A spike in the number of flu cases has been observed in the US in the past few weeks. Health officials say that the flu season will continue to get worse, and there are weeks of suffering ahead.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42 states witnessed heavy flu-related cases in the last week of January, in which 16 more children died and took the season's child death toll to 53. The hospitalization rates are also at their highest in nearly a decade, federal health officials told USA Today.
At the peak of such a difficult season, nutritionists suggest that you can combat flu better by following a proper diet and staying hydrated. Eating nutrient-rich food can also help in recovering faster.
Here's what nutritionists advise if you are down with flu:
Having green tea will help you to be hydrated and provide antioxidants in abundance. If you drink it with honey, it will also help in soothing a sore throat or a cough.
"The flu usually involves upper respiratory symptoms, and drinking warm or hot liquids can help open airways," Rena Zelig, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University, was quoted as saying by Time.
"It may also feel better to drink than room-temperature water," Zelig added.
Drinking electrolyte-rich drinks will also help in keeping lack of sodium and potassium at bay. When down with flu, one doesn't feel like eating much, having electrolyte-rich drinks will provide the calories required by your body.
"Staying hydrated is the most important thing when you have the flu, especially if you're running a fever and sweating, or you're having trouble keeping food down," Jessica Crandall, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated, told Time.
Orange is a great source of vitamin C and helps in curing a cold or flu quicker. But make sure that you consume the juice in moderate levels as too much can also be bad for you.
"Your body can only absorb so much vitamin C at once, and if you have too much it can cause gastrointestinal issues," Crandall said.
The salt present in the soup will provide you sodium, whereas the vegetables and chicken will provide you vitamins, minerals and protein. Chicken is also known to help in curing cold by boosting the white blood cells present in your body.
Bright-colored fruits and vegetables
Eat as many bright-coloured fruits and vegetables as you can as it will help by providing antioxidants and boosting your immunity.
"It's not like if you stock up on fruits and vegetables you'll get better a day sooner," Zelig told Time.
"But we do know that antioxidants have a role in keeping you healthy and boosting the immune system, so it's certainly a good idea," she added.