Winter is known to be one of the coziest and comfortable seasons until you fall sick! The season for flu and cold is here and there are many ways you can protect and treat yourself naturally with the foods that you opt-in your diet this winter. Especially for kids, it is important to make them get the right nutrition in infectious weather like winter.
As we all know, the flu symptoms are the worst ones of the lot that give us extremely painful headaches, running red noses and other such uncomfortable feelings on the contrary to the season’s feeling. The worst among these is the loss of appetite and the inability to swallow most foods given the painful throat infection.
In such a condition, there are certain foods that are good enough to run down the throat peacefully without causing problems, and in turn making, you feel more relieved and better. After all, the flu is not going to go away by itself until you feed your body and give it the energy to fight with the harm causing bacteria and virus are any.
What Foods To Eat When You Have The Flu
The food you eat, as you know, gives your body the energy it needs to make all your organs function and in this special case of flu, make antibodies to fight the infection that has caused this condition. Here the key is to eat the right food that your body needs.
Garlic is not merely just a food flavouring ingredient. It also has a lot of medicinal and corrective properties that will help you battle the flu. It is also known to enhance immunity and reduce the symptoms of your flu.
The best way to consume it is to have it raw in your empty stomach at the beginning of your day. Doing this even when you do not have flu is known to be beneficial for immunity and weight loss. You can also add it to your soup or make a yummy Rasam with it and have it with nicely cooked soft rice when it is hot.
Another important ingredient to consider in your diet while you have the flu is green leaves. You grandmother and mother, both would agree with these things being added in your food when you’re sick. No wonder you get to eat them even more frequently in your regular meals too.
Green Leaves include cabbage, spinach, fenugreek (methi), coriander and of course, everyone’s favourite – mint. All these green leaves can be easily added in the dal or the soups you make top help you relieve the flu symptoms.
A lot of the kashayams and kaadas that we have when we catch a cold contain either one or more of these spices. The most popular ones are cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cumin and the powerful tulsi. Some other spices considered in this list are cloves, pepper and cardamom (ilaichi).
These spices can be added in a little excess to the general daals, soups and rasam that you have while your sick to do the magic! What’s more, you could also make combinations of these spices and make clear water-based tea with them by adding a spoon of honey to make it tasty on your dull days.
For all you non-vegetarians, it is not necessary to be vegetarian with your healing foods for flu. Chicken soup brings in some extra benefits with it when it comes to giving you proper nutrition. Shredded chicken boiled with other vegetables in whichever form you like, when consumed hot does the trick too. You could also add the spices to it to make it powerful to fight the flu.
Reminder – Hot milk with pepper and turmeric is the best Indian way of getting rid of literally any and every sickness we encounter because of its anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting properties with the added boost of calcium.
Chicken soup has two main benefits that others do not have. It is the property of keeping you hydrated and giving you that extra dose of protein to make your body more energy to fight the flu germs.
Oats are a very good alternative to you masaledaar and spicy food that we usually cannot consume when encountering flu. Oats are the easiest to prepare and are best when consumed with milk when you are sick.
Having said this, it is important to be careful while choosing the oats you buy. Make sure they do not have any added sugars, otherwise this can make your throat infection during flu worse and also give the unnecessary extra sugar in the body.
Not just the leaves, seems like green flowers also help you in getting rid of flu symptoms. Broccoli that belongs to the cabbage family and is an amazing source of Vitamins C and K apart from calcium and fibre. Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting and antioxidant properties.
The best time to have broccoli when you have the flu is towards the middle and end period. It might seem hard to eat broccoli in the beginning because of your low appetite, but when consumed almost during the ending, it gives a good boost in sodium, vitamins and fibre to the body.
What Foods To Avoid?
It is very important to avoid certain foods from your diet when you have the flu. These could aggravate the symptoms and make you prone to other complications with your throat and nose. The following are some things you should avoid taking in when you have the flu –
- Alcohol: Alcohol causes dehydration and brings down the power of your immune system
- Hard and crunchy foods: Having crackers, chips and anything that is basically hard to bite and crunchy are a complete no because they aggravate cough and sore throat.
- Processed foods: These foods are harder to digest compared to others and hence are an extra task to the already weak and low immune body. They also lack a lot of nutrients.
- Caffeinated drinks: Soda, black tea, and coffee make you dehydrated and they contain unnecessary sugar that will make it hard for your body to break down.
