Certain foods have great power to fight against flu by relieving symptoms and help you heal more quickly. When you feel sick, you probably do not feel like you have anything because of lost appetite. However, eating the right food and staying hydrated is essential for fast recovery. Here are some healthy foods for the flu.
14 Healthy Foods You Can Eat During Flu
1. Chicken Soup
Hot chicken soup is a very effective remedy for sickness. It is an excellent source of food and electrolytes required to gain some energy and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, calcium, minerals, and proteins to support the body. It inhibits the effect of neutrophils causing coughing and a stuffy nose. It has essential chemically active compounds like amino acid, cysteine, N-acetylcysteine, which have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Hot Tea
Hot tea is a good option for relieving symptoms of cold and flu. It acts as the natural decongestant to sinuses of mucus. The polyphenol tannin found in the tea has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Black tea gives relief from throat infection by inhibiting bacteria’s growth, and echinacea tea may quickly heal the cold or flu.
3. Dark Leafy Green Vegetables
Spinach, kale, lettuce are the best leafy vegetables. They are the packed source of vitamin A, C, K, and folate. Leafy greens have the potential plant compounds, which have antimicrobial, antioxidant properties to fight inflammation. The best way to eat spinach is with egg for a protein-rich meal, and try kale into some fruit smoothie.
4. Coconut Water
The most important thing is to stay well hydrated to compensate for water and electrolytes lost when you are sick. Tannins present in coconut water help prevent inflammation. Sipping coconut water throughout the day is the best way to gain glucose and the electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. It helps in rehydrating your body with all the lost electrolytes and water during vomiting.
Yogurt is always a better choice to get the required nutrients. The rich creamy yogurt is an excellent food providing zinc, calcium, other minerals, and vitamins. Also, it acts as the best probiotic for the fast recovery from the flu.
6. Spicy Foods
Generally, eating spicy foods make our runny nose and watery eyes, but these are the very effective decongestant. Wasabi, horseradish, etc., have the potential decongestion property. Chilli peppers contain “capsaicin,” which has a desensitizing effect of relieving congestion and itching. Also, it stimulates mucus production; thus, helping in clearing out your nose. Watch out for a runny nose!
Ginger is well-known for its antimicrobial, antiemetic effects. When you feel sick, brew some hot ginger tea, or you can add some fresh cut pieces in hot food. Make sure to use natural ginger or its extract for tangible benefits, NOT the flavor.
8. Citrus Fruits
Fruits are rich sources of fibers, vitamins, and minerals, and they are beneficial as they boost the body’s immunity. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, pomegranate, lemon, grapefruits, etc., have a good amount of vitamin C and flavonoids to fight against fever. The active component anthocyanins in fruits have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties.
The flavonoids, quercetin found in berries, can fight against rhinovirus as this is a common cause behind the common cold. Add a handful of fruits into the oatmeal or yogurt to gain more benefits, and make a frozen fruit smoothie to soothe your throat.
Garlic is the best medicinal herb for its antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and immune-boosting properties. Adding garlic to chicken soup makes it effective against the flu and additionally flavourful.
Honey has potent immunity-enhancing and antimicrobial properties. It effectively fights against all types of infection; thus, it is generally used when a sore throat is caused by bacterial infection and wound dressings. The best way to consume honey is with a glass of warm milk, water, or hot tea.
Banana is a great fruit providing a decent amount of calories and nutrients. It contains a good amount of potassium, which helps replenish the lost electrolytes lost in sickness. It also contains fiber that helps to relieve diarrhea. Therefore, hospitals use banana flakes to treat the same.
Oatmeal is bland, easy to eat, provides calories, vitamins, and other nutrients when feeling unwell. It contains the B gluten fiber to avoid inflammation of the digestive tract. It also has good immune-stimulating and antidiabetic action. Always make sure to shop for plain oatmeal as many artificial flavored packs are available containing added sugar.
Avocados have the active component oleic acid to prevent inflammation and enhancing immunity. Hence, it is a good alternative to add to your diet while feeling sick as it provides a good amount of calories, nutrients, and minerals needed to be energetic. It is easy to eat, relatively soft, and bland.
Broccoli is the nutrient powerhouse with a rich amount of immune-boosting vitamins C and E with calcium and fiber to get rid of the flu.
Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they cause more dehydration even when you sweat and contain added sugar. Oily, hard texture, or processed foods like chips, crunchy crackers aggravate cough and sore throat.