10 ways to fight the flu

Banish flu with these immunity boosting tips.


1. Resist the sweets

When you’re ill and feeling sorry for yourself it can be easy to want to give in to a sweet treat, but sugar limits your immune system’s ability to work effectively so it’s best to avoid it as much as possible.


2. Warm up and lie down

At the first sign of illness, head for your bed. Science says your body does all its repairing and recovering while you’re asleep. Keeping warm will also reduce shivering and let your body direct more energy to your immune system.


3. Reach for the sprouts

These veggies aren’t just for Christmas. Like other fibrous green veg, including broccoli and cabbage, they contain a micronutrient that maintains immunity in the gut, a site that contains 70% of the body’s immune cells.


4. Eat some Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are great for immunity as they contain good levels of both selenium and vitamin E, both of which are vital for a normal antibody response.


5. Eat some chicken soup

Research in the American Journal of Therapeutics showed that carnosine – a compound found in chicken soup helped the body’s immune system fight the early stages of flu. Chicken also contains an amino acid called cysteine, which studies have shown helps thin mucus in the lungs.


6. Eat some citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, which several studies suggest can help reduce the length or severity of your illness.


7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Staying hydrated is key as it keeps your immune system functioning properly. Drink plenty of water, whether it’s cold, warm or in herbal teas. Coconut water is also beneficial as it can replenish electrolytes lost due to fever or sweating.


8. Go for ginger

Research has shown that ginger is incredibly effective at preventing and soothing nausea and other gastric ailments that can often accompany the flu. Try drinking ginger tea to stay hydrated while also soothing tummy troubles.


9. Lose the booze

That hot toddy might seem like a good idea but it could actually prove to be counterproductive. In order for your body to process alcohol it has to use nutrients that might otherwise be used for maintaining your immune system meaning a slower recovery time.


10. Choose the right supplement

Vitamin D is one of the best ways to boost a flagging immune system. Also consider probiotics, which boost immunity in the gut, plus zinc and elderberry which have been shown to speed up recovery.


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