5 Foods to Eat When You Have the Flu—And One You Should Avoid
Learn the best foods to fight, treat, and beat a cold or the flu.
Try: chicken soup
Grandma’s favorite remedy contains cysteine, a compound that helps thin mucus and relieve congestion. A serving may also reduce inflammation in the lungs. Try these surprising ways to prevent the cold and flu.
Cool, creamy yogurt and other dairy products are rich in zinc, which supports the immune system.
Try: citrus and berries
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Vitamin C won’t prevent colds, but studies show that eating foods rich in it may get you back to normal more quickly. It also has a slight antihistaminic effect, which may reduce nasal symptoms.
Garlic, turmeric, hot peppers, and other strong flavorings can help break up nasal and sinus congestion. Try these natural cold remedies that really work.
Try: red meat and oysters
Choose these for your protein; they’re good sources of zinc.
Don’t try: alcohol
While you should drink lots of fluids when fighting a cold or flu, abstain from alcohol. Wine, beer, and liquor dilate small blood vessels, which makes the sinuses feel stuffed up and reduces the body’s ability to fight infection. Next, read about these other foods that can make your cold or flu worse.