Forget about colds and flu season, today there are superbugs doing the rounds that leave you feeling like the walking dead any time of the year, and while there might be a few medicines that will relieve the symptoms, rest and the right foods are the only way to recover.
But what are the right foods, and are we supposed to be feeding a fever or starving it? Apparently, it’s neither. Studies reveal that it’s not how much you eat but rather what you eat that can help you feel half-human again.
While toasting with a smear of jelly might be your go-to sick day food but it seems, other than a sweet reminder of mom and home, the carbs and sugar aren’t doing you any favors. The refined carbs are broken down into sugar, which causes a rise in blood pressure, so they end up hindering your recovery.
You would have also been told to avoid mucus-making food products like dairy, but studies show milk, cheese, and yogurt don’t cause your body to produce mucus. Instead, the mucus is already there; but for some people, the dairy makes it thicker. If you’re one of them, then it’s best to cut down on dairy or avoid it altogether when you’re feeling under the weather.
We’ve put together a simple and best diet plan that includes the types of food that’ll help you heal.
Oatmeal with a banana – bananas are packed with potassium, and they’re gentle on your tummy, while oatmeal has beta glucans, a fiber that is known to speed up healing and boost your immune system. Whether you have it sliced, straight up or smashed, a banana will help with nausea and vomiting too.
Fresh vegetable juice – sometimes the thought of a meal leaves you feeling like you’re going to vomit so why not boost your immune system with a blitz of fresh fruits and vegetables that you can drink. A veggie ‘smoothie’ is packed with antioxidants that help fight off the flu.
Coconut water–coconut serves a dual purpose. It is hydrating and replenishes electrolytes, and if you add just a squeeze of lime juice you’ll get a healthy helping of vitamin C too.
Cauliflower – whether you eat it steamed or have it as a soup, cauliflower contains glutathione, an antioxidant that helps the immune system fight the flu.
Kefir – kefir is a fermented milk that is loaded with probiotics, which helps replenish healthy bacteria in your tummy. It’s also easy to digest.
Strawberry and almond milk smoothie – smoothies are a great way to get a load of vitamins and minerals in when you don’t feel well. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and while almonds provide zinc and vitamin E., You can also up the protein by adding plain yogurt or even a scoop of protein power.
Night time drink
Ginger or chamomile tea – Both of these are known for helping with nausea and reducing inflammation. Chamomile can also relax you if you’re battling to sleep.
Other foods and snacks that can soothe a sore throat or just make you feel better to include:
- Ice pops – these are perfect for a sore throat, and they keep you hydrated, which is essential when you’re trying to fight the flu. If you can, look for ice pops made from 100% fruit juice or you can make your own.
- Chicken soup – chicken soup is a way of getting fluids into your body and it has the necessary nutrients to help you feel better.
- Ginger – Ginger helps relieve nausea and stomach ache. You can add it to foods, either fresh or in powder form. Otherwise, a flat ginger ale will do the trick too.
- Kiwi fruit–kiwi fruit is better than oranges as a source of vitamin C, which can help the immune system. They also contain folic acid, which is essential for healthy blood cells.
- Garlic – so garlic doesn’t only keep vampires away, it holds the flu at bay too. Garlic is a source of natural antibacterial and antiviral properties that help prevent the flu. While raw or fresh garlic is best, not everyone likes the taste, or smell, in which case you can try the odorless garlic capsules. It is also a natural decongestant which means it breaks up mucus – just crush some in hot water and inhale it.
Avoid junk food – whatever you do avoid junk food. It’s not good for you when you’re healthy and doesn’t do anything for you when you’re unwell. A bad diet lowers your immune system and leaves you feeling even more sluggish and lethargic.
Even though there aren’t too many medicines that will help to prevent from flu, there are loads of other things that will help. Getting rest, with moderate exercise when you feel up to it, and eating the right foods will get you fighting fit again, as well as some TLC.