A sore throat happens when the throat becomes inflamed and irritated. This can be caused by a variety of conditions including viruses, bacteria, hayfever or a respiratory infection. Sore throats can be unpleasant, especially when it makes speaking, eating and sometimes even breathing difficult. There are remedies, such as drinking lots of fluids like water and tea, gargling salt water, and lozenges for temporary relief from the burning and pain. However, while these are excellent solutions, eating can still cause aggravation making your sore throat feel worse. I’ve listed some of these foods so you can avoid them when you have a sore throat.
How long does a sore throat last?
This depends on what is causing your sore throat. Most of those caused by a common virus resolve themselves on their own within three to ten days, while sore throats caused by bacteria infections or allergies may take longer to clear. Chronic sore throats may linger until an underlying condition is diagnosed.
Which foods should I avoid with a sore throat?
1. Acidic foods
Foods like tomatoes, oranges, grapefruit, limes and lemons are acidic and can irritate your sore throat. Eating them also leads to acid reflux which can be the catalyst for a sore throat in the first place.
2. Spicy foods
Any dishes containing hot sauce, chilli powder, nutmeg, pepper or curry powder can aggravate a sore throat by making the inflammation worse. This is because spices trigger the salivary glands and cause high amounts of mucus to be created in the throat. A buildup of mucus causes you to clear your throat more which will cause further discomfort.
3. Coarse foods
Uncooked vegetables, granola and dry toast are not ideal to eat when you have a sore throat. This is because they are too dry and coarse, often with sharp edges which can make your sore throat feel more uncomfortable and make it hard to swallow.
4. Fried foods
When you are unwell your immune system is already weakened, so unhealthy foods like french fries or fried chicken will not make you feel any better. While fried fatty foods don’t directly impact a sore throat, they do nothing to relieve any symptoms or make you feel better.
We’re often told yoghurt is great for gut health, but eating it when you have a sore throat and cough will only aggravate symptoms. This is because yoghurt thickens the mucus you produce, causing you to cough more and further throat discomfort.
6. Sugary drinks
Carbonated drinks cause inflammation, so avoid the fizzy stuff while you have a sore throat. Similar to fried foods, drinks with a high sugar content weaken your immune system. The best course of action is to drink plenty of water instead.
The caffeine in coffee dehydrates you which can make the pain of your sore throat worse. It’s also a diuretic, a substance that makes you wee more often, which will make you feel more thirsty and cause you to drink more, potentially making your throat feel even sorer.