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2024: Fruits to Avoid during Cough and Cold (Eat these Fruits during Cough!)


Feeling under the weather with a cough or cold? Discover the surprising fruits you should steer clear of for a quicker recovery! This blog uncovers the everyday fruits you might want to avoid during a Cough and Cold and some easy-to-digest tips about what to eat instead! 

In Indian home remedies, fruits have always been an intriguing element, especially when managing cold or cough symptoms. While many swear by the curative powers of certain fruits, there's also a list of fruits traditionally recommended to be avoided during such illnesses. The wisdom behind these recommendations often transcends generations and is grounded in the practices of Ayurveda.

While fruits are generally beneficial for health, during a cold or cough, it's advisable to avoid citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and sweet lemons as their acidic nature can sometimes aggravate throat irritation. Fruits to avoid during cough and cold include the ones having a cooling effect, high sugar content, acidic fruits or the ones hard to digest. 

    Fruits to Avoid during Cough and Cold

    1) Is Grapes Good for Cough?

     Grapes for Cold and Cough

    No, grapes are not good for cough so do not eat Grapes during cough or cold. Grapes have a lot of histamine, which might make the body's allergic reactions stronger. This can include making more phlegm, which might worsen a cough or cold. Also, grapes are generally consumed cold (from the refrigerator), which can worsen your cold and cough. If you are craving Grapes during cough, you can have a few non-refrigerated grapes but moderation is the key here. Having too many grapes can cause cold and cough. 

    2) Citrus Fruits (Oranges and Lemons) 

    Citrus Fruits for Cold and Cough

    Citrus fruits like Orange, Mosambi, Lemon are very acidic, and this acid can be tough on the throat. It is best to avoid citrus fruits during cough and cold. If your throat is already sore, eating oranges and lemons might increase your cough and make it feel worse. Again, moderation helps, and how it is being consumed also matters. While drinking hot water with a squeeze of lemon can help, having Lemon Soda will aggravate your cold. 

    If you are a citrus lover and are keen on trying it, here is a tried and tested recipe (with lemon) that can help you beat cold! 

    Related Blog: Mosambi juice benefits

    3) Is Chikoo/Sapota Good for Cold

    Chikoo for cough and cold

    Chikoo is rich in sugars like fructose and sucrose. Some believe that these sugars can make a cough more bothersome. Also,the thick and grainy texture of chikoo might be hard to swallow if your throat is sore. While Chikoo has anti-inflammatory properties which can help, it is better to avoid consuming Chikoo in large quantities if you have a cold. 

    4) Watermelon

    Watermelon for cold and cough

    It can be surprising to find watermelon on this list, but the idea here is that because watermelon has a lot of water, it could weaken stomach acids and lead to more mucus being formed. Watermelon is a healthy fruit so it won't cause cold unless you have it refrigerated and in large quantities. 

    5) Guavas

    Guava for Cough and Cold

    Even though guavas are full of vitamin C, some people avoid them when they have a cold. They believe the cooling effect of guavas might not be helpful when the body is trying to fight off an infection. If you still like them, it is recommended to go for a raw guava rather than a ripe one. 

    6) Bananas

    Bananas are a common part of many people's diets and are known for being nutritious and easy to eat. However, they may not be the best choice when you have a cold as they fall under the “cold food” category.. Some people believe that bananas can make the chest feel more clogged because they might increase mucus production. It's also thought that the magnesium in bananas could relax the airways too much, which might lead to more irritation and mucus. Therefore, banana might not be good for cough. 

    Expert Advice: 

    Now you might see some fruits you don't expect, some that you think should be consumed, or have helped you during the cold and cough. Our advice? Do what suits you the best. Individual results vary regarding what fruits might help you get your immunity up, as they all have important nutrients. It is okay to consume fruits in moderation as long as they aren't consumed straight from the fridge. If you're still doubtful? Better be safe than sorry then and avoid those fruits for a while!

    Why should fruits be avoided during cough and cold

    When suffering from a cold or cough, it's important to be mindful of your diet, including the consumption of certain fruits. Here's why some fruits might not be advisable during this time:

    Fruit can have a cooling effect

    • Some fruits you need to avoid in cough and cold are the ones having a cooling effect on the body. Examples are watermelon and cucumber. These fruits are usually good but when one has a cold, this can potentially aggravate a cold by inhibiting the body's natural heat, which is necessary to combat cold viruses.

    High Sugar Content

    • Fruits high in sugar, such as bananas and grapes, can lead to an increase in mucus production. This can worsen symptoms like a runny nose and congestion, making it harder for the body to expel phlegm.

    Citrus can trigger Allergies 

    • For some people, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons can trigger allergies or increase histamine levels, potentially worsening cold symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose.

    Acidic Nature can irritate Throat

    • Acidic fruits, such as citrus fruits and pineapples, can irritate the throat, worsening cough and sore throat symptoms.

    Harder to Digest Fruits 

    • Certain fruits might be harder to digest, especially when the body is weak during a cold and cough. This can lead to discomfort and take energy away from the healing process.

