Sniffles, sore throats and stiffness – nobody enjoys the flu. While we sincerely hope you don’t end up with the flu this season, with the right nutritional choices, you can give your immune system a kick-start and start feeling better fast if you happen to get it.
Enlist the help of these flu-fighting foods and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
A hot mug of tea is always comforting when you’re sick but it has are some very real medical benefits as well. Polyphenols in tea (both black and green) are effective at blocking the influenza virus from multiplying. If you’re not already keeping a couple of your favorite teas on hand, consider stocking up – regular consumption can even boost your immune system in times of health.
2. Yogurt / Kefir
The protein content in yogurt and kefir helps your sick body to maintain (and even build) strength, while the probiotic cultures and zinc work together to bolster your immune system and keep unwelcome microbes at bay. When shopping, make sure that the label boasts “Live and Active Cultures”, and look for a brand that contains as many different strains as possible.
Garlic is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent, and it’s excellent at destroying any flu viruses that it comes in contact with. This is thanks to the compound allicin that is found inside it.
If you’re already sick, eating garlic can help to relieve symptoms and perhaps even clear up the illness more quickly. Regular consumption has powerful immune-boosting benefits that can help protect you against future infection. For best results, try chewing a raw clove – if you can handle the taste. If not, it’s still a great addition to cooked dishes like soup and stir-fry.
4. Chicken Soup
A sick-time staple, a steamy bowl of chicken soup is often the food of choice for those bedridden with the flu. This isn’t just a meritless cliché either. Chicken soup is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. If possible, make your own from scratch (or ask a friend or family member to help), and don’t forget to toss in some fresh, colorful vegetables for an antioxidant boost!
Aside from being another good source of protein and calories for your energy-starved body, almonds contain a great deal of Vitamin E, which helps to ward off viral infections. Their skin in particular seem to contain compounds that are effective at helping the immune system to both detect and destroy viruses before they spiral out of control. Just a handful can go a long way towards keeping you fueled up and on the road to recovery!