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Last Updated: Oct 23, 2019

Flu - Can Diet Help?

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Dr. Anagha DesaiDietitian/Nutritionist • 11 Years Exp.MSC in Nutrition & Dietetics, BSc in Food Nutrition & Dietetics
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We all look forward to the burst of rain after a long hot summer and the cool autumn breeze that follows the rains. What we don’t look forward to is the sneezing runny noses and coughs that accompany this change in weather. Seasonal flus are very common but they can be prevented by eating right. Some foods that can help prevent colds and coughs include:

  1. GarlicGarlic is a powerful antioxidant that can boost the immune system and help you fight the flu. One of the major compounds found in garlic is known as allicin. This has antibacterial and anti-microbial properties. Garlic also promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria that keeps your digestive system functioning efficiently and prevents toxins from accumulating inside your body. Garlic can be easily added to your diet by using fresh garlic pods to flavor your food.
  2. Turmeric: Turmeric is one of the healthiest spices known to man. This is rich in anti-oxidants and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric helps remove toxins from the body and is known to boost the immune system. It is a popular ingredient in many curries and is typically used in its powdered form.
  3. Green Leafy Vegetables: Green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and arugula are rich sources of vitamin C. This vitamin is known to fight viruses and reduce the risk of catching a cold. These vegetables are also rich in fiber and aid in digestion and removal of waste from the body. When picking green vegetables it is important to note that the darker the shade of green, the higher the nutrient content.
  4. Chicken Soup: Chicken soup is a popular home remedy for the flu. It can also be used to prevent a flu and boost the immune system. This is because a clear chicken soup or broth has concentrated amounts of proteins and vitamins that boost the immune system. Chicken soup should always be consumed while it is hot so that the hot liquid can loosen mucus secretions soothe an itchy throat.
  5. Salmon: Fish such as salmon, canned tuna and sardines and egg yolks have a high level of Vitamin D. As the length of a day reduces and grey clouds hide the sun, it is important for your body to get enough vitamin D through your diet. This vitamin helps fight colds and coughs and helps those suffering from it to recover faster.
  6. Water: In addition to eating right, it is also important to keep your body hydrated. This allows the nutrients to reach all the parts of your body and aids in the removal of waste and toxins. Thus, though you may not feel thirsty, it is essential to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
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