Ug. Being sick with the flu is awful. Your energy is gone, your body is on fire, and those aches and pains just won’t go away! If that’s something you’re in to, then by all means, have at it. But if you’re like me and don’t appreciate being all kinds of sick, you’ll love learning about this little trick to overcoming the flu much faster.
It’s called nutrition, and it’s going to help you kick that flu in the proverbial pants.
As I’m sure you’re well aware, it’s important to eat healthily so as to keep your body in tip-top shape. But did you know that some foods will actually go out of their way to fend off the invading flu virus better than others? It’s true! In fact, Byron J. Richards’ Wellness Resources website states that “basic nutrition can make a profound difference in fighting the flu,” and if we as a nation were to improve our general nutrition, the severity and reach of the flu would be greatly diminished. Sounds about right, don't you think?
So what can you eat to help fight the flu? I give you, fair reader, five foods that will help boost your immune system.
We all know the main use of garlic is to ward off vampires, but did you know that the flu is related to those undead bat-people? OK, so that may not be entirely true (about the vampire relationship), but it is true that garlic is great at warding off the flu. If you’re feeling flu-like symptoms, garlic can “help destroy [the flu] before it becomes a full-blown flu in the body,” thanks to garlic’s flu-fighting properties, according to Best Health.
Now for the unpleasant part: eating it. The most effective way to get garlic into your system is to chew on raw cloves. While this probably won’t be your favorite remedy as far as taste is concerned, it will help you more than if it’s just cooked (although cooked garlic will still help, just not as much). Just be warned that you might have some pretty bad garlic breath after this, which will not only keep away vampires, but your family and friends as well (at least until you brush your teeth).
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a surprisingly effective immunity booster. Mother Nature Network suggests that “high doses of cocoa support T-helper cells,” which are essentially the ones keeping your body healthy. Basically, eating dark chocolate is like supporting your internal troops. So the next time somebody calls you out on eating chocolate, just tell them you’re fighting the flu – and winning. Just…make sure it’s dark chocolate.
Yogurt keeps your digestive tract functioning smoothly, which is “one of your biggest immune organs,” according to Mother Nature Network. So this flu season, why not start your mornings off with a bowl of yogurt, topped with fruit for extra fighting power. Because parfaits have to be the most delicious thing on the whole planet (as they say).
Flu-fighting food can’t all be sweet and delicious. While probably not your first choice to eat raw, having a serving of onions every couple of hours can really give your immune system that extra edge of support. If you’re not a huge fan of raw onion (I shudder just thinking about it), add some extra onions to your soup and other meals. At least that way you’re not chomping down on it like some sort of purple apple.
While not what you might expect when you’re looking for food to fight the flu, spices can really…well, spice up that internal battle your body is fighting. Of course, certain spices are better than others, which include cinnamon and nutmeg. I wouldn’t recommend eating spices by the spoonful (in fact, I highly discourage it), but you can most certainly add spice to your meals. Eating oatmeal? Cinnamon would go nicely mixed in with that! Of if you’re still drinking eggnog, why not sprinkle in a little extra nutmeg?
While doctors can certainly help with illness, prevention is the best way to deal with the flu in the first place. These are just five foods that will help your body fight the flu this – and every other – flu season. If you feel the flu coming on, go ahead and start adding more of these foods into your diet. You might not be able to avoid it completely, but it can most certainly lessen the time you’re lying around sick with a fever. And of course, if you aren’t sick yet, keep eating healthily and you might just make it through this flu season without ever getting sick.
What are some other foods you have found that work great for fighting the flu?