Everyone knows what to do when you’re feeling sick: eat your fruits and veggies, chug that tea, and basically hook yourself up to a Vitamin C IV. With that

With that said, if you start to feel an illness coming on strong, what should you stop eating in order to aid your immune system? Some foods are obvious, but others not so much. Read below what not to eat if you’re fighting the sniffles or if the plague has already hit.

1. Fried Food


Photo by Justin Schuble

Foods high in trans fat and grease make your stomach hurt, cause inflammation and raise blood pressure. Even on a good day, fried food throws your digestive system for a loop. Skip those fast food fries and chicken fingers, especially if something’s not feeling quite right. Instead of those french fries or potato chips, try this recipe for zucchini chips to satisfy your chip cravings.

2. Alcohol


Photo by Kathleen Lee

We’re at college and alcohol is everywhere, but if you’re sick or just under the weather, don’t drink it. There are too many negative effects to count. Alcohol will still be there when you’re all better. I pinky swear. If you can’t help going out, here’s some advice on how to have fun… minus the drinking.

3. Acidic Food


Photo by Charlotte Hull

Acid disrupts the bodies normal pH level, which, even if you’re no doctor, should be a red flag. Unbalanced pH levels cause fatigue, headaches and even infections. Try to cut out acidic foods at least until your bug has resolved itself. If you’re looking for a snack that won’t throw your pH into a frenzy, check out these recipes for healthy snacks, or if you’re just on a health kick.

4. Caffeine


Photo by Jennifer Cao

Caffeine may help you pull that all-nighter so you can study for an exam, but it does nothing helpful for your body when you’re sick. Caffeine causes indigestion, insomnia and headaches. When your body is fighting hard, the last thing you should do is cause it to work even more. If you think you’re too dependent on that cup of joe every morning, check this article out for reasons you should skip caffeine altogether.

5. Sugary Food


Photo by Katie Walsh

Sugar, especially artificial sugars, causes inflammation and lowers your immune system. It’s obvious that extra inflammation is not helpful to your body while trying to nip that sickness in the bud. Even if you’re feeling great, limiting sugar intake is still important. Stay far away from the candy aisle, and scrounge up whatever self-control we college kids have left.

6. Spicy Food


Photo by Stephanie Devaux

This may taste fiery and delicious going down, but it doesn’t do much good after that. If you have a cold, the runny nose that spicy food provokes may provide initial relief but in the end will cause even more congestion than before you added that dash of hot sauce. If your sickness involves stomach pain, well… I won’t even go there. While you’re lying on your bed dreaming of a life outside of being sick, you can fantasize over these amazing spicy recipes. They’re worth the wait.

7. Dairy


Photo by Stephanie Lee

Dairy promotes mucus growth, irritates your throat and amplifies stomach issues… whatever they may be. Just skip the Phish Food if you’re seeking comfort for those sickness blues – it’ll only make it worse. If you just can’t resist your ice cream fix, try this one ingredient banana ice cream, it’s 100 percent healthy and 100 percent delicious.