SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Flu season is here and if you happen to be one of the unlucky people coming down with it — there may be some food that can help.
While foods can’t cure the virus, dietitians say it may be able to ease your symptoms.
If you come down with the flu, food may be the last thing on your mind.
Betty Ordal says while she doesn’t have a huge appetite when she’s sick– there are a few foods she always turns to.
“I like soup, chicken noodle, vegetable, vegetable barely, bananas, and usually when I don’t feel well that’s about all that I want,” Ordal said.
Chicken noodle soup may be a good idea. A study from 2000 suggests that the common ingredients such as vegetables could reduce inflammatory responses in the body.
Registered dietitian Amanda Lambrechts says even when you’re sick, having something to eat is important.
“It’s important to still make sure you’re getting some sort of food source in when you have a cold or you have the flu. Just because you want to make sure you’re still getting a source of energy for your body so it’s better to recover and also just to make sure you’re keeping those blood sugars at a good stable level as well,” Lambrechts said.
Something else to consider incorporating is garlic. A small 2014 review found that people who consumed garlic supplements had fewer colds than those who didn’t.
Lambrechts says while more studies need to be done on the effectiveness, if you can stomach it– it doesn’t hurt to try it.
And when it comes to preventative foods, dietitians recommend looking for foods high in vitamin C and zinc.
Lambrechts says both zinc and vitamin C have been shown to boost your immune system. Look for fruits and vegetables to boost vitamin C intake and protein-rich foods for zinc.
“There’s not really going to be one cure for your immune system but that can help support your immune system,” Lambrechts said.
And once you’re filled up, Ordal says be sure to get some rest.
“You know your body is telling you something so don’t try to go out and keep going and give it to someone else also,” Ordal said.
Other foods to consider while you’re sick include ginger, oatmeal and yogurt. To read more about the food items studies suggest can help during the flu, click here.