What is the flu?
Flu is a common ailment that all of us suffer from. Influenza, commonly shortened to “flu,” is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses. The flu virus spreads through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract. Flu appears most frequently in winter and early spring, when weather changes occur. Most of us take over the counter medication to help the symptoms. In some cases the flu stays for a longer time than in others as each body has its own mechanism of fighting against these viral infections. This mainly depends upon the strength of your body’s immunity level to fight disease.
Symptoms of Flu or Influenza:
Congestion, sore throat and sneezing are common with colds. Colds and flu sufferers cough, have headaches and chest comfort. You are likely to have a high fever with the flu for several days as well as headache, muscle aches, fatigue and overall feeling of weakness. Body ache and joint pain in many cases are also reported. Flu often affects us during weather change and climatic change. The flu is contagious! If somebody is sitting beside you at a public place and is infected with the flu, it can affect you too. Generally children get the flu from schools. In asthmatic people flu easily leads to an attack of asthma. Breathing problems can make a person feel lousy with flu.
Prevention and Home Remedies:
Most people get afflicted with the flu at least once in a year. Some people can have flu several times in a year. The flu can be a real stress on your immune system.
Here are some natural home remedies are available to us:
- Flush out those toxins: Drinking hot fluids is beneficial because of their soothing effect on the throat and also the decongestion effect on the nasal passages. Caffeinated and carbonated beverages should be avoided because they may dehydrate you.
- Protein intake: Lean meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, and nuts and seeds are good sources of protein. (Though dairy is a good source of protein, it has been found to aggravate symptoms like runny nose and chest congestion in some.) Your anti-bodies are made of protein. So, if your body gets adequate protein, it can fight the infection better.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is popular for reducing the severity as well as duration of cold and flu-like symptoms. Aim for at least 2 servings of citrus fruits like oranges, pineapple, sweet limes to stock up on this vitamin. These foods are high in flavonoids, too. Flavonoids work very well in reducing the severity of the flu symptoms.
- Stay away from high-fat and sugary foods:They are difficult to digest and may add on to your nausea and ‘sick’ feeling. Excess sugar has also been found to bring down your defenses and prolong your illness.
- Get Your Sleep: Let your body rest and recuperate as much as possible. If you are feeling anxious, then after dinner, do some mental relaxation, deep breathing exercises for ten minutes, so you can get sound sleep at night.
- Also two teaspoons of ginger with a dash of honey helps in soothing the throat and helping to bring out the mucus. Turmeric powder and black pepper powder mixed in hot milk also helps to keep the cold and flu away.
In summary eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet, drink plenty of fluids and get your rest to keep your body “battle ready” for the cold and flu season ahead.