From black tea to yogurt, Ten foods to prevent cold and flu
From black tea to yoghurt and oranges, these food have the power to protect against influenza and people with Asthma.
While there’s no magical way to escape the wrath of the winter season, keeping a check on your food intake can certainly help you to prevent seasonal flu and viral diseases. From black tea to yoghurt and oranges, these food have the power to protect against influenza, a common infection of the upper respiratory tract that can cause serious complications in older adults, pregnant women, infants and people with certain chronic health problems such as asthma. Here’s a quick guide to the food you must include in your regular diet to prevent flu and cold.
Black tea prepared with a ginger, lemongrass and other spices helps protect your body against cold and flu. A research at Harvard University also showed that people who drank five cups of black tea a day for 2 weeks had improved immune system T cells to pump out 10 times more cold and flu virus-fighting interferon.
YOGHURT AND BUTTERMILK
Researcher have found that yoghurt contains a bacteria called Lactobacillus reuteri that reduces the susceptibility of catching cold. These bacteria ware found to produce immune substances that help in protecting the body from flu and cold.
GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, kale, cabbage among others are a rich source of vitamins like A, C and E. These seasonal fresh vegetables boost immunity and safeguard your body from flu and influenza.
Apart from adding flavour to your food, garlic provides your body with several health benefits. Eating 3-4 cloves of raw garlic every morning boosts immunity and helps to keep viral infections at bay. It is also a very efficient anit-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent which prevents microbial infections in the body.
ORANGES AND LEMONS
Seasonal fruits like oranges, kinnow, lemon, lime, tomato among others are a rich source of vitamin C and anti-oxidants. They help in building boosting immunity in the body keeping you safe from seasonal flu and viral infections.
CHICKEN SOUP Chicken soup combines the benefits of broth along with additional ingredients. Cut-up chicken provides your body with iron and protein, and you’ll also gain nutrients from carrots, herbs, and celery.
You can eat chicken soup throughout the duration of the flu to help keep you hydrated and satiated; just be sure to watch the salt content.
BROCCOLI Broccoli is a nutrient powerhouse that can benefit your body when you have the flu. Eating just one serving will provide immune-boosting vitamins C and E, along with calcium and fiber. Consider eating broccoli when your appetite returns toward the middle or end of the flu. You can also eat broccoli soup; just remember to check the sodium content.
It’s easy to get dehydrated with the flu. Not only do you eat and drink less and have an overall reduced water intake, but you also lose water with sweat when you have a fever.
Not only are fluids important for your body functions in general, but they can also help break up congestion and stave off infections.
When it comes to hydrating beverages, water still ranks number one. It also acts as a natural detox for your body. If you aren’t a fan of water or are looking for something with more flavor, you can also drink:
• ginger tea
• herbal tea with honey
• honey and lemon tea (mix equal parts with hot water)
• 100 percent juices (look for products without added sugars)
Low-sugar sports drinks or other electrolyte-containing beverages, such as Pedialyte, may be used if you’re dehydrated only.
Although they’re not typical of the seasonal flu, vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms that could warrant the use of electrolytes.
WHAT TO AVOID
Knowing what to avoid eating with the flu is perhaps just as important as what you should eat. When you’re sick with the flu, avoid the following items:
• Alcohol. This lowers your immune system and causes dehydration.
• Caffeinated beverages. Items such as coffee, black tea, and soda can make you more dehydrated. Plus, many of these beverages may contain sugar.
• Hard or jagged foods. Crunchy crackers, chips, and foods with similar textures can aggravate a cough and sore throat.
• Processed foods. Whether these are from a fast food joint or made from a box, the more processed a food is, the fewer nutrients you’ll get. With the flu, your body is trying to heal itself, so it’s important to support the process with whole, nutritious foods.
HELPING YOUR CHILD STAY NOURISHED
As an adult with the flu, when you have no appetite or energy, it can be difficult to eat nutritious foods and make sure you’re drinking enough fluids. This can be even more difficult for children.
Children are also more likely than adults to become dehydrated because of their lower body masses. Make sure you offer fluids to your child often.
YOU CAN ALSO:
• Administer an over-the-counter pain reliever for aches and fever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB). Just be sure to check the dosage amount, and choose a baby or child version if appropriate for your child’s age and weight.
• Have your child dress in layers if they have a fever and chills.
• Offer popsicles to help soothe their throat and alleviate fever.
• Encourage them to rest by creating an environment with minimal stimulation. Even though it may be tempting to put them in front of the television, watching too much TV may have a negative effect on their sleep.