Influenza or flu is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. It can affect anyone but young children, older adults and those with a compromised immune system are most vulnerable. Symptoms of flu are similar as to that of colds like runny nose, sore throat and sneezing. However, people with flu may feel much worse because it can accompany fever, chills, headaches, dry cough, fatigue and weakness. Some children with the flu may also have diarrhea and vomiting.
Doctors may recommend some interventions to combat the flu, but there are ways that can be done at home, in order to attain a speedy recovery. Since your body is trying to battle flu symptoms, it is important to consciously consume the foods that can help boost your immunity. After all, a healthy immune system can help prevent or fight infections.
Proteins are important because it can strengthen your body. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that adults consume 50 grams of protein each day. Pregnant and nursing women may even need more protein daily. It is particularly good for people with the flu because high in protein foods, also contain Vitamins B6 and B12. These vitamins are good immune system boosters. Rich sources of protein include poultry, lean meat, fish, legumes, dairy, eggs, and nuts. You can also eat turkey, beans, spinach, potatoes and enriched cereal grains because these are good sources of Vitamin B6.
Research has also shown that flavonoids found in some fruits can also help in the immune system response. Flavonoids can be found grapefruit, lemons, oranges and limes. It may also be wise to eat watermelon because it contains glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and it can help strengthen the immune system. It can also be found in food items such as broccoli, cabbage and collards.
Chicken soup is also very good for people with the flu. Research has shown that chicken soup can help reduce symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. Thus, chicken soup can help boost one’s immunity and help ward off infection faster. It is also necessary to increase your fluid intake. However, try to stay away from dairy products like milk because it may increase mucus production. Aside from that, it may worsen symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting.
Since vomiting may occur with the flu, increasing your fluid intake is necessary. Orange juice is good because it is a rich source of Vitamin C and folic acid. These nutrients are essential to promote a speedy recovery. You may also increase your fluid intake by consuming Gatorade, ginger ale, clear broths, ice pops and gelatin. Try to take in small amounts at intervals. If you are able to tolerate it, gradually increase the amount of fluid you take in. Warm drinks should also be preferred over cold drinks because it can help in opening congested airways.
Some individuals with the flu may also have diarrhea. It is then important not to consume foods, which may aggravate your upset stomach. Try to stick with clear liquids first in order to allow your stomach to settle. As your condition will improve, you can try general liquids then the BRAT diet. It is short for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. The BRAT diet is good for your stomach because it can easily be digested.
Many individuals including children get the flu because it is very common. In order to prevent its occurrence, immunizations are necessary. To add to that, it is also wise to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, and plenty of rest and exercise. Most of the time, it is better to prevent an illness from occurring than to suffer its myriad of symptoms.