Fight the Flu with Healthy Foods

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 19 January 2010

flu-foodsIt’s peak cold/flu season, folks. I’ve commenced the season with nasal congestion, a sore throat, and a persistent cough and I just want it to go away.

The cold weather doesn’t directly affect whether or not you will get a cold or the flu – it’s more of a cause/effect relationship. Bacteria/viruses are the culprits, so if you’re spending more time indoors with poor ventilation, the likely outcome is that your health will be compromised. Also, the lowering of your body temperature can lower the response of your immune system, so if you’re not bolstering that system with a healthy diet, it’s only a matter of time before it’s attacked.

If you’re battling a cold or the flu, check out WebMD’s list of 10 foods to expedite the healing process:

  1. Popsicles – make sure they are loaded with vitamins, not sugar. This icy treat will soothe your sore throat while keeping you hydrated — the key to kissing congestion goodbye.
  2. Turkey Sandwich- the lean protein that turkey provides will give your body the energy it needs to get you back on your feet.
  3. Vegetable Juice- go for the low-sodium version for the antioxidant rush your body is craving.
  4. Chicken Soup-it’s not just an old wives’ tale, chicken soup has stood the test of time for its nourishing and hydrating properties. Added benefits: mild anti-inflammatory effects and improving the function of cilia, the small, hair-like parts that line your nasal passage and filter out the bad stuff.
  5. Garlic – your breath won’t be minty fresh, but your congestion may be alleviated and your immune system stimulated. And when your sinuses are clogged, any relief is well worth the halitosis.
  6. Ginger – if you’re experiencing nausea or other nasty stomach-related symptoms, a bit of ginger works wonders.
  7. Hot Tea – in my opinion, healthy or sick, there is nothing like sitting down with a steaming cup of hot tea on a cold day. If your throat is sore, a touch of lemon and honey will maximize the soothing properties of my favorite caffeinated beverage.
  8. Bananas – when you’re sick to your stomach, bananas go down easy, easing you back into a regular diet patterns.
  9. Toast – an old standby, toast fills the hunger void and is easy on the stomach too.
  10. Meal Replacement Drinks – look for high protein, low-sugar drinks to keep you on the mend.

If you haven’t caught a cold or the flu yet and would like to keep it that way, check out WebMD’s “15 Immune-Boosting Foods” and keep the cabinets stocked with these necessary items.

Cheers to a healthy 2010!

-Michelle Seitzer


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