I know this goes against everything you have been taught. I’m not saying the old adage, “Feed a cold, starve a flu,” is wrong; but you don’t have to starve yourself when you have a flu. So yeah, I guess I am saying the old adage is wrong…sort of.
I understand the logic behind the advice which is that the body needs to conserve energy during bouts of illness. Eating big meals requires energy so the body will have less energy for healing when it’s trying to digest a steak and potato. So you should refrain from eating big meals or processed foods that are big energy sucks.
The best thing you can do is listen to your body. The first day you start to feel sick is typically when you lose your appetite. That’s your body’s way of conserving energy. And let’s be real…we all have enough stored body fat to go a day without eating and not have to worry about withering away.
But if your illness starts to drag out two or three days or more; then you must give your body the nutrients it needs to repair and heal. Try these tips to give your immune system a helping hand.
- Eat small amounts of protein (peanut butter on whole grain toast or my favorite, Egg Flower Soup)
- Avoid dairy products
- Increase your water intake!! (note that I said water not soda, not OJ from concentrate, not Gatorade)
- Increase your intake of vitamin C by eating oranges/berries, drinking herbal teas with lemon or soups made with lime juice
- Eat sweet-n-sour soup or chicken tortilla soup made with lime juice, tomatoes, and cayenne pepper
- Try juicing; it’s a great way to get high nutrient content in liquid form; a mix of apple, carrot, kale, lime juice, and ginger will give your body a boost of nutrients
- Eat plenty of garlic
- Eat lightly cooked or sautéed greens like kale, spinach, or mustard greens; these are high in vitamin A and will help keep mucous membranes soft and moist
- Eat chicken soup; Yep…this old adage is very true; it’s a great source of fluids, veggies, protein and essential fatty acids
Get well soon!