A person suffering from cold must adhere to bed rest, a certain diet, and medications. You should know what foods to eat when you have the cold and flu to recover as quickly as possible and enter your usual routine.
Physicians-naturopaths advocate the use of non-drug methods in the treatment. They argue that eating for flu and colds significantly affects the process of a person’s recovery.
If you eat the right food, the infection will go away faster. Otherwise, the body will not be able to return to its optimal state sooner and will take longer to recover completely.
Diet for colds.
The patient needs proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to restore the damaged body tissues. With a reduced content of these substances in the diet, adverse symptoms may occur:
- Weakening of immunity
1. Protein-rich foods.
Adults can choose from low-fat protein sources such as turkey, beef, soy products, and beans.
During illness, it is useful to eat chicken soup. It is a stimulant for mucus production, which makes it easier to cough up when you cough. You can add onions to the soup, and they have an anti-inflammatory effect that relieves the symptoms of a cold.
2. To reduce malaise, it is wise to stick to a protein diet.
You can eat a little low-fat yogurt or eggnog for breakfast: beat two eggs with one tablespoon of sugar. Add two previously peeled walnuts to the mixture. Wash down the food with black tea with honey.
For lunch, you can prepare a vitamin vegetable salad from cabbage, carrots, and green onions. Add a little salt and sugar to the dish. You can also finely chop or grate vegetables for salad.
Prepare chicken soup with croutons and beef stew with pre-boiled cabbage for lunch. You can also eat zucchini for lunch, which is filled with ground beef mixed with rice, carrots, and onions. In drink, you can have cranberries or lingonberries fruit drink, tea, or pomegranate juice.
You can eat beef with a side dish of boiled broccoli for dinner. You can also prepare a salad of fresh vegetables: tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, cilantro, and garlic. For dessert, you can eat a few slices of melon or other fruit, then drink a glass of black tea with lemon and honey.
3. Use of carbohydrates.
They are necessary for severe colds and flu, as they provide additional energy. To get better faster, we recommend eating the following foods at elevated temperatures:
- Cereals made from grains: rice or buckwheat
- Sweet fruits in moderation
- Dishes based on the medicinal herb stevia
In case of a viral infection, exclude the following foods from the diet:
- Fresh white bread
Their number of viral infections should be limited. They put additional stress on the stomach, intestines, liver and pancreas. It increases the risk of an allergic reaction to drugs used for the disease.
Consuming 60g of fat per day is a great option to recover fast. For this, you can try eating fish, vegetable oil, chicken broths, and fermented milk products.
The fiber found in fresh vegetables is difficult to digest, so you can make stews or mashed potatoes from them.
Fiber-rich foods cleanse the body of harmful substances and help fight off viruses. They have a tonic effect: they help lower blood sugar and help the cardiovascular system.
Fiber-rich foods are not recommended for people with increased blood clotting and severe pathologies of the digestive system.
With a cold, you can take special complexes containing fiber. Make sure you drink more fluids when taking these drugs. Give preference to fermented milk drinks.
6. No alcohol during colds.
Alcohol, along with coffee, is temporarily banned. Such drinks can cause dehydration of the body, which should not be allowed during the treatment of viral diseases.
A sick person has to take medication. Alcohol can neutralize the effect of drugs, so even a strong pharmaceutical preparation will not have the desired effect.
7. Yes, to more drinks.
Fruit juices are high in sugar and preservatives. There are sugar substitutes and caffeine in soda water. A person who has a cold should consume fresh juices and drinks. You can prepare drinks from oranges or fresh apples recently harvested from fruit trees in a juicer. You can also add up a little water to dilute them.
8. Eating bread.
In case of a cold, avoid eating white bread and fresh pastries at all costs. But if you want to eat white bread for medicinal purposes, you can simply soak white bread in hot milk. You can eat it once it is saturated enough and cools down a bit. You can eat it twice a day until recovery.
Rye bread is useful for colds. The product helps to replenish vitamin deficiencies. It contains amino acids, minerals, fiber, and a large number of trace elements. The product is rich in B vitamins and iron.
You can simply rub the crust of rye bread with garlic and wash it down with herbal tea. Such a remedy is taken shortly before bedtime.
9. Application of spices.
Cloves have a pleasant scent and a pronounced analgesic effect. You can mix five plant flowers and 200 ml of hot milk for angina. Leave the product for 10 minutes, then drain. Gargle with the resulting composition. You can put a few drops in your nose as well.
