Why do I cough after eating fast food? It’s even been coined the “fast food cough” or “dinner cough.” A 2013 survey found that 36% of people diagnosed with a cold said they had eaten fast food within 24 hours before symptoms started.
Although it seems unhealthy, common sense tells you that if you eat fast food, your risk is increased for catching a cold.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a “shared environment” (like friends or family) increases the risk of catching a cold.
Why do I cough after eating fast food: Top 5 Reasons
This article will discuss the top 5 reasons why you might be coughing after eating fast food and how to treat it.
#1. Simple Viruses
Most viruses are very simple. One example is the cold virus, which only consists of a common protein, called influenza hemagglutinin (HI), surrounded by a single layer of sugars. The sugars protect the virus from digestive juices in your stomach.
Researchers have found that billions of viruses can be found on a single grain of rice and that more than 60 million viruses could fit inside just one cell in your body-the amount of cells required to carry out all functions, like breathing and digesting food, is about 2 billion.
#2. Weakened Digestion
If you eat too quickly, your body will have difficulty breaking down the food, and energy is wasted for much of it. Research shows that digestive enzymes are weak when fast food is eaten too quickly.
Additionally, no matter how much someone tries to chew their food, the rate at which the food passes through the stomach is extremely slow, says “Good Morning America.”
Most of the time, only 40-60% of food can be made into a mechanically broken down product before being pushed out of the system.
#3. Stimulation Of The Vagus Nerve
This nerve controls several gut functions and a lot of our organs. A 2009 study in the journal Current Biology found that rats eating quickly were more likely to suffer from indigestion and had elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Their cells also responded differently to insulin after eating. The researchers concluded that fast-paced eating might have major health consequences, including diabetes, heart problems, and cancer. You can find out more information about the study here.
#4. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Your stomach acid is designed to break down your food so it can be used as fuel by your body cells. If you don’t stop eating, the stomach still has to process your food, even after it is all finished. This can cause stomach acid to seep back into your esophagus.
#5. Poor Digestions
Research shows that people who have poor digestion often have high levels of bacteria in their nose and throat that contributes to their cough and colds. The bacteria are called Bordetella Pertussis but are commonly known as “Whooping Cough.”
Research shows that there may be a connection between this bacteria and developing asthma in children; therefore, one cannot overrule another reason for the coughing to occur.
Treatment For Coughing After Eating Fast Food
In this article, we will review 5 causes of coughing after eating fast food and treat them with a recipe of herbs and spices that can be used in the treatment of either a cold or asthma.
1. Chicken With Ginger And Garlic
Ginger is effective in relieving irritation to the respiratory tract and helping to clear mucus accumulated in the respiratory tract.
The effect of ginger on coughing has been proven repeatedly. This can be found in chicken soup, stir-fried beef with broccoli, beef with cabbage, chicken with bitter melon, and other dishes.
#2. Warm Chicken Soup With Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a very common ingredient in many recipes, and it contains citric acid, which can promote the secretion of mucus from the bronchial tubes and promote lung clearance.
Chicken soup has long been regarded as a traditional Chinese herbal recipe for colds or flu. So it should also have an effect on treating cough after eating fast food.
#3. Garlic And Carrot Soup
Garlic is a natural cold and flu treatment with antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects. Garlic has previously been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms of asthma as well as cough after eating fast food, according to the Journal of Medicinal Food.
#4. Yogurt With Honey And Cinnamon
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium that can help in clearing secretions in the airways by increasing mucus production. Yogurt contains several helpful microorganisms that can promote intestinal health and well-being.
Cinnamon is considered an effective agent for clearing respiratory tract infections and might help clear the airways.
Tomatoes contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant. It helps to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. Drinking tomato juice effectively fights cough after eating fast food because it soothes throat irritation, fights bacterial infections, and relieves painful sinuses.
#6. Honey With Ginger And Lemon Juice
Honey has been used as a traditional remedy for coughs, colds, asthma, and sore throats. Honey has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Honey is a natural cough suppressant because of its anti-inflammatory properties and antimicrobial properties. These properties can help to relieve inflammation in the throat and ease symptoms of cough after eating fast food.
#7. Honey With Cinnamon And Lemon Juice
Honey can also be used for respiratory problems, including coughs and respiratory congestion. In addition, honey has been found to possess strong antioxidant effects that can slow down the rate of aging in humans. Therefore, it should be an effective treatment for coughing after eating fast food.
#8. Warm Rice Water
Rice water is a common home remedy in China, used to treat children’s coughs, colds, and sore throats. During the Tang Dynasty, rice was soaked in hot water to make rice water. The rice was then strained and was applied to the skin as poultices.
The heat from the steam generated by the warm rice water will bring warmth to the respiratory tract and help clear mucus from the airways.
#9. Warm Lemon Water
Lemon has antiseptic qualities that fight against germs and bacteria that cause sore throats and coughs. Drinking lemon juice or lemon tea can soothe asthma symptoms like coughing because lemons contain vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system.
#10. Warm Green Tea
Green tea is well known for its antioxidant properties that effectively fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.
Drinking green tea can relieve coughs because it contains a chemical called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It has been found to be effective in treating coughs, colds, and sore throats.
#11. Honey And Flaxseed
Flaxseed is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which help to improve the functioning of our cells and thus help in clearing mucus from the respiratory tract.
The healthy fats contained in it are a natural anti-inflammatory, so honey helps reduce inflammation and improve tissue healing.
#12. Warm Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is packed with many different antioxidants and enzymes that can help to reduce inflammation and open the lungs, thus relieving cough after eating fast food.
#13. Warm Milk With Honey And Lemon Juice
Milk has been used as a natural treatment for colds and flu in many cultures of the world. The zinc in cow’s milk can help stimulate immune functions, which might help to reduce some symptoms of asthma such as coughing and wheezing.
Additional Tips To Prevent Coughing After Eating Fast Food:
Try to eat smaller portions of your favorite foods at home. It can be difficult to control the portion sizes when eating out.
When you eat at a fast food restaurant, choose things that are baked or broiled rather than fried.
Taking food into your mouth and swallowing it whole will move excess mucus up and out of your airways. Eat more often to keep your throat lubricated with saliva throughout the day, thus reducing coughing.
Drink lots of water before going to sleep at night and during the day. This can help to remove excess mucus from the airways.
Using a neti pot to rinse your sinuses with salt water can help to loosen up mucus and clear the airways. Salt will also wash away any crusty phlegm that might be stuck there. You may need to do this several times a day; until your symptoms are under control.
Before starting an exercise program, make sure you have plenty of rest and sleep, so don’t try too hard right after you start exercising; this may worsen the problem if you suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions.
Drink warm or hot lemon water with honey. This can break up mucus, leaving a calming and soothing effect on the throat.
The Bottom Line
No matter if you have been diagnosed with asthma or another type of respiratory condition, always remember that the best way to overcome this problem is to try natural ways and medicines. Our bodies are amazing machines that can heal themselves naturally.
You should learn more about the illness you suffer from and find out what is wrong with your body and how to treat it.