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What to Eat and What to Avoid When You Have the Flu

what to eat when you have the flu

Flu symptoms can decrease your appetite, but loading up on certain nutrients while battling the flu is essential. Sticking to a regular and healthy eating schedule will boost your body’s ability to heal.

Learn here what to eat when you have the flu

  • Chicken Soup: It a healthy dish that provides significant fluids and helps in the healing process. It is not only delicious but nourishing as well.
  • Garlic: When you are sick with flu, you can add garlic to your soup and other foods to enhance the flavor. Garlic boosts your immune system, thus helping you avoid cold.
  • Broth Based Food: It contains vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Hot broth helps preserve moisture in the nasal passages, avoids dehydration, and fights inflammation in the throat.
  • Citrus Fruits: Vitamin C cannot cure the flu, but it can help reduce the length and severity of the flu in both adults and children. Fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are high in Vitamin C and have antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.
  • Shellfish: It is the best source of zinc, which helps the immune system fight off any invading bacteria to help you fight off the flu.
  • Blueberries: These are high in anthocyanin and are a vital food to eat when sick with flu. Blueberries hold antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting potential.
  • Spicy Food: Eating spicy foods can break up nasal congestion and allows you to breathe easier, thus allowing you to taste your food better.
  • Ginger: Properties in ginger can help with your digestive system. You can consume ginger in the form of tea in order to soothe your throat when you have the flu.
  • Leafy Greens: Greens contain fiber, vitamin C, iron, and folic acid, which helps in digestion and improving the immune system. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which help heal the body during the flu. Leafy greens can be a simple addition to soups or stews. Some examples include kale, spinach, cabbage, swiss chard, and collard greens.

Also read: Flu Shot and Pregnancy –Is it Safe for Pregnant Women to Get a Flu Vaccine?

Foods to avoid when you have the flu:

When you are sick with the flu, avoid the following foods and drinks:

  • Alcohol: It affects your immunity and causes dehydration.
  • Caffeinated Beverages: Coffee, black tea, and soda might cause dehydration, and high sugar intake can lower your immune response as well.
  • Hard or Crunchy Foods: Crunchy crackers, chips, and foods with similar textures can aggravate cough and sore throat.
  • Processed Foods: These foods are often high in salt, which causes dehydration and sugar, which can increase inflammation. Also, the more refined a food is, the fewer nutrients you can receive.
  • Sugary Foods: You may think the best beverages to drink when you have the flu are vitamin-c rich fruit juices, but most of these choices are not nutritionally dense and may inflame your immune system.

Eating the right foods and keeping hydrated is crucial to getting over the flu. Major symptoms will be alleviated after five days, but it may take one to two weeks to fully recover from the flu. For any questions related to flu and flu shots, contact MI Express Care.

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