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Foods to favor or avoid in case of cold

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When we have a cold, some foods can help clear our airways and strengthen our immune systems, while others can cause inflammation and make symptoms worse.

A plate of steaming soup on the table and a cup of ginger tea are not the only meals you can dream of if you have a cold (nasopharyngitis). To support your immune system and fight viral infections even more effectively, learn to favor and avoid certain foods.

What foods to avoid in case of cold?

The candies

You may want to sink into the back of your sofa, under a warm blanket, to watch a series while you swallow your Tagada strawberries, but it is not a good idea. Sugar can cause inflammation in the body and weaken white blood cells that are essential for fighting infection. Candy, even without sugar, can also cause traffic problems. And artificial sweeteners sometimes cause headaches. If you want to avoid adding diarrhea to your problems, stay away from sweets.

Simple carbohydrates

Do you dream of buttered toast or a nice pasta dish? Again, this is not the best solution. Refined carbohydrates quickly break down into sugar, which produces the same blood sugar spike as sugary drinks and sweets, with the same inflammatory effects. If you cannot do without these products, give preference to the full versions, which are digested more slowly.

Alcohol and caffeine

Like sugar, alcohol causes inflammation and weakens white blood cells. It also has the double detrimental effect of contributing to dehydration. However, staying hydrated is essential when you are sick, because the mucous membranes in your nasal passages are better able to shed a virus when wet. Being dehydrated during illness can also make muscle pain worse. Caffeinated drinks can also accelerate dehydration. Opt for water and herbal teas until completely healed.

Spicy food

If you have a cold and your upper airways are blocked, spicy foods can help clear them. Pepper, hot sauce, mustard, ginger, garlic, you can choose what you want.

Lean meats

Meat is rich in amino acids necessary for the manufacture of our antibodies. And if you want to eat light, you can choose the schnitzel, the leg, the rack of veal or the chicken breast.

Homemade chicken broth is particularly popular. The heat it emits travels through the airways when consumed, helping to dissolve mucus.

Fatty fish and shellfish

Small fats (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, etc.), rich in omega-3s, help strengthen our immunity. In fact, long chain fatty acids are important regulators of inflammation. They are precursors of certain molecules with inflammatory properties.

As for shellfish, in particular oysters, they are full of zinc, which optimizes the multiplication and differentiation of the white blood cells that intervene in the first line to neutralize pathogens. Zinc is also involved in other reactions that regulate inflammation.

The milk products

Yogurt, lassi, kefir, provide probiotics that strengthen the intestinal flora. The first line of defense of our body, it interacts with 60% of our immune cells in the small intestine to produce certain antibodies.

Fatty dairy products, such as butter (maximum 10 g per day) or cheese (maximum 30 g per day)


Walnuts and hazelnuts are rich in B vitamins, which are involved in the production of our antibodies. Consider including them in your menus.

Fruits and vegetables

Consume five servings a day, especially fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C (orange, strawberries, kiwi, melon, red peppers, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) that favor the migration of immune cells to the infection sites there. neutralize and / or eliminate microbes and antibody production. Also bet on fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin E (salsify, fennel, etc.), selenium (garlic, endive, onion, etc.) and carotenoids (carrot, mango, etc.).

However, you should avoid citrus fruits if you have a stomach ache or nausea, as they can irritate the stomach lining.

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