Winter is nearing an end so we are close to the end of cold and flu season. If you didn't get sick this year yet, consider these last minute foods to fight the flu to make it through until spring! While medications do wonders, sometimes medications alone cannot alleviate all of your symptoms. If you have the flu, here are five foods that can help alleviate your symptoms, strengthen your immune system, and fight off that bug!
When it comes to health foods, garlic is a miracle worker; research over the years has revealed it to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects (1). When you’re fighting off the flu virus, garlic is just the boost your immune system needs!
In order to make the most of its anti-viral properties, try to incorporate garlic into soups and broths. Adding them to the mixtures allows the garlic’s nutrients to be released into your food, making them easier to absorb!
Like garlic, fresh ginger has been found to ward off viruses (2). While it might seem tricky to add extra ginger into your meals, ginger can easily be enjoyed as a refreshing tea! By boiling some fresh, shredded ginger and adding a few drops of honey, you’ve got yourself a treat that will soothe your throat and bring you one step closer to recovery!
Turmeric is another root with anti-viral properties (3). This antioxidant, commonly found in curries, can put some colour into your rice, chicken, stews, soups and other dishes!
Fluids are essential when you are sick. Your body tends to get dehydrated and needs extra water to maintain and clear its system. One common and effective drink to consider is green tea. While often enjoyed for pleasure, green tea has anti-viral properties and can strengthen the immune system (4,5). Now you have another reason to enjoy yet another cup!
Unlike the other foods, satsuma mandarins (commonly known as mandarins) are known to reduce the symptoms triggered by the flu virus when it enters the body (6). These citrus fruits make for sweet, refreshing, and convenient on-the-go snacks for you and your kids!
All that is left for you to do is incorporate these foods into your meals! Try adding green teas and mandarins in your daily diet and try having soups, broths, and stews with ginger, garlic, and/or turmeric in your meals. Not only are these dishes soothing to eat when sick, but they allow for the flu-fighting chemicals to be more readily available!
There are many online sources claiming that certain vitamin, supplements, and foods can help fight the flu. Many of these claims are not supported by research. To ensure a safe and successful recovery, talk to your doctor and dietitian today to learn the best way to recover!
Get well soon!
Winston D, Maimes S. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Rochester: Healing Arts Press; 2007.