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What to Eat When You Have the Flu

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Can Flavonoids Boost Immune Function?

Flavonoids (or bioflavonoids) include about 4,000 compounds that are responsible for the colors of fruits and flowers. Findings show that flavonoids found in the soft white skin of citrus fruits increase immune system activation.

Flavonoids are found in grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes.

What Other Nutrients Help Fight Infection?

One nutrient that's found to strengthen the immune system so it can fight other infections is glutathione. This powerful antioxidant is most plentiful in the red, pulpy area of the watermelon near the rind. Glutathione is also found in cruciferous vegetables like kale, collard greens, broccoli, and cabbage.

The most important point to remember about food choices is that a healthy well-balanced diet should contain a variety of foods. Relying on a single food or food group to provide adequate nutrition can be dangerous. Also, replacing fresh fruits and vegetables with supplements has in many cases not been shown to provide the benefit of food and may even be harmful.

What Foods Should I Eat and Avoid if I'm Congested?

Actually, any food or beverage is fine to eat if you're hungry or thirsty. In some people, dairy products increase mucus production. If this happens to you, avoid dairy for a few days. Dairy products may also make nausea and vomiting worse.

Orange juice, especially with the pulp, is packed with vitamin C and folic acid, which help to boost immunity and speed recovery from illness. Some researchers suggest that vitamin C may even decrease the time you are sick with colds and flu.

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