4 Foods That Will Make Your Cold or Flu Worse in an Hour

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Even if you got a flu shot and diligently wash your hands 13 times a day, there’s no guarantee that you won’t fall victim to some awful bug this season. And if and when it does happen, the last thing you want to do is make your congestion, aches, and general crappiness even worse.

So do yourself a favor and avoid these foods like the plague.

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1. Soda, juice, and other sugary stuff

It’s true that ginger ale might settle a queasy stomach, and OJ delivers a hefty dose of vitamin C. But they’re both loaded with sugar, which causes inflammation that can actually weaken your body’s infection-fighting white blood cells, says Alissa Rumsey, registered dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Not surprisingly, the same goes for other sugar-laden foods like cookies, candy, kids’ cereal, and all that other yummy stuff you might feel justified eating on a sick day. (Try one of these organic cereals.)

Instead, stick to ginger tea for your stomach and stay hydrated with good ol’ H2O or sugar-free coconut water. And if you feel like snacking, try fruit or popcorn. In a few days when you’re not feeling like a snot-filled alien anymore, you’ll be so glad you did.

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