Foods that Fight Flu
Cold and flu viruses are constantly moving around in the environment, just waiting for the most susceptible person to catch them. Because it constantly mutates and changes their DNA structure, humans do not have immunity to these viruses. However, the body can fight flu by producing more antibodies to get rid of the invading particle. When you contract a cold or flu, your body feels tired and weak and you just want to rest in bed. There are no known medicines to fight these viruses. But if your body is fed with healthy foods and well hydrated, you can fight and speed up the healing process. Here are top 10 foods that fight flu and help you get back in shape in no time.
Keeping yourself hydrated is very important when you are down with the flu. Drinking plenty of water will help loosen congestion and thins secretions, so you do not have hard time expectorating and expelling mucus out from your body. Plain, clean drinking water is better alternative than caffeinated beverages because of its diuretic effects and sodas which contain high sugars that inhibits the body to fight off viruses.
Mushrooms are excellent sources for selenium, which aids white blood cells to create cytokines that clear sickness, and beta glucan, which is an antimicrobial type of fiber necessary to stimulate cells that find and destroy infections. Mushrooms also contain polysaccharides which supports the immune system. In traditional Chinese medicine, shiitake, reishi and maitake varieties are most commonly used to fight cold and flu.
A cup of hot tea is relaxing to the senses, soothes painful throats, relieves nasal congestion and thins out secretions. When you drink a cup of hot tea, you will immediately feel a warming effect, which may be helpful when you have chills and shivers because of fever. Tea contains polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants to boost the immune system and enables your body to fight infections effectively. Choose green tea, decaffeinated black tea and other herbal teas.
Since the old days, a bowl of hot chicken soup is one of the tried and tested foods that fight flu. The hot liquid works just like how water and hot tea does. The meat of the chicken contains certain anti-inflammatory properties which help decrease swelling of the sinus and nasal passages. Chicken soups have several kinds of vegetables in it that are loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants to combat viruses and speed up recovery.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic which is loaded with allicin that helps combat viruses and even bacteria. When you are suffering from a stubborn cold and flu, include 2-3 cloves in your daily cooking and into the chicken broth to ease out the symptoms of cold and flu. You can also drink garlic water by putting in several cloves of garlic into half a cup of water and drink it 6-8 hours after. It will help relieve congestion, thins mucus and makes expectoration easier.
Bananas are loaded with vitamins and minerals providing you with energy and iron to keep you going even during sick days. This powerful fruit is vital for performance and lifts your mood when viruses bring you down. While you were mostly on liquid diet during the past days, bananas are great transition foods because of their soft consistency and help your stomach adjust easily to solid foods without bloating or nausea. Bananas are also potent sources of potassium, thus relieving you of muscle cramps and aches.
Wild salmon and other fishes are high in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Omega-3 fats are highly effective in strengthening the immune system by increasing the activity of the macrophages to kill bacteria and viruses that makes you sick. Try it grilled, steamed or pan-fried with fresh garlic cloves and add several vegetables on the side to make a complete hearty meal.
Bread and Crackers
Bread and crackers are pleasant to the stomach and helps your body get back to eating solid foods again without experiencing abdominal problems. These foods will aid in the absorption of excess acids in the stomach and its soft texture makes you feel full faster without overworking your stomach. Choose plain crackers and breads rather than flavored types. You can toast breads lightly and top with banana slices or rub with a piece of fresh garlic. Your chicken soup may be served with freshly toasted bread on the side for a hearty and warm meal.
Probiotics, which are very abundant in yogurt, are immune system boosters and lower your risks for gum diseases and even cancers. The digestive tract is the biggest of your immune organs, and it must be kept protected through an abundant supply or prebiotics and probiotics in the digestive tract. Choose yogurt with “live and active cultures” on the label to ensure that you are getting the good and real stuff. Add it into fruit smoothies or eat it with fresh fruits on top for a load of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants necessary to fight illnesses and helps you recover fast.
Although citrusy fruits like oranges are high in vitamin C, strawberries and blueberries are very high in antioxidants which help fight diseases and boost the immune system. When you eat fresh berries, you reduce the intensity and duration of your cold and flu. These fruits are also good sources of vitamin C which lessens the effects of stress by lowering free radicals and strengthening the immune system. Try a cup of fresh strawberries and blueberries today and have a healthy immune system especially during the rainy season.
While you are on the road to recovery, eat these foods that fight flu regularly and consistently to help alleviate the symptoms, prevent dehydration and speed up recovery time. With the right combination of a healthy and balanced diet accompanied with plenty of rest and sleep, you will be up and about in no time.