mint-and-ginger-teaYou may have received the needed flu shot(s) and may be diligently using the hand sanitizer, but sometimes, the flu virus can still sneak up on you as it is quite infectious. Catching the flu can be very frustrating because it doesn’t have a real cure. Anybody who contracts this virus must work through the symptoms and employ some calming remedies through its normal 14-day cycle. However, you can shorten this duration by a few days using some smart virus-fighting techniques next time you feel the symptoms, i.e., fever or congestion.

Drink Lots Of Herbal Tea
Tea may just be steeped plant leaves in hot water, but it contains considerable antioxidants, nutrients and antivirus properties and is very helpful in relieving a congestion.

  • Stock up on different herbal types, especially peppermint. This particular tea gives your congestion a punch with strong scents similar to menthol.
  • Also try other helpful herbal agents, including lemon, sage, echinacea, goldenseal, catnip and elderberry.

Not only is the hot tea soothing on the throat and mind, it also boosts your mood to fight off the flu quickly.

Employ Hot Baths And Humidifiers
Warm, moist air helps your respiratory system clear away all the mucous built up from the flu.

  • Hot baths or showers are simple actions that encourage a fast recovery, especially because it calms the body.
  • A relaxed body concentrates its efforts on removing the virus instead of dealing with stress, such as pain.
  • Because you can’t sit in a bath all day, purchase a humidifier to keep the room moist. Alter the humidity level as is conformable to keep the flu symptoms from becoming overwhelming.

Drink Sufficient Liquids And Limit Processed Foods
Water is the best fluid to drink, but you can also take sports drinks that offer electrolytes and nutrients too.

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks that typically dehydrate you.
  • Your appetite is another factor to consider because you may be craving for comfort foods.
  • Try to stay on track with natural foods, such as homemade chicken soup.
  • Eating packaged or processed food only adds to the stress as the body has to work harder to digest these type of foods.

Your recovery may take longer with unhealthy processed foods in your diet.

Load Up On Veggies And Fruits
When down with flu, fruits and vegetables may be the last thing you feel like eating. However, they add so much to your nutrient arsenal.

  • Stock up on a few common and nutrient-packed choices like apples, oranges, broccoli and grapefruit.
  • Try to incorporate these foods in your daily diet. They have more digestible nutrients than any supplement, allowing you to possibly recover faster with nature on your side.

Avoid Dairy Foods
A grilled cheese sandwich may sound comforting, but your mucous won’t appreciate the dairy products.

  • Try to avoid yogurt, cheese, milk and other dairy products. You’ll only feel more mucous accumulate in the body by consuming these items.
  • It’s best to eat bread, rice, broth and other simpler foods to keep the congestion down.
  • Get your dose of calcium by eating broccoli, for instance, instead of dairy products to keep your nutrient levels up.

Suck On Zinc Lozenges
Some scientists suggest zinc lozenges to help in speeding up a flu recovery. Zinc is a mineral that helps the body regulate cellular activity and it is believed that it reduces flu time periods when taken early on as the flu season starts. So the moment you feel any flu symptoms, try sucking on a lozenge.

Although there’s no cure for the flu, reducing its lifespan is a desired action by anyone fighting off this virus. So consider your body as a temple during flu season. Only fill it with natural foods and fluids to get through the harsh fever, cough and congestion. With diligent care, your body could recover much faster than without these healthy alternatives.

For more information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Michele Holincheck, FNP