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5 Worst Foods When You’re Having a Cold in Japan


Having a cold or being generally sick is never fun. Sometimes it’s a pain to figure out how you can recover quickly. Especially if you’re living in Japan as a foreigner, it’s even more difficult to find ways to get over the cold. In this blog, we will show you five foods that you should avoid eating when you have a cold in Japan.

Would you like to learn Japanese vocabulary words related to this topic? Look below:

Cold – 風邪 (kaze)

Medicine – 薬 (kusuri)

Food – 食べ物 (tabemono)

Runny nose – 鼻水 (hanamizu)

Cough – 咳 (seki)

Sneeze – くしゃみ (kushami)

Fever – 熱 (netsu)

Table of Contents

1. Processed foods

It’s no doubt that processed foods can be delicious and require only a little bit of prep time, but they have very few nutrients that weaken the immune system. They are high in sodium (salt), sugar and preservatives which create acid in your body. Therefore, consuming them will prevent your body from recovering at a quicker rate. 


  • Fast food
  • Canned food
  • Snacks
  • Candy
  • Cheese
  • Frozen/microwaveable meals
  • Sweets (e.g., cake)

2. Hard food

When you’re sick or have a cold where you’re experiencing a sore throat and cough. The best thing to do is to avoid eating hard food. This is because the texture and dryness produce more mucus which causes you to cough up phlegm. It’s also recommended to avoid eating hard, starchy foods because they will cause your body temperature to rise which is not essential especially when you have a fever.


  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Nuts (e.g., chestnuts, almonds, melon seeds) 
  • Bananas
  • Mangos
  • Papayas

Người bị cảm cúm nên kiêng ăn gì

3. Drinks with stimulants & alcohol

One party drink that will definitely bring down your immune system and prevent you from recovering is an alcoholic beverage. It will make your body even more dehydrated and cause your health condition to become worse. Additionally, if you’re someone who loves energy drinks like Red Bull or even coffee, these drinks should be avoided when you’re sick. In other words, caffeine is not your best friend in the scenario. As mentioned before, products with high levels of sugar do more harm than good to your body especially when you’re trying to recover from a cold, flu or something similar.


  • Coffee-based drinks (e.g., latte, mocha, frappuccino, au lait)
  • Energy drinks (e.g., Monster, Red Bull, G Zone, Real Gold, Dekavita C)
  • Alcoholic beverages (e.g., chu-hai, wine, beer, whiskey, rum)

4. Seafood

Even though seafood contains a lot of nutrients, it surprisingly can negatively affect your recovering speed from a cold or similar sickness. Some seafood can contain a lot of histamines, which is a substance that increases sinus congestion, for those who are suffering from a stuffy nose and runny nose. Shellfish will make your neck itchy and cause you to cough more.


  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Clams
  • Oysters
  • Crab/lobster
  • Fish
  • Octopus/squid

Người bị cảm cúm có được ăn hải sản không

5. Cold food and drinks

The temperature of what you consume can make your neck feel cold, itchy, and sore. If your symptoms include coughing or building phlegm, cold food and drinks can worsen your condition. If you’re not careful enough, you could eventually get tonsillitis. 


  • Ice cream
  • Smoothies
  • Popsicles
  • Ice water

Be careful!

When you have a cold or feel sick, your body will feel tired, which will limit you from your work or studies. It’s important to know the best food to eat when you’re sick, so we hope that our list of foods you should avoid eating will help you get a better idea. You should eat reasonably and abstain from certain foods in order to recover right away. We hope this blog has helped you. If you have any other suggestions or any questions related to this topic, please let us know. Stay happy and healthy.

Related article:

10 Foods and Drinks to Recover from COVID-19 and Summer Flu in Japan

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