For the prevention of flu and colds, you can also use cinnamon. The spice has a pronounced antibacterial effect. It is keenly used in the manufacture of cosmetic masks.
For colds, you can simply pour ½ teaspoon of cinnamon with 0.2 liters of boiling water and add a little black pepper. Take the resulting liquid every 4 hours.
What vitamins are useful for the patient during a cold?
If a person is sick, their diet should be rich in retinol. This substance promotes tissue regeneration since the inflammatory process damages many epithelial cells. Vitamin A also helps to repair damaged tissues.
For colds, products and preparations containing ascorbic acid are also indicated. Pharmacy vitamin C has a sweet and sour taste. Ascorbic acid increases immunity, helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels and reduces the risk of bleeding.
Micro and macro elements.
It is obligatory to include foods rich in iron, copper, and iodine in the diet for sore throat. Iron provides organs and tissues with oxygen. Iodine is vital for the normal functioning of the immune system and thyroid gland. Copper has a positive effect on blood vessels and has pronounced anti-inflammatory properties.
Already with a slight cough, it is necessary to provide the body with selenium, chromium, molybdenum, and manganese.
Pomegranate helps fill the vitamin C deficiency that often occurs with colds. Ripe fruit contains phytoncides that strengthen the immune system, so it is especially useful for the elderly.
A person who regularly uses pomegranate will get sick much less often. The product increases resistance to colds caused by hypothermia and has an antipyretic effect. The components present in it help to reduce body temperature.
Pomegranate helps greatly during laryngitis and tonsillitis. One can also use this fruit juice to gargle with other ENT diseases. Pomegranate reduces the likelihood of complications.
The recipe for the preparation of a cold remedy based on a beneficial fruit:
- Pour 20 g of pre-dried pomegranate peel into 200 ml of water.
- Boil over medium heat for 7 minutes and cool to about 30 degrees.
- Filter and consume 0.1 l twice a day. The broth is especially useful for angina in the acute period of the disease.
An excellent remedy for colds is raspberry jam. For its preparation, you can use fresh and frozen berries. The recipe for the treat looks simple:
- Melt the raspberries, and boil the syrup and sugar in parallel.
- After the liquid has cooled, pour it over thawed raspberries.
- The resultant mix is infused for 5 hours.
- Boil over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Pour the finished jam into jars and close them hermetically.
Consume this treatment during the period of a massive outbreak of influenza, when there is a peak in the incidence.
What is not recommended to eat and drink during a cold?
In the case of respiratory illness, there are some foods that one must exclude from their diet. For colds, you should not eat fried foods containing a lot of fat and carcinogens. Such food is difficult to digest and prevents the heart and liver from working properly. Fatty foods can provoke vomiting or intestinal upset with a cold.
Eat dairy products with caution. They activate the mucus production process, which complicates the treatment of a cough or runny nose. You can simply add a small slice of ginger or a splinter of turmeric to your milk or yogurt. These spices reduce the mucus-forming effect of dairy products when coughing or rhinitis and stimulate appetite.
With flu and acute respiratory infections, avoid eating spicy and smoked foods. Such food harms the bladder.
For colds, do not give children hard food: cereals with a coarse consistency, crackers, short crust pastry products with the addition of cocoa powder or powdered sugar. It irritates the mucous membrane so that the baby will cough much harder. Exclude sweets from their diet for a while, which can provoke allergies.
Do not heat honey. The benefits will noticeably reduce if you dissolve it in hot water or melt a sugared product in a water bath.
Fluid replacement for colds and flu
To provide support to a weakened body, it is necessary to provide him with an adequate amount of drink. Typically, bacteria and pathogenic viruses mount up in the oropharynx and nose.
For example, coffee is not a healthy drink for a cold or flu. It is better to replace coffee with herbal decoctions.
The mucous membranes are over-dried and inflamed in a sick person, so the body’s protective barriers cannot function normally. If you boost the moisture content of the mucous membranes, then they will again commence to trap bacteria and stop their adverse effects.
The flu diet always involves an increased intake of vitamin C. You can make a drink from pure water with some slices of several citrus fruits. Such a drink increases the body’s overall tone and supplies it with vitamin C.
You should consume warm water with lemon juice and honey if you have a sore throat. This remedy is beneficial for the immune system and allows you to get rid of viral cells, soothing the mucous membrane of the throat.
