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Right Nutrition When You Have the Flu!

Posted Oct 24 2011 4:32pm
So the flu season is here! I've been sneezing and coughing all day and I found myself super tired, with watery eyes, a sore throat and no appetite at all! Obviously, when you're sick, you're too tired to think about healthy eating! Now, a healthy lifestyle - with lots of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, accompanied by regular exercise – will help in increasing your immune system. Alas, colds and flus are possible and it’s natural to let good nutrition slide when coping with illness. But when your body battles flu symptoms for days or weeks, your diet is essential to help you achieve speedy recovery especially with work, school or university.

Nutrition tips to boost your strength and immunity!
Protein is crucial - Because protein is crucial for building and repairing cells, it can help prevent the loss of muscle mass. It also helps maintain fluid balance and improves your body's ability to heal, especially that antibodies needed to find germs are actually made of proteins themselves!Some of the best sources of protein are obvious: chicken, lean beef and fish are all good. Eggs, dairy products such as milk, labne and cheese are also easily digestible forms of animal protein.
Now if you’re a vegetarian, then getting enough protein can be harder, but not impossible. The key is to combine legumes, beans and nuts with whole grains such as bulgur, whole wheat or rice. This way, legumes and grains will complement each other in providing you with complete source of proteins.
In addition, by eating foods high in protein, you also get the benefit of other healing nutrients such as vitamins B6 and B12, both of which contribute to a healthy immune system. Proteins also contain minerals such as selenium and zinc that work to keep your immune system strong!
Getting Enough CaloriesWhen trying to lose weight, counting calories could become a habit. So if you are a calorie counter, it’s time to ditch this habit! When you are sick, instead of trying to cut your total energy intake down, it’s time to increase it. Because your body is working harder to fight off germs and boosting your strength, you will sure need the extra nutrients! Moreover, when you are sick, your appetite might decrease which could cause unintentional weight loss leaving you weak and exhausted! Therefore, boost your protein in your diet, have fruit and yogurt, whole milk and cream soups with vegetables and chicken!

Keep your Fiber in Check - Fiber is good for you both in the short and the long term. It helps keep you regular and prevents constipation. In the long run, it may lower the risk of intestinal problems, diabetes, and other diseases.But when you're feeling sick, it's easy to forget about the fiber. These diet changes, along with lower fluid intake and less exercise, can lead to constipation. So focus on having enough proteins, nutrient and energy dense foods as well as best sources of fiber such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts!
Having warm nutritious
soups can revitalize you!
Lots of fluids are a must - Water, soups and teas help keep your system stay well hydrated and counteract any fever you have. Warm teas help in opening congested airways, thin mucous secretions, coat the throat, soothe and warm up your aching stomach, help in decreasing any flu-related nausea and drain mucous secretions faster. Hence, the chicken soup: warm fluids with veggies as fibers and chicken as proteins!In some people, dairy products increase mucus production. If this happens to you, avoid dairy for a few days. Dairy products may also make nausea and vomiting worse so know thy self!

Supplements - Vitamins and minerals are important for health; calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, D and E are just a few of them. But don't make the mistake of relying on supplements, instead you should concentrate on getting nutrition from whole foods. Lots start popping vitamin C tablets with their drinks and with every meal possible! Well, vitamin C  is protective if taken adequately as part of your daily dietary intake and not as a last minute resort! With whole foods, you’ll have the perfect combination of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber! But hey, always check with your doctor before starting supplements or any alternative treatment! Have lots of rest,
you need it!

Your sense of taste may be off since your nasal passages are plugged. So don't be surprised if some or your favorite foods don't taste the same.Remember to get plenty of rest, your body needs it!Everyone needs to get enough sleep, vitamins and nutrients and this is truer than ever when you're sick.

Photo sources Sick man in bed   Woman eating her soup Resting in bed  
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