Best Foods To Eat When You’re Unwell With The Flu Or COVID
Eat nutritious Indian foods like turmeric milk, khichdi, rasam, and yogurt, but avoid spicy, fried, processed foods when unwell with flu or COVID.
When you're unwell with the flu or COVID-19, your body needs extra nutrients to help fight off the infection and aid in your recovery. Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet is important during this time, and consuming certain Indian foods can provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals to help you feel better. Here are some of the best Indian foods to eat when you're unwell with the flu or COVID-19.
- Turmeric Milk: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. Drinking turmeric milk can help soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing.
- Ginger Tea: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in your body. Drinking ginger tea can help soothe a sore throat and reduce nausea.
- Khichdi: Khichdi is a comforting Indian dish that's easy to digest and can provide your body with the necessary nutrients to help fight off infection. Made with rice and lentils, it's a good source of carbohydrates and protein and can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
- Rasam: Rasam is a tangy and spicy South Indian soup that's made with tamarind, tomatoes, and spices. It's rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation in your body. It's also a good source of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system.
- Dal Soup: Dal soup is another comforting Indian dish that's easy to digest and can provide your body with the necessary nutrients to help fight off infection. Made with lentils and spices, it's a good source of protein, fiber, and iron.
- Coconut Water: Coconut water is a refreshing drink that's rich in electrolytes and can help keep you hydrated. It's also a good source of potassium, which can help regulate your blood pressure and reduce muscle cramps.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a good source of probiotics, which can help improve your gut health and boost your immune system. It's also a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Foods to Avoid:
When you're unwell with the flu or COVID-19, it's important to avoid foods that can irritate your stomach and worsen your symptoms. Here are some foods to avoid:
- Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can irritate your throat and stomach, and can worsen nausea and vomiting.
- Fried Foods: Fried foods can be difficult to digest and can worsen diarrhea and other digestive issues.
- Processed Foods: Processed foods can be high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, which can weaken your immune system and worsen inflammation in your body.
- Plain Milk: Plain milk can be difficult to digest and can worsen congestion and phlegm.
Here are some tips on how to avoid getting the flu:
- Get vaccinated: The flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to prevent the flu. It is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and above.
- Wash your hands frequently: Use soap and water to wash your hands often, especially before eating or touching your face. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid close contact with sick people: Try to stay away from people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the flu.
- Cover your nose and mouth: Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. This can help prevent the spread of germs.
- Practice good hygiene: Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, as germs can easily enter your body through these areas.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help support your immune system and keep you healthy.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water and herbal tea, can help flush out toxins and keep your body hydrated.
- Get enough rest: Make sure to get enough sleep and rest, as fatigue can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help boost your immune system and improve your overall health.
- Avoid smoking and vaping: Smoking and vaping can weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to the flu.
When you're unwell with the flu or COVID-19, consuming a well-balanced and nutritious diet is important to help your body fight off infection and to aid in your recovery. Consuming Indian foods like turmeric milk, ginger tea, khichdi, rasam, dal soup, coconut water, and yogurt can provide your body with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help you feel better. However, it's important to avoid spicy foods, fried foods, processed foods, and plain milk that can irritate your stomach and worsen your symptoms.
Jayti Shah is a Clinical Nutritionist with a master's degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA). Over the last 9 years, she has helped 400 clients in their clinical and weight loss journeys. She works with SocialBoat as a nutrition consultant.
At SocialBoat, we offer custom diet plans and guided workouts to help you achieve your goals in a 360-degree approach. Our gamified experience ensures that you don’t find workouts boring and we reward you for being consistent with your efforts.
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). Foods that fight inflammation. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation
- Medical News Today. (2020). Foods to eat and avoid when you have the flu. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323103
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2016). Turmeric. Retrieved from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/turmeric
- National Institutes of Health. (2021). Vitamin C. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
- Sharma, R. (2016). Ayurveda-based dietary interventions for prevention and treatment of COVID-19. International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy, 7(5), 94-99. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323327836_Ayurveda-based_dietary_interventions_for_prevention_and_treatment_of_COVID-19.