Most of us ignore coughs, but to do so can be very harmful. A short spell of coughing if neglected, can often turn into a chronic condition. While environmental pollutants are often the reason for a bad cough, your diet is equally to blame. Excess mucus buildup along with irritants in the throat can give you a bad coughing bout. What you eat has a direct role to play in both these triggers. To keep a cough at bay, try not to eat these seven foods.
Milk has been suspected to increase mucus production and worsen your cough. Research has shown that a specific protein found in milk can irritate the mucus gland and cause excess buildup. It can also increase inflammation of the respiratory system, which prevents your cough from healing. In fact, even if dairy doesn’t cause a cough by itself, it can make matters much worse if you already have a respiratory infection.
2. Processed Foods
Processed foods have been almost completely stripped of all their nutrition. When you’re eating processed foods, all you’re eating is a bunch of empty calories with no health benefits. If your diet consists largely of processed foods, then your immunity can be seriously compromised. A healthy immune system depends upon a balanced, nutritious diet. If you eat a lot of processed foods, your immune system won’t be able to fight off a cough.
3. Foods You’re Allergic To
If you have food allergies or intolerance to certain foods, avoid them completely when you have a cough. Certain allergens like shellfish, milk and nuts are much worse for you when you have a cough. This could be because when your immune system is reacting to these foods, it can’t fight off a cough at the same time. You can also keep a diary of the foods you eat to understand just what your triggers are, which will help you steer clear of them. Some people find that salad dressings, fizzy drinks or wine seem to make their cough worse.
When you have a cough, it’s important to stay fully hydrated. Dehydration can dry out your throat causing your coughs to become more frequent and more painful. But apart from just drinking more water, try to avoid foods that dehydrate you, like caffeine. Caffeine sucks out moisture from your body, which is the last thing you need when you have a bad cough.
5. Cold Food
While the science behind this is unclear, most people find that cold foods can trigger or worsen their cough. This could be because cold food increases inflammation of the respiratory system and impedes the healing process. When you’re down with a cough, a glass of hot lemon water with honey could be more beneficial for you than a cup of ice-cream.
6. Fried Food
A bucket of fried chicken might not be the best idea when you have a cough. Deep fried foods contain a compound known as acrolein. Acrolein is a known irritant which can increase mucus production, cause inflammation and worsen your cough. Oily food also appears to have the same effect. Simple, home-cooked food is your safest bet when you have a cough.
7. Citrus Fruits
Many times, the actual cause behind our cough is acidity. People with excess stomach acid often have an acid reflux at night when they’re asleep. They aren’t aware of it, but it’s this acid buildup that gives them a bad cough during the day. To prevent acid reflux, avoid citrus fruits as they lead to even more acid in your stomach. You should also try to eat small meals frequently so you don’t produce excess stomach acids.