Being ill is one of the worst times of your life, particularly when you have a nasty cold or flu virus. Flu affects millions of people each year, some worse than others, and don’t even get me started on the dreaded “man flu” pandemic.
Unfortunately, with most flu infections, the only thing you can do is ride it out until it passes. There are a few ways you can make your life easier when you are sick; eating the right foods is one way to help your body recover quicker.
There are at least eight wonderfully nutritious foods that you can eat to best equip your body for fighting the virus that is currently bringing you down. We’ve listed these, in no particular order below, as a helpful reference guide for kicking flu’s butt.
There is no better food group to focus on when you’re sick. Fruits are jam-packed with vitamins and germ-fighting goodies to keep the flu baddies at bay. While almost all fruits are beneficial for your immune system, some are just better than others.
When selecting your fruity, flavorful favorites for your recovery, focus on ones with higher vitamin contents. Some of the best ones to choose from include kiwis, apples, bananas, and citrus fruits. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, which your immune system desperately needs when it’s fighting a flu virus.
As much as you might not love vegetables, you need them to help you recover faster. Vegetables are powerful little nutrient boosters that will do far more good things for your immune system than fast food would. Vegetables, like fruits, are all good for you but some of them are better known for their immune-boosting properties.
The darker, leafier vegetables are better for your immune system because they are high in iron, vitamins, and other minerals. If kale isn’t your first choice, then you could choose carrots because they are rich in beta carotene and vitamin A. These will help your body by repairing your struggling immune system, like vitamin A which is known for helping your body fight free radicals and prevents further cell damage.
If you’re feeling under the weather and your stomach is upset, crackers are the best food to eat. They are high in starch which helps to absorb gastric acids and will settle your queasy stomach. Crackers are bland, bland is a good thing when you need to eat but you can’t handle the stronger smells or tastes of other foods.
Chicken soups have long been heralded as the unsung heroes of healing and recovery. The reason why this particular soup is so good for helping you to fight off an infection is that it releases a specific amino acid called cysteine, this amino acid resembles a medication that is widely used to treat upper respiratory infections. Chicken soup and Hall’s Cough Drops will have you feeling better in no time. It’s magical, but it is also just pure science.
Many studies have shown that garlic helps to fight colds and the flu and leads to a quicker recovery. Garlic’s flu-fighting powers are at their strongest when it is consumed in a raw state or as an extract. If you can’t stomach garlic raw, you can get odorless garlic supplements instead.
When you’re feeling at your worst, there is nothing quite like a hot bowl of nutritious oatmeal. This soothing food choice is a natural source of vitamin E which happily boosts your immune system. It also contains fiber and powerful antioxidants which will both help you on your nutritional road to recovery. For the most benefits, stick to whole oats because they are healthier.
Ginger has medicinal properties that make it a great choice for a home remedy for colds and cases of flu. Ginger is a natural antibacterial and it helps you to manage pain and inflammation. Ginger can be used to treat many illnesses and ailments, including abdominal pain and sore throats. It is best consumed raw or in a hot tea.
Flu viruses often cause fevers, runny noses, and sweating which leads to dehydration if you do not increase your fluid intake. By drinking plenty of fluids, including water, you can compensate for your fluid loss and help your body recover. If you can’t drink water in large amounts, then try taking smaller sips more frequently. You can also increase your fluid intake by drinking Lucozade or hot soups.