    Which Fruit is good for Cold and Cough

    Cough and cold can be irritating already so enough talking about what we can’t eat! Here are the best fruit for cough and cold you CAN EAT known for their soothing effects for the body. Papaya is the best fruits for cough and cold along with Apple, Pomegranate, Mango, Berries. 


    Papaya is good for cough as it is packed with vitamin C and an enzyme called papain, which helps digestion and might help break down mucus. This makes it a good choice for those seeking relief from cold symptoms. So yes, you can eat the delicious papaya in cold and cough. 


    Known for its immune-boosting antioxidants, pomegranate is good for cough recovery and it works great because it doesn't irritate the throat. 


    For those who wonder “is apple good for cough”, the answer is yes. An apple a day does have the ability to keep a doctor and your cold and cough away. Apples have a good mix of fibre and vitamin C, which can help support the immune system without increasing acidity. So YES! You, we can eat apple in cold and cough. 


    You can eat strawberry, blueberry and other berries during cold and cough as they are packed with antioxidants! These can help combat oxidative stress and inflammation, which is beneficial when your body is fighting an infection. You can eat strawberry, blueberry and other berries during cold and cough as they are packed with antioxidants!


    Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that has been found to help with respiratory problems and reduce phlegm and mucus build-up, which can be particularly useful during a cough and cold.


    Mangos are often praised for their warming qualities. They are rich in vitamins A and C, essential for a strong immune system. Good News! Yes you can have Mango during Cough! Mango is good for cough. 


    Fruit Recipes to try during Cough and Cold: 


    The Importance of a Balanced Diet in Recovery

    While discussions about which fruits to consume or avoid during a cold abound, it's important to remember that these recommendations are highly individual and often based on personal or cultural experiences rather than clinical evidence. Modern nutrition science advocates for a balanced diet rich in various nutrients to fortify the immune system. This includes a broad spectrum of fruits, each contributing its unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that play a role in overall health and recovery.

    Fruits, regardless of their reputation as home remedies, bring a medley of health benefits. They are indispensable in a diet to nurture the body's defence mechanisms. Whether to consume or avoid a particular fruit should be a decision made based on individual health, the body's reactions, and, preferably, professional medical advice.

    Related Blog: Fruits for Hair Growth

    Seasonality and Ayurvedic Principals

    It's also worth noting that the availability of certain fruits is dictated by the seasons, which itself is a principle reflected in Ayurvedic teachings. The seasonal nature of fruits may align with the body’s seasonal needs, although this is an area where more research is needed.

    When navigating the maze of home remedies and traditional health advice, it’s imperative to consider one's own health conditions and how certain foods might impact them. However, in today’s world, where nutrition and health advice are scrutinised scientifically, it is always better to talk to a medical practitioner to get the best advice. 


    It is good to avoid fruits like Grapes, Oranges, Chickoo, Watermelon, Bananas and Guavas during cough and cold. Additionally, it's a good idea to steer clear of fruits high in sugar or those with a high water content, as these can potentially increase mucus production or throat discomfort. 

    Opt instead for fruits that are mild, easy to digest, and low in sugar. It's also important to listen to your body and observe how different foods affect your symptoms. What might be "fruit to avoid" for one person might give someone else relief as how your body reacts to different foods is subjective. And always, maintaining a balanced diet and staying hydrated are key for a speedy recovery.


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    Frequently Asked Questions: 

    Q: Can I eat fruits if I have a cold?

    A: Yes, you can eat fruits when you have a cold. Many fruits are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which can help support your immune system and may aid in your recovery.

    Q: What fruits are best for a cold?

    A: The best fruits for a cold include citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, which are high in vitamin C. Berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, are also good choices due to their antioxidant properties.

    Q: What foods to avoid with a cold?

    A: When you have a cold, it's generally advised to avoid overly processed foods, sugary snacks, and dairy products, as they can sometimes worsen congestion. Spicy foods may irritate a sore throat, but they can also help clear sinuses.

    Q: Which fruit juice is good for cold and cough?

    A: Fruit juices rich in vitamin C, like orange juice and lemon juice (hot), are good for a cold and cough. They can help boost your immune system. However, it's best to consume them without added sugars.

    Q: What foods reduce cold and cough?

    A: Foods that can help reduce symptoms of a cold and cough include ginger, honey, garlic, and chicken soup. These foods have natural anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

    Q: Which dry fruit is bad for cough?

    A: Generally, dry fruits are not harmful for a cough. However, in some people, certain dry fruits like bananas or dairy-based products might increase phlegm production, which could potentially worsen a cough. This varies from person to person.

    Q: Is Apple good for Cough and Cold? 

    A. Apple is indeed good for cough and cold as it has a good mix of fibre and vitamin C, which can help support the immune system without increasing acidity.

    Q: Can we eat citrus fruits during cough?

    A: No, you should avoid citrus fruits during cough as they have acidic content. But if you still wish to consume citrus fruits like lemon, you can drink lemon water with hot water. 


    The Pomegranate: Effects on Bacteria and Viruses That Influence Human Health:


    Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS

    Ayurveda Practioner

    A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.

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