Fall is upon us which also means cold and flu season is nearing. With Coronavirus still lingering, it’s no wonder everyone is on heighted alert to avoid any type of illness—even if it’s just a cold or seasonal flu. While our best advice is to prevent illness by regularly washing your hands and getting your annual flu shot, we also have a few food recommendations to boost your health and immunity this time of year.
Our family healthcare providers in Bedford TX (clinics also located in Benbrook & Lewisville TX) have listed some of the top immune-boosting foods to help your body’s natural defense system to both prevent the flu and fight it off if you do end up going through it. Let’s get right into it!
Eating when you have the Flu
Each year, adults suffer from 2-3 colds on average and an estimated 20% of Americans come down with the flu. This tends to happen between the months of October and March. If you’ve ever had the flu before, you know the last thing you feel like doing is eating. The flu reduces your appetite but it’s important to get enough of the right nutrients to provide you with the energy you need to recover.
Top Foods to Fight the Flu
Broth: Prevents dehydration and can help soothe a sore throat and break up congestion.
Garlic: The major active competent found in garlic is allicin. Allicin is responsible for garlic’s antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. This promotes a healthy gut and rids the body of bacteria.
Sweet Potatoes: A great source of vitamin A which is important to maintaining the health of your skin. This includes everything from the inside of your nose all the way to your mucus membranes!
Dark Leafy Greens: Veggies such as kale, spinach, swiss chard and arugula are packed with Vitamin C which is known to shorten the length of a cold or flu.
Wild Salmon: As the days get shorter so does your Vitamin D intake. Salmon is rich in vitamin D and zinc which are critical for fending off the flu.
Green Tea: Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea is a powerful drink to fend off the flu.
Oatmeal: This whole grain is a natural source of vitamin E and fiber. A bowl of hot oatmeal is a soothing and highly nutritious flu-fighting food.
Dehydration is common with the flu. It’s typical to eat and drink less when you have the flu, decreasing your water intake. You also can lose water through sweat when you have a fever. Drinking enough water helps to break up trapped mucus when you have the flu, which makes you feel better. Water is also is imperative to your body’s functions in general!
What to Avoid
If you come down with the flu, there are a few items you should avoid:
- Caffeine: Drinks such as coffee, black tea and soda can dehydrate you.
- Alcohol: This lowers your immune system which can drag out the flu and can also cause dehydration.
- Processed foods: Stay away from anything low in nutritional value.
- Crunchy & Hard foods: Items such as chips can aggravate a sore throat.
Family Medicine Bedford TX – The Takeaway
Simply put, eating the right foods and staying hydrated can help you overcome the flu. It’s best to also lay low and get plenty of rest until your symptoms go away. If you have any questions about your health or your family’s health this flu season, don’t hesitate to reach out to the doctors at Your Family Medical! We have clinics conveniently located in Bedford, Benbrook & Lewisville TX. We’re here for everyone in your family, no matter what life stage you’re in!
Benbrook TX Clinic: 817-727-3331
Bedford TX Clinic: 817-283-6995
Lewisville TX Clinic: 972-436-7531