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Influenza Diet


Influenza or flu is an infection of the respiratory system caused by flu viruses. In the beginning flu symptoms are similar to common cold reactions such as a running nose, sore throat and sneezing. Then later on the person may also have high fever, chest and nasal congestion, body pain, headaches, dry coughing and tiredness. Fortunately influenza without other complications can be easily treated. An influenza diet can also be followed to reduce the flu symptoms.
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The simplest home remedy is drinking a lot of water and fluids. Care must be taken to ensure that the patient is not dehydrated. He or she may also be given warm soups and broths. Other simple home remedies include long pepper, honey, ginger, turmeric, basil, garlic and onion.

Flu Diet, Foods to Eat and Avoid


Long pepper powder mixed with juice from freshly squeezed fruits and juiced ginger and a bit of honey can be had several times a day. Similarly onion and garlic juice mixed with honey can also be had a few times a day. Garlic cloves can also be had as they are a natural antiseptic. In Asia, ginger has been used as an influenza cure since time immemorial. Ginger can be added to tea or green tea. It can also be mixed with honey and a decoction made of fenugreek seeds and had till the fever and chills subside. Turmeric in warm milk with a dash of honey is also given to flu patients. Turmeric is known to regulate liver functions which are disrupted during a bout of flu. These are well known influenza foods.

A typical diet for an influenza patient will consist of fruits and vegetables in raw juice form or in the form of soups for the first week. Thereafter, the person can slowly start having milk. Then when he no longer has flu symptoms he should switch to a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, good fats and proteins. At the same time, influenza foods to eat such as green juices made of spinach and basil, carrots, grapefruits, turmeric, garlic, ginger and onion can be consumed on a regular basis. Moreover, tobacco, alcohol, oily foods, spicy foods, too much of meat, caffeine, refined foods and sugar are influenza foods to avoid since they increase inflammatory problems of the respiratory system. These foods also cause more stress to our body and therefore hampers recovery. Influenza however must not be confused with a stomach flu which is most often caused due to food poisoning. Influenza is caused by viruses, whereas food poisoning occurs due to bacteria and sometimes by viruses, but not the same viruses that cause the flu. Food poisoning often causes vomiting and diarrhea and the symptoms often subside after a day or two. However, if they worsen a doctor must be contacted immediately. It is important to note that influenza and food poisoning are not related. They may happen to a person at the same time but the causes will not be the same. Influenza can be prevented by following the regularized well balanced influenza diet even when one is not suffering from the illness. Other lifestyle changes such as maintaining hygienic practices such as washing hands regularly, avoiding contaminated places, covering your mouth and nose when sneezing and keeping away from crowded places help in keeping the flu at bay. Influenza food safety issues reached alarming proportions in the past especially with the outbreak of pandemic influenzas such as the avian flu also known as the bird flu. This flu spread to large parts of the world populations owing to trade of infected poultry.

Submitted on January 16, 2014
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