Foods to Fight the Flu: During & After

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December 23, 2014

We all like to think we are invincible, even after suffering the nightmarish symptoms of the flu.  The fever, chills, aches and everything else can steamroll even the healthiest of us when we least expect it. However, the true frustration and sighs of, “Why am I still sick?!” occur in the days after the worst flu symptoms have abated.  How do we take care of ourselves to lessen these effects? Did you know that there are certain foods you can eat to help put you on the mend during the flu and afterwards? Our tips for eating healthy daily can help!

During the Flu:

It is important to increase your fluids during this time. Drink and eat clear liquids in whatever form you can keep down. Juice, ginger ales, clear broths, ice pops, chipped ice and even jello-like products can help. Chicken soup is not just for the soul. It does a body good.  It works as an anti-inflammatory to ease the cold symptoms.  The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples, toast) from your pediatrician also holds true.

Your body also needs protein; zinc and the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables like kale, broccoli and cauliflower help you to get better. Unfortunately you probably can’t stomach that during bouts of nausea from the flu. That’s why eating these foods before and after are so important.

After the Flu:

After your worst symptoms are over, you start to feel better but not great. You want more from life than the BRAT diet and that steady stream of soup and crackers is getting old.  What can ease the lingering symptoms? Stock up on kiwi, ginger, yogurt, garlic and honey with lemon to beat that flu.

  • Kiwi triumphs in the Vitamin C department and works better than oranges.  Loaded with folic acid, it keeps your red blood cells healthy.
  • Garlic wards off more than your average vampire. It is anti-bacterial and has antiviral properties.  Throw garlic in some chicken soup or crush garlic capsules into hot water and breathe in deeply.
  • Yogurt can be your new bestie after all the eliminating your body did during the flu.  Put the healthy bacteria back in balance to aid digestion and clear out mucus. It is one the one dairy product you can eat safely during this time.
  • The steam from a cup of hot water with lemon and honey not only soothes throat pain but can relax you and fight infection. Drink as much as you want.
  • Did you know that ginger helps you sweat out the toxins?  Ginger tea or slices of fresh ginger added to tea and soup can help ease digestive woes and get rid of the bug living in your body.

Daily Doses:

Heal faster with these other tips for fighting the flu.

  1. Get outside. A dose of sunlight will increase your energy and mood.
  2. Get lots of sleep. It is the best way to get better fast.
  3. Go spicy! Spicy foods will clear out your sinuses and punch up your immune system.

Remember to avoid alcohol, caffeine and junk food which can slow down recovery.

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