Honey is an efficient remedy for colds and flu when used correctly.
Diet for colds and ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection).
If you have ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection), make sure to follow an infection-specific diet from the first days of the disease. Food should be easily digestible and must have proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in complete balance.
To speed up the healing process, you will need to limit refractory fats in your diet. Still, you should not give up easily digestible carbohydrates since they replenish energy reserves in the body in a short time.
A healthy diet with ARVI is a must!
A healthy diet with ARVI comprises the ingesting of large quantities of protein. The lack of this substance leads to a disruption in the production of enzymes necessary for the digestion of food. When writing out the daily menu for the patient, the doctor must bear in mind that, in this case, the optimal intake of protein must be at the rate of 1g per 1kg.
Vegetables and fruits must be a significant part of the diet. They contain many useful substances, including vitamins and minerals, necessary to strengthen the immune system.
Speaking about what a person should eat during a cold, the most useful will be foods high in zinc and vitamin C.
Furthermore, you should incorporate foods rich in vitamins E and B in the diet, as they stimulate the synthesis of antibodies. Eat foods containing vitamin A, which contributes to the regeneration of damaged mucous membranes of the nasopharynx.
If you are using antibacterial drugs to treat ARVI, including foods with bifidobacteria in the diet is necessary.
When to stop taking medicines for ARVI?
You can keep consuming them for several weeks after complete recovery. They inhibit intestinal microflora imbalance and help in avoiding the occurrence of digestive problems.
And, of course, you must drink as much water and juice as possible. As already stated, it helps to get rid of toxins from the body and cuts signs of intoxication (chills, headache, etc.).
Meals for flu, as well as for colds, should not include “heavy” meals of fish and meat. The same goes for fried and sweet foods. Fast food is not recommended.
In most cases, a sick person’s body perfectly tolerates light first courses. Chicken soup is the best choice for colds, a popular and healthy dish with a warming effect.
Various scientific studies have shown that chicken soup positively affects the throat and nose and is necessary as a portion of food for colds. Eating regularly lowers the number of neutrophils, a kind of white blood cell. Neutrophils provoke inflammation in the nasopharynx.
Priority vegetables include:
You can either steam these vegetables or cook them. Do not add excessive salt, oil, or fat during cooking.
At the first indication of a cold, you should remember about a product that is a natural immunostimulant – garlic. It contains Allicin, a substance that perfectly eliminates viruses, fungi, and bacteria that enter the body.
If the patient does not perceive the taste of garlic, you can cut the product into small pieces to swallow it without chewing. In addition, it is useful to put a plate of minced garlic in the room where the person is.
Garlic purifies the air and efficiently stops bacteria and viruses from re-entering the patient’s nasopharynx when breathing.
For colds and flu, it is helpful to use a variety of herbs, for example:
The listed products considerably improve the human condition by fueling perspiration.
Most spices have the following characteristics:
- Stimulate perspiration
- Constrict blood vessels
- Improve the condition of the congested nasal cavity and throat
Tea with coriander, cinnamon, and ginger has a whole bunch of useful substances, which have an antiviral effect, as well as stimulate perspiration and facilitate breathing. To prepare this healing drink, boil two tablespoons of grated fresh ginger in two glasses of water for 15 minutes, add a pinch of coriander and cinnamon, and let it brew for another 10 minutes. Drink one-third of a glass three times a day.
American scientists recommend the following drink recipe for a cold: pour a teaspoon of peppermint into a glass of water. Heat it for 3-5 minutes over low heat. Strain it first, then add a teaspoon of honey, finely chopped garlic clove, and juice from a quarter of a lemon and drink a warm infusion overnight. Drink at least one glass a day.
A drink made from aloe and honey is very useful during the flu period. For its preparation, take the lower leaves of aloe (at least 3-5 years old). Keep them in the refrigerator for at least two days. After that, wash them and squeeze out the juice. Mix the juice and honey in a ratio of 1: 2. It is necessary to insist the mixture in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, then take a tablespoon three times every day 30 minutes before meals.
Avoid eating sweets.
Exclude all kinds of sweets from the patient’s diet since sugar negatively affects leukocytes, destroying pathogenic viruses and bacteria.
The consumption of sweets makes the leukocytes more inert, and they stop fighting the disease. As a result, viruses are not prevented from multiplying, which aggravates a cold or flu.
The main task during sickness is to provide the ill person with adequate fluid.
