What you put into your body goes a long way in determining what you get out of your body. And when you’re trying to get the flu out of your body, the same principle applies. Proper nutrition is paramount for good health, and that’s doubly true during times of illness.
With the flu season gearing up for another go-around, now is the perfect time to review what to eat whenever the flu strikes. Hopefully it won’t strike – with some sensible precautions, including flu shots, you may avoid the flu altogether – but if and when it does, having an optimized “anti-flu” diet plan in place can quicken the recovery time.
Diet’s Role in Shortening the Flu
Doctors agree – feeding yourself the right nutrients (and the right amount of nutrients) can have a drastic impact on how long the flu stays with you. The trick is finding the right combination to hasten the flu’s exit.
With flu season projected to peak this season between December and February, keep in mind the following food choices, just in case you or a loved one comes down with the flu.
- Protein helps keep the body strong, especially in times of sickness. Lean meat (turkey, lamb, etc.), fish, nuts and seeds are great protein sources when you have the flu.
- Vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 (for protein and immunity, respectively) should also be considered. For B6, try beans, turkey, cereal grains like wheat and rice, and green veggies. Common B12 foods include fish and fresh milk.
- Flavonoids, which give fruits and flowers their vibrant color, also boast immune-friendly function. Raspberries, blueberries and citrus fruits are packed with flavonoids.
- Chicken soup, that legendary flu-fighter, has been shown to reduce nausea and pain from the flu. Try homemade soup if possible – the canned varieties are loaded with sodium.
Dehydrated? Eat like a BRAT
If the flu also has you dehydrated, try the BRAT diet. “BRAT” stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. These 4 foods may not be the tastiest morsels around, but each one serves a purpose. Bananas are rich in potassium, which help combat dehydration. Rice and applesauce are easy to digest, while toast serves as a plain, non-disruptive sidekick for any BRAT-based meal.
Along with flu shots, the Banner Urgent Care network of walk in clinics will help you find the best possible health plan all year round. Even when the flu isn’t in season, it helps to have a team of dedicated medical professionals working for you, whenever you need it. Urgent CareExtra’s doctors and medical staff are ready to assist you now, with or without an appointment. For an Banner Urgent Care medical clinic near you, please visit our clinic locations page.
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