Flu is more common during the holidays and in cold weather. When you catch flu, you may not feel like eating anything, not even your favourite meals. This is because the flu often makes eating difficult, as its symptoms can lead to nausea or stomach symptoms. However, because you have a decreased appetite doesn’t mean you would have to avoid all food.
Sure you may have to stay clear from your favourite food when you have flu probably because it isn’t packed with nutrient or contain components that can upset your stomach and make your condition worse.
With your state, you would need to eat a small amount of the right type of foods, to help provide you with the nutrient and energy you require to recover. If you want to know what to eat and drink, as well as foods to avoid consuming when you have the flu, you want to read the whole of this article.
Four foods to avoid if you have a flu
1. Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks
Catching the flu can be a very discomforting experience, from having elevated temperature to increased sweating, you want to be very cautious and stay hydrated as much as possible. Consuming caffeine and alcohol can make you more dehydrated and worsen your symptoms, as they tend to take a harsh effect on your stomach.
Also, most of these caffeinated beverages contain sugar, which is one thing you want to limit when you have flu. Therefore, you want to avoid liquids such as black tea, coffee, whiskey and soda. You want to stick to drinking water and any other clear liquid that can keep you hydrated throughout the period.
2. Greasy, Hard or Jagged foods
Limit your intake of foods that are high in saturated fats, as well as greasy foods. Or better still, completely stay away from such foods as they can aggravate cough. Likewise, crunchy foods such as chips, crackers, and other snacks with the same texture, should also be avoided while you battle with the flu. This is because jagged foods can also aggravate cough, which is the last thing you want to experience during this period.
3. Foods that are hard to digest
Because the flu may often cause you to have an upset stomach, you want to avoid any food that would be difficult to break down and hard for your digestive system to process. So you can opt for easily digestible foods such as dry saltine crackers, pretzels and toast. Such refined carbohydrates would be easy on your stomach and most likely be tolerated when you catch the flu. Furthermore, you also want to avoid foods that are high in fibre as they are too hard to digest.
4. Sugary Foods and Drinks
Taking fruit juice rich in vitamin-c may sound like a good idea when you are sick, but you may want to stay clear from such as most of the options out there are not nutritionally dense. Taking foods or drinks with fewer nutrients can inflame your immune system, which is why it is advisable to stick to drinking just water while you battle with the flu.
5. Processed foods
Be it from a fast food joint or made from a box, processed foods should be abstained from while with flu. The more processed a food is the fewer nutrients it contains, and the fewer you get. If you want to recover from any illness, it is essential to consume highly nutritional foods, because your body requires the nutrients to heal on time.
What should you eat instead
When it comes to what to consume, you want to opt for easily digestible foods that are nutrient-dense and less likely to cause nausea. Broth-based soups are a good option when you are sick; they help replace any liquids and sodium that may have been lost from the body as a result of the flu and are easily tolerated.
If the flu has causes you to vomit or experience diarrhoea, you want to replace those lost stomach liquid with some electrolytes such as sports drink or Pedialyte. They would help to keep you hydrated better than water. Some people tend to nauseate when their stomach is empty, so it is also advisable to consume small meals.
However, since you can’t eat just anything, you can opt for leafy green foods and vegetables, they are rich in nutrients and are essential for your recovery. Also try snacking on natural vitamin-c rich fruits such as tomato, strawberries and citrus fruits.
Consuming the right foods and staying hydrated is essential to help you recover from the flu. While the most uncomfortable symptoms may stop after some days, it may take one or two weeks to recover from the flu altogether.
Hopefully, you wouldn’t experience a secondary infection from the flu, so you don’t take long to recover. However, for the best outcome for your treatment, you must eat flu friendly foods and avoid the unfriendly ones.