You can drink berries or herbal fruit drinks without sugar. They will fill the body with fluid and will not harm the activity of leukocytes.
The best cold-cure foods and drinks.
To make the healing process much faster, include foods in your diet that not only provide the body with energy but also help prevent bacterial complications against the background of ARVI:
- Onion and garlic
Since the vegetables from this list contain enzymes that irritate the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx, use them in moderation.
Eating them as part of any dish is better than preparing healing drinks from them. Drinking fluids in combination with these products will be more effective.
For example, tea with spices and warm milk with honey is considered very useful. For the preparation of the latter, you can use a large black tea leaf. Brew it in the usual manner, and then add a little ground pepper and chopped ginger to it.
This menu can help in easing the acute phase of the illness and quicken recovery:
- 1st breakfast: oat milk porridge and lemon tea.
- 2nd breakfast: steam omelet and rosehip decoction.
- Lunch: vegetable soup mashed in chicken broth (half a portion), steamed meatballs, rice porridge (half a portion), and grated compote.
- Afternoon snack: baked apple.
- Dinner: stewed fish with potatoes, vinaigrette, and weak tea with honey.
- At night: kefir or other fermented milk drinks.
Unconventional recipes for colds and flu.
When the disease has just begun, you can try using black elderberry extract against it. The tool has many positive reviews and is available at any pharmacy. You can use black elderberry extract with tea, lemon, and honey.
The quick effect attributes to flavonoids, which are abundant in black elderberry extract. If you drink elderberry tea, you will be able to cure many diseases in a short time.
Even though coffee is a drink that is not good for respiratory diseases, but you can make a special anti-cold coffee. However, it is worth memorizing that this treatment method is especially for people with a healthy cardiovascular system and without allergic reactions.
Do not underestimate the methods of traditional medicine, including aromatherapy. Of course, to destroy pathogens, it is not enough just to inhale the smell of coffee.
There are recipes to speed up the healing process, for example:
- Coffee and cardamom. Cardamom is the basic ingredient for anti-cold mixtures. Cardamom normalizes internal body processes and improves heart function.
- Coffee and star anise. Star anise is a common ingredient in medicinal cough mixtures. Star anise helps with colds if consumed with coffee. Such a remedy relieves coughing attacks, facilitates breathing, restores the voice, and also eliminates wheezing.
- Coffee and cinnamon. Low-strength cinnamon coffee is useful in the early stages of the disease and as a recovery drink after a drop in temperature against the background of general body weakness.
How to feed a baby for a cold?
The diet for colds and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in children is no different from the diet shown for adults. During colds, they must eat food products containing many proteins, easily digestible carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Fresh fruits, fermented milk and dairy products, low-fat meats, and fish are the basis of the diet for ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection) in children. Observing the drinking regime and protecting the child from heavy physical and emotional stress is also mandatory.
To make food easier to digest, food should be of a liquid consistency, from boiled or steamed vegetables and meat products. You should on no account force a child to eat forcibly if he does not want to.
It will irritate him, which will negatively affect his psycho-emotional state. And excess stress during disease is adverse, as it interrupts the moment of recovery. You must feed your baby in small servings every 2 hours.
During the period of illness, the baby should eat more often:
- Vegetable purees.
- Chicken and vegetable broths.
- Milk porridge.
Since viral infections are often accompanied by fever, the child needs to drink plenty of fluids. Instead of regular water, the baby can drink mint juice, fruit juices, tea with honey, and cinnamon.
Nutrition for ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection) is an important component of therapy. How a person eats during illness often determines how quickly he can recover.
Nutrition should be balanced and provide the body with all the necessary substances. For recovery, all foods are useful that contain:
- Vitamin C
- B vitamins
- Vitamins A and E
- Zinc and magnesium
- Proteins and digestible carbohydrates.
However, this does not mean that the sick person will have to change their diet completely. Rapid desertion of favorite foods can depressingly affect his emotional state, which will only delay the path to recovery.
Therefore, it is not necessary to completely change the diet, and it is enough just to increase the number of healthy foods in it and minimize the use of those on the list of not recommended.
During sickness, food should rouse a person’s appetite and longing to eat it. Do not force him to eat, especially when it comes to children.
For the diet to be most effective, you can also use traditional methods of combating ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection).
Alternative medicine offers many recipes for various drinks and remedies that will help strengthen the immune system and speed up the healing process. However, before using them, it is imperative to consult your doctor.