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Expert Q&A: Can Your Diet Help You Avoid Flu?

An interview with Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD.


Stay home when you are contagious, getting plenty of rest. Most people are out 3-5 days, and should not return to work or school until they are fever-free for 24 hours.

What kind of diet should you follow when you have the flu?

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, eat what you can tolerate. Chicken soup and salty liquids are recommended because they encourage drinking and are very soothing. When your appetite improves, advance to soft solid foods like bananas, toast, and turkey. Fruit smoothies or protein shakes are sometimes well-tolerated when you don’t feel hungry. When you are feeling better, eat nutritious meals to promote wellness.

Reviewed on December 01, 2009

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