Flu, also known as influenza is a very common disease and can infect anyone at any point of time. It usually affects the respiratory system i.e., the nose, throat and lungs. Most of the times it can heal by itself, but in some cases might cause further damage to people who have asthma and other respiratory problems. Since it is a contagious disease, people who have symptoms of flu are advised to stay away from others, especially from children below the age of 5 and adults above the age of 65. People in these age groups have low immunity and tend to get infected faster than others.
Flu is air borne and can also spread when the person infected: coughs, sneezes or talks. The droplets containing the virus, enter the other persons’ nose or mouth. It can also spread by touching a common surface that has been previously touched by the infected person, and later touching your own eyes, nose or mouth. The risk of spreading the virus lies between a day before symptoms are noticed and 5 to 7 days after being infected.
Common Symptoms Of Flu
There are a lot of symptoms to notice in a person infected with flu. An infected person may have the following symptoms but not necessarily all of them. They are:
- Sudden onset of fever
- Headache, muscle aches and joint pains
- Cough (Usually dry)
- Sore Throat
- Nasal Congestion and runny nose
- Stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea may occur but these are more common in children.
Since there is no particular cure for flu, antiviral medicine is prescribed by the doctors. It is also advisable to take a vaccine shot every 6 months to minimize the effect of flu. While the medicines are effective and help reduce the symptoms, it is always better to keep your immunity high to avoid getting infected by the flu virus. We have come up with 8 fruits that can help you build immunity and also help in recovering from flu.
1. Bananas Can Help Reduce Fatigue
Bananas are rich in certain minerals and vitamins that help in keeping you active throughout the day. People infected with flu or influenza tend to feel fatigue, having a banana first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can help reduce fatigue. Also, the potassium content in bananas can help reduce symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
2. Oranges Help In Boosting Immunity
Oranges are rich in Vitamin C and can act as great immunity boosters. It is always recommended to have oranges when you have flu. They help fight cough and common cold. Though there are supplements for Vitamin C in the market, it is better to have oranges so that our body absorbs maximum nutrients from the fruit. If you are worried about an overdose of Vitamin C due to excess consumption of oranges, worry not! Our body is conditioned in such a way that it absorbs the required quantity and flushes out the excess amount of Vitamin C.
3. Blueberries Reduce The Probability Of Acquiring Cold And Cough
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants which help in treatment of cold and cough. Consuming flavonoids, which are present in blueberries can make adults less likely to catch cold and cough from those who don’t consume. They also help in reducing the risk of upper respiratory tract infections. Apart from flavonoids, blueberries also contain Vitamin C and can boