What Do You Eat When You've Got the Flu?
Are you a "feed a fever, starve a cold" person? Or do you "feed a cold, starve a fever"?
In reality, you shouldn't starve either a cold or a fever. To the extent that you can, you should try to keep eating (and drinking) nutritious foods and beverages while you're sick.
As I write in this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, there is no single food or set of foods that specifically boosts immunity and thus helps keep you from getting sick in the first place. (No, not even orange juice -- though it is important to get enough Vitamin C.) The best thing you can do is to maintain a generally healthful diet, which in turn supports a healthy immune system.
But once you are taken ill, there are culinary ways to help make yourself feel better: According to research published early this year, consuming hot beverages made a dramatic difference in how cold and flu sufferers felt. The heat made people feel that their airways had cleared, and the liquid helped combat dehydration, which can easily occur when you're sick. Moreover, drinking hot beverages "provided immediate and sustained relief from symptoms of runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, chilliness and tiredness, whereas the same drink at room temperature only provided relief from symptoms of runny nose, cough and sneezing," according to the British study.
What do you eat to get you through the flu?
Jennifer LaRue Huget
September 22, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Family Health , General Health , Influenza , Nutrition and Fitness
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