The worst foods to eat while you have the flu


If you order a cup of chicken soup the moment you so much as sniffle, you’re not alone. While we are not denying the disease-busting benefits of certain foods, unfortunately eating the right things is only half of the battle when it comes to getting better faster.
If getting back in shape is important to you, then there are certain foods and beverages you should avoid.
You may find it surprising but foods that are ordinarily healthy like some fresh vegetables and a few kinds of fish may not be ideal when you have a runny nose or you can’t seem to stop coughing. If you want to make sure you’re doing all you can to get rid of your cold or flu, then this article will do a lot of good for you.
Below are foods that you should avoid when you have the flu:


Oysters may be a common aphrodisiac but they do not have as much ability to cure a common cold. As a matter of fact, the shellfish could cause your symptoms to get worse. This is because they contain a compound that stimulates the production of histamine in the body.
Histamine has the potential to worsen runny noses, so it’s best to avoid these oyster happy hours till your sinuses are well again.


Pineapple is another tropical food that you should avoid till you’ve recovered fully. The yellow fruit also has incredible histamine levels which could worsen your symptoms. Plus, they also contain ascorbic acid which could make your throat irritated and scratchy.

Dried Apricots

It’s best to consume apricots when they’re fresh as the dried ones have higher histamine levels that could lead to an irritation of your nasal passages and potentially cause headaches.
Whole fruit also has a greater water content than dried fruit, which is a serious plus when you’re sick and predisposed to dehydration.

Soy sauce

Soy sauce should be avoided as much as possible when you’re under the weather. The popular rice accompaniment contains a substantial amount of histamine as a result of the fermentation involved in its production. Plus, soy sauce has high sodium levels which will make you more vulnerable to getting dehydrated, particularly when you’re sick.


If your immune system isn’t exactly the strongest, don’t be tempted to get a milkshake. Ice cream contains dairy, sugar and fat, all of which cause an increase in inflammation and stress in an immune system that is already compromised.
Since ice cream takes center stage in most milkshakes, it would do you a lot of good to avoid then when you’re sick.

Grilled Cheese

Eating Grilled Cheese isn’t a good idea when you’re under the weather for a lot of reasons. The cheese has a high sodium and saturated fat content, which could contribute to inflammation and dehydration.
The white bread it is made with also has a high carbohydrate content which can increase the blood sugar and lead to an inflammation. Frying the sandwich makes it a lot more difficult to digest the fat, which can be especially rough on a stomach that is already sensitive.


You might think sipping a soda is the best way to settle an upset stomach, but it’s hindering your immune system. Soda, however, is one of the worst foods to take when you’re sick majorly because of its high sugar content. Inflammation thrives with foods and beverages packed with sugar. It weakens the white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections in the body with your immune system further broken, you’ll stay sick longer.

French Fries

There are several reasons why you should lay off of the deep fried spuds, especially when you are sick. French fries can cause inflammation and its greasiness is not pleasant for a stomach that is already sensitive.
High-fat foods take much longer to digest and make the stomach do so much to try to digest it when it’s sensitive. This could lead to vomiting and acid reflux.


Buttermilk has a sour characteristic that makes it taste different. It also has a high histamine level as fermented dairy products tend to have higher histamine levels. This means they have the potential to increase inflammation and worsen a runny nose.

Deli Meat

There’s a reason deli meats can stay “fresh” for so long: preservatives. Not only are these add-ons less than ideal nutritionally, they’re a nightmare if you are already battling a cold or flu. It’s best to avoid processed foods because they make the body more susceptible to viruses and disease.


Usually, you would be encouraged to eat walnuts as they’re a healthy addition to your diet. However, you may want to rethink munching on walnuts when you’re sick. They have the potential to irritate your already sore throat and also contain high histamine levels.
To avoid irritating your nasal passages, skip the walnuts till your symptoms are relieved.

Potato Chips

Potato chips are never a food you should eat with abandon, but you may want to be extra cautious when you are under the weather. It’s unhealthy to eat any kind of crunchy food when you are sick, especially if you are having difficulty swallowing as it can irritate your throat. Potato chips also have a high sodium content which can contribute to dehydration and worsen cold symptoms.

Energy Drinks

You need to rest when you are sick, not try to push through with the help of caffeine-laden energy drinks. We understand you hate to feel weak and you’d much rather be working or going about something. However, caffeine isn’t what you need when you’re feeling under the weather as they will end up dehydrating your system, when you need tons of fluids to promote optimal hydration, flush your system and boost your immunity.
A lot of energy drinks are also packed with sugar which only spells trouble for the immune system.


No matter how much you love indulging in a link or two, you may want to wait until you recover to eat sausage. The combination of saturated fat and sodium is a double-whammy when it comes to inflammatory responses. The addition of nitrites means the potential for a post-feast headache, which will feel much worse if you are already sick.


Say goodbye to shellfish while you are sick, especially if you want to avoid irritating your sinuses. Shrimp and most other shellfish contain compounds which trigger the release of histamine, which will exacerbate feelings of congestion and stuffiness.


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