Does eating citrus fruits cause nasal congestion and common colds.

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A lot of people complain that eating oranges or eating any citrus fruits
causes nasal congestion, running nose or cough.

Many people are not sure if eating these fruits cause this problem
or the method in which they consume these fruits cause this problem.

They also wrongly believe that these problems will happen for others too and advise others not to eat citrus fruits during the winter season.

Let us find out the three real reasons…

The first reason:

In reality, there are some ingredients in these citric fruits that can increase allergy causing histamines in the body.

A lot of people regularly drink  less water  and  when they start eating citrus fruits , the histamines increase, and the congestion, runny nose show up as allergies.

These people think that eating citrus fruits causes nasal congestion, runny nose and cough.

The remedy for this is to drink 4-5 liters of water daily. We will describe the right method to drink water in future posts.

People with cold and allergies should not drink cold water or hot water. They should drink warm water.

The second reason for the cause of nasal and throat problems from drinking juices is :

The juices we buy from the supermarket refrigerator section or from the Juice shops(Jamba Juice anyone!) are very tasty for a reason.

To make the juices sweeter and… to enhance the flavor and… to entice you to buy the juices again

they add lots of other stuff including loads of sugarrrr!.

Sugar will subdue the soreness in these fruit juices.

Harvard University did a study on the number of teaspoons of sugar found in various 12 ounce drinks. Here is a sampling from that study…
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Coke and Pepsi – 10 tsp
Odwalla “Serious Focus Apple Raspberry” – 14 tsp
Welch’s 100% Grape Juice -15 tsp
Naked  Juice 100% Juice Pomegranate Blueberry – 13tsp
Jamba Juice – Mango Peach Topper – 15 tsp


Many people .. when they make juice at home.. to reduce the soreness and make it tasty, they too add sugar to the juice. These people are unaware of the bad effects of  sugar, so they add it.

Sugar has the ability to enhance the histamines, thereby causing mucus and common cold in our body.

Because of this ignorance, people blame the citrus fruits for the nasal and throat problems.
We should not add sugar to the juices.

I know , I know, you are saying that drinking sour juice is impossible…

Fortunately, there are a couple of alternatives for sugar.

I actually add honey in my citrus juice, but if for some reason, you don’t want to add honey
you can use dates powder( I found it in Whole foods), or you can soak dates in water, grind it like a paste and add this to the juice.

Honey has no qualities to cause allergy.

Adding these alternatives like honey or dates paste, instead of sugar to your juices, keeps you away from nasal and throat problems.

The third reason is

Since we live in cities, we buy fruits once a week on the weekends and store them in refrigerators.

To keep the fruits from going bad, we store them in the fridge as soon as we get them from the store.

When we want to make juice, we take them from the fridge and juice them.

Since the temperature is very low and very cold, this will affect our health.

The chilling effect produces excess mucus, nasal  congestion and breathlessness.


We are unaware how bad excess ice is to our body.  We just feel like drinking with lots of ice and we love it.

When we get common cold problems , we blame the citrus fruits and not the ice. we think Ice is solidified water .
It is not water but the chillness which causes these problems.

Thus, it is better if citrus fruits are stored at room temperature and when you are ready to juice it, juice the room-temperature fruits.

When juice is consumed at room temperature without adding sugars or ice, it will never cause allergies.

Adding Salt:

Some people add a tiny-winy bit saltttt! to juices like lemonades.  A big No No!.

This salt will rapidly enhance histamines, increase mucus discharge and produce allergies.

So, getting allergies is because of these three reasons.

If you drink fresh citrus juices with honey or fresh dates paste it would keep you safe from allergies.
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Citric juices are a –daily– essential requirement to our body.

Citric fruits like oranges, Clementine, grapefruits etc are rich in anti-oxidants that keep our body from all anti bodies and increase resistance against illnesses.

Some people add citrus juices to foods and cook them. Actually , Vitamin C in these fruits is lost if cooked.

It is better to eat at least one citrus fruit like orange, Clementine etc a day to increase our resistance power during the cold winter months.

Also, We should eat the right fruits for the right season.

If you notice the citric fruits are widely available in the winter season and gets scarcer as the summer approaches.
Cuties or clementines are not there in Costco!! after winter.

The nature of citrus fruits is to eradicate the phlegm formed and cleanse the mucus produced during the winter season.

Citric fruits are rich in vitamin C which also helps to improve resistance against infections too.

It is good to eat citrus fruits especially during the winter season.


Any food if it is taken in the right way won’t cause any bad result.

It is a fallacy to think that citric fruits will cause common cold related problems like nasal congestion and coughs.

Now, you know the truth. I hope you enjoy your oranges and clementines.


  1. Sakthi Devi says:

    Dear author Vijay
    The article was neatly compiled and indeed helpful. Thank you . Also I would like to know if the same is applicable for known allergic rhinitis /sinusitis patients, meaning can they consume citrus fruits too