‘I got the flu’, four dreaded words you do not want to hear yourself say (if you are not trying to skip school or work that is). It is annoying, uncomfortable, and creeps up on us without a warning sign. The flu is a bit troublesome to cope with and the tendency to eat just about anything is high. After all, you are sick and you need to spoil yourself.
However, consuming any food can prolong the recovery process. Luckily, we are here to enlighten you on foods you should avoid during such a time.
It includes all ice-cream, milk, and cheese. Dairy tends to thicken mucus produced, which can be irritating to the throat and prolong recovery time. This causes a lot of uneasiness and can even pose a threat to optimum functionality under work conditions. It could even be embarrassing.
So if you are one of those that dairy affects that way, staying away from dairy products at such a time would be advisable until you’ve fully recovered.
Sweets and sugary foods
Eating foods high in sugar content like; candies, cakes, cookies, refined sugar, can lengthen the duration of your flu. This is because high sugar intake decreases the effectivity of your immune system and further escalates the ongoing inflammation. This prevents the immune system from functioning under optimum conditions.
Highly sugary foods are not good for even a healthy person, let alone one who has got the flu. Alternatively, you can take honey if you just must have something sweet.
Dehydration is one of the complications of the flu, between the sweating, the fluid loss via mucus discharge and the vomiting, the fluid contained in the body becomes depleted over time. It is important that you take water and avoid caffeinated drinks which can cause you to urinate more, seeing as they are diuretics, further worsening your condition.
It is easy to understand how that due to the work schedule and attitude of many adults, there is a certain dependence on caffeinated drinks to keep productive. However, such a time is a good time to avoid them.
Unhealthy fatty foods are not good for anyone, even when sick. If your thoughts are that you cannot get worse bearing that you already have the flu, think again, because these processed meats and trans fat can cause more damage by endorsing more inflammatory reactions, and suppressing your immune system.
It is important to note that caution should be observed in the intake of such foods as those that suppress or tamper with the optimum functionality of the immune system because it is very much needed to remain healthy.
Processed foods and refined grains
Processed foods are typically high in fat and salt; too much of which is bad for the body such that it fights to curtail or expel their excesses.
The likes of canned foods, sausages, bacon, often trigger inflammation. Refined grains like pasta and white bread also have the inflammatory effect, making you spend a long time in recovery.
It may feel like the right liquid to get you warm and feeling better again, but pay no heed to it. Alcohol not only causes inflammation and exacerbates dehydration, but slows down your immune system making the flu worse than before.
Instead, you should drink a lot of water and eat fruits that have a high moisture content. This will help keep you hydrated and give your body the best chance of fighting such infection.
They add an extra burden to the already toiling body system which wants to get rid of the ongoing infection. The last thing the body needs at such a time is a big meal to digest. Soups and smoothies are a better way to get nutrients at such a time.
Also keep in mind that if medication is taken to help combat the flu, some side effects may include drowsiness and care should be taken, because sleeping immediately after heavy meals could lead to indigestion or constipation.
They are not to be bothered with unless prescribed by your doctor, because some may not even make a difference -like Echinacea and zinc- and others can be bad for you. Instead, stick to vitamin C containing fruits or vitamin C, keeping in mind that moderation is important.
A saying goes thus, “knowledge is power”. This knowledge will definitely enable you to better handle cases of the flu for yourself, and even for others.