What To Eat When You Have The Flu:
Seasonal changes simultaneously cause a fluctuation in temperature and often people catch colds or other seasonal viruses during this time. While there is no way to cure a common cold or flu, following a balanced diet and other preventive tips can collectively help you and your loved ones from falling sick. Besides the following foods to fight the flu, it is important to add some more foods that fight infections to your diet.
Avoiding The Flu:
Researchers are finding positive links between immune function and components in food. Therefore, loading up on immune-boosting foods ensures that your body is provided with an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients that collectively support your immune system and ward off colds or the flu.
The gut absorbs essential nutrients and the gut bacteria metabolizes immune-supporting anti-microbial and anti-bacterial compounds, which circulate in the blood to help fight against flu. So have at least three meals per day and focus on well-balanced meals with plenty of lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Foods To Fight The Flu:
Here are some foods that help boost the immune system:
Fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt and buttermilk, all contain beneficial probiotics. They also provided additional nutrients to meals. Check out more on the benefits of probiotics.
Herbs And Spices:
There are numerous health benefits of herbs and spices. Some spices contain more antioxidants than fruits or vegetables without adding significant calories or bulk to meals. Ginger, clove, turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, and garlic contain high amounts of phytochemicals and antioxidants that increase immune cell function and protect cells against stress or damage. Raw garlic is a potent viral and bacterial agent that can destroy the flu virus before it transforms into a full-blown infection in the body. Moreover, fresh garlic contains sulfur compounds called allicin and alliin that have a direct antiviral effect.
Many herbal teas such as chamomile tea, green tea, ginger lemon tea, and more herbal teas types are high in antioxidants and ideal for digestion and boosting immunity too.
Water is crucial for cellular functions and the lymph system which is necessary for immunity. Besides water, other liquids like low sodium broth, herbal tea, fresh juices, and warm milk hydrate the body as well. Just try not to overdo it on the fresh juice or fruit smoothies as they tend to be high in sugar.
Fruits And Vegetables:
High in fiber, water, vitamins, and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables are crucial components for any healthy diet. Include vegetable soups in your diet. Also, choose fruits and vegetables with a wide variety of colors and textures for optimal nutrition.
Additionally, eat seasonal fruits as often as you can, as they provide the body with a maximum amount of antioxidants and nutrients. For example, citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and lime are all excellent sources of vitamin C and potassium, while leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and collards are high in vitamins A, C, K, and even some B vitamins.
Egg yolks are packed with immunity-boosting nutrients. Eggs also contain a high amount of vitamin D, which is vital for regulating and strengthening immunity.
This vitamin plays a vital role in immune function. But before running out to buy zinc supplements, focus on foods that are high in zinc, like beans, peas, dairy, meat, seeds, lentils, quinoa, green leafy vegetables, fish, shellfish and nuts. Zinc boosts the action of T-cells and also helps repair the membranes of your sinuses.
Dos & Don’ts:
- Limit the intake of foods that can worsen inflammation, lead to water retention or dehydration.
- Avoid foods that are highly processed, foods high in sodium, refined sugars, alcohol, and caffeine, as much as possible.
- In addition to your diet, remember that positive shifts in your daily lifestyle are equally important.
- Get plenty of sleep and moderate exercise.
- Reduce emotional stress to help minimize immune suppression.