoholic drinks when you have a cold is related to dehydration. When trying to fight a cold, you certainly want to be well hydrated and alcohol is not the way to reach this goal.


#5 – Dairy Products

Sometimes, dairy products affect people differently. For some people, drinking milk may increase the production of mucous, congestion and phlegm [4]. If the mucous membrane is overly stimulated, it could make you feel even sicker and much worse. The increased production of mucous could make the congestion worse. Remember, though, dairy may not have the same effect for every person. Still, it is important to note that when you have a cold and you get worse if you consume dairy products, you may be reacting negatively to this particular food category. If this is the case, think about switching to other foods, so that you can recover from the cold in a less stressful way. Drinking fluids while you have a cold is a good idea, but if dairy like milk appear to be counter-productive, switch to fresh juice or water.

#6 – High Fat Content Foods

Apart from fried foods specifically, it can be a great idea to stay away from foods that have high food content in general and especially when you have a cold. There are pastries and other non-fried foods that have a high fat content as well. The high fats in foods can drag the body down, especially in terms of the role that a strong immune system should play. Foods that are high in fats could create discomfort in the stomach. Imagine being taken over by a cold and trying your best to recover. Then you consume a food that is high in non-value added fats. This is not a wise decision because your body needs to fuel up on nutrients that can help it boost it’s nutritional and energy levels. Instead, when you have a cold, stick with foods that are of the low fat variety and there are many options to choose from.

#7 – Acidic and Spicy Foods

When you have a cold, your stomach could become irritated as well. It could be a cycle of discomfort and symptoms that never seem to end. Hence, you would not want to reinforce the discomfort by doing things to aggravate this condition. Yes, spicy food may make your nostrils perk up and it may help provide some heat to clear your throat. However, the tricky bit with eating spicy foods when you have a cold is the impact spicy foods could have on your stomach. This is also a similar issue for acidic foods. During a cold, mucous membranes may become sensitive and the linings or walls of the stomach could react adversely to both acidic and spicy foods. This can over-burden the immune system which is already trying to fight a cold. Hence, you may want to stay away from these types of foods too when you have a cold.

Once you get infected with the cold virus, it can take a few days before the symptoms begin to outwardly manifest [5]. Also, when you do get a cold, the worse part may not be over immediately. Unfortunately, there are ways to make the situation a lot worse and this can happen by consuming certain foods which can make your condition deteriorate. Thus, it would be best to STAY AWAY from such foods when you have a cold. The 7 worst foods listed here are a good way to start. Fried foods, sugary foods and drinks, processed foods, alcohol, dairy products, high fat content foods and acidic or spicy foods could hurt your ability to recover quickly from a cold. Instead, you should seek foods that are rich in immunity building components. Such immunity building foods help you fight the cold and recover quicker. This is certainly a more welcome alternative to consuming the worst foods for a cold and feeling even more miserable than you already feel.

If you want to learn more about the foods you should eat when you have a cold then check out the Best Foods that Rapidly Slim & Heal in 7 Days program here:

Best Foods That Rapidly Slim & Heal In 7 Days

Rick Kaselj, MS


[1] Common Cold – MedlinePlus
[2] 8 Foods That Cause Acid Reflux
[3] Disease and Conditions: The Common Cold
[4] Should You Avoid Dairy Food When You’re Sick?
[5] PubMed Health – Common Cold

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