That is the truth. I started 2012 with the ‘flu and can’t tell you how irritating that is. I am usually not prone to the usual cold and stuff (touch wood, ha ha) so imagine my shock to find I actually developed the ‘flu! Must have been the weather combination of three different cities (Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore) that got my insides arguing among themselves.
Flu announces itself through a fever, cough, sore throat, a congested nose, body ache, chills – none of which thrills. But – there’s good news because you can feel better.
Anyway, long story short, I discovered for a fact that food can fight the ‘flu and home remedies can make you feel much better. I am about to share this info with you, so grab a chair, your favorite beverage and read on!
I’ll begin with some foods that really help:
Keep yourself hydrated
That sore throat can sure feel miserable and staying hydrated is critical. Get enough fluids to keep that mucus thin so that there’s less congestion. Options are fruit/vegetable juices, water, soups and herbal tea. Sip slowly. Avoid caffeinated drinks as they are diuretic. No, alcohol is not an option.
As much as I love salads, eating one at this time really sucks. So, if you don’t feel up to it, gulp a glass of vegetable juice. Fortify yourself with immune-boosting antioxidants, while staying hydrated. Got a sweet tooth, eh? Fruit juice for you.
I am vegetarian myself, but I’ve heard everyone recommending chicken soup. It nourishes, hydrates and is believed to heal because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Whatever, chicken soup for the soul – feel-good factor – you know what I mean.
Use garlic to spice up your food while taking advantage of its antimicrobial and immune-stimulating properties. You can also relieve that congestion.
Ginger is quite an all-rounder remedy, being used to soothe stomach ache, nausea, etc. It also helps fight inflammation and you can use it fresh or in powder form and add it to other foods for taste.
Tea-drinkers know how soothing it is to enjoy a cup of chai. Green tea and black tea both have disease-fighting antioxidants. Did you know that breathing in the steam relieves congestion?. A dash of honey and lemon juice is a great way to soothe a sore throat.
Yes, the faithful banana. Slice it, mash it or just bite it off in chunks. It is easy on your stomach and safe when you experience that uneasy feeling during ‘flu.
The moment you feel like handling food, go for toast. Convenient and easy to combine with other foods like soups.
Meal Replacement Drinks
These can add the necessary nutrients to your diet when you’re recovering. Go for low-sugar protein-rich drinks free from lactose.
- R & R (rest and relaxation) Give in to the urge to laze. Heaven can wait.
- Breathe moist air to relieve nasal congestion and sore throat pain. Inhale steam if you’re comfortable with it.
- For relief from a blocked nose, boil water in a wide pan. Add a drop or two of eucalyptus oil or “vicks”. Drape a towel over your head and lean over the water and breathe deeply, inhaling the steam through your nose. Tough I know. But it helps. (Note: NOT for people with symptoms of asthma)
- Wet a cloth in warm water, wring it out and place on your forehead and nose. Feels good for a headache.
- Gargle with salt water to get rid of that mucus from the back of your throat.
- Spray salt water into each nostril to relieve congestion. Available over the counter
Get some TLC. Tender Loving Care. This helps in a big way. Nothing like a cuddle and some pampering to make it all better.
There’s no need to suffer with the ‘flu. Not with so many ways to feel better!
Stay healthy, folks!
Vidya Sury took a brief break from her work as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She’s mom to a teenager who was awfully kind and affectionate when she went through the ‘flu.