Nourishment For Children
When compared to adults, children find it even harder to deal with flu symptoms. Adults themselves do not have enough appetite to take in the required nutrients, and this seems even more hard for the kids to handle. Hence it is important to make sure kids proper nutrition when hit with the flu.
Children get easily dehydrated because of their relatively less body mass and therefore it is important to offer kids more fluids when they have the flu.
A drop in the temperature outside usually tends to make us consume less fluids because the body is not that thirsty as it is in warm and hot conditions. Hence make sure kids and adults too are taking in a good amount of fluids to prevent dehydration.
Foods That Help Prevent Flu
Certain foods give you the energy and power to fight flu germs from even getting to you. When you see the cold season hitting, make sure you add these foods to your diet to avoid getting the cold.
Different types of tea can be tasted and tried during this season because anything hot will easily go down your throat to make you feel warm.
Among all, Ginseng tea is famous for a larger number of reasons than its tasty taste. To be specific, the tea has been utilized as a treatment for contamination in the throat area, which is the upper respiratory tract (otherwise known as the basic virus).
With regards to catching a cold or flu, ginger is perhaps the best nourishment for help. You can add a spoon of honey and add some other spices mentioned above.
Undoubtedly when we talk about teas, it is impossible that we don’t talk about the infamous green tea. Green tea contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants supporting the immune system and reducing inflammation in the body apart from having calming properties.
Fruits like berries, oranges, tomatoes, etc. are incredible nourishment to eat when the flu season starts, because of their high concentration of Vitamin C. A medium-sized tomato contains a little more than 16 milligrams of VItamin C, which is known to fuel your body’s immune system.
In a German report published by Medizinische Monatsschrift hide Pharmazeuten, Vitamin C was demonstrated to be an essential nutrient required by the body to build the quality of the body’s phagocytes and white blood cells. These are the two significant parts of the immune system. The specialists additionally noticed that inadequacy in this supplement can prompt a weaker immunity and lower protection from specific pathogens that can prompt cold and flu.
Oranges are also a very good source of Vitamin C and the citrus content in it helps in keeping the body hydrated. Make sure you’re having a good amount of such fruits in your diet to stay healthy in the flu season.
Additional Virgin Olive Oil
This oil has been known to help modify and support the body’s immunity. A study published in the English Diary of Nourishment discovered Olive Oil’s high concentration of polyunsaturated fats have anti-inflammatory properties that help the body relieve pain occurring due to the chilly weather in the body. They also additionally help with boosting the immune system and guarding the antibodies.
Whole grains contain soothing properties, which takes into account an increase in the production of healthy bacteria, as indicated in a study published by The American Diary of Clinical Sustenance.
Since they are mostly made up of fibre, it is very good for your gut health and in turn for your immune system. 70% of your immune system lives in your gut, and hence it’s essential to keep your gut healthy to fight off any cold-causing germs!
Greek yoghurt is loaded up with probiotics that fight illness-causing germs and is made up of more protein than ordinary yoghurt. People who consume more probiotics have gut-healthy bacteria that help fight illnesses.
Greek yoghurt is found in many flavours in the market. You can also buy plain yoghurt and mix it with berries to make it more interesting to eat, especially for kids.
It might seem vague but dark chocolate can be very useful in fighting the flu virus. Although sweetened chocolates are known to affect the throat infection and worsen it, on the contrary, dark chocolate is actually good for your health and reduces cough. Dark chocolate contains an overwhelming concentration of theobromine, a cancer prevention agent that has been demonstrated to reduce cough. Dark chocolate is one of the famous remedies for cough caused by bronchitis, but there is more research to be done to prove it.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away and it is actually true. Apples have very good nutritional properties that make it the king of fruits that fights doctors and the flu. They contain phytochemical antioxidants that help reduce the incidence of chronic diseases and also boost immunity.
Apart from adding these foods to your diet, it is also important to stay hydrated during winters to stay away from the flu and to tackle it if you already got it. Along with the appetite, it is important to also take care of your water intake to make sure you don’t get into the state of dehydration. Having fluids is not just important for general bodily functions, but also an active participant that fights infections.
All in all, it is not just important to have the cold stuff to merely provide heat to fight the cold symptoms. It is also important to keep the body fit and nutritious to fight the bacteria and virus of the flu from entering your body itself. Try adding these foods into your diet when you’re affected with flu and also right when winter starts to stay away from itself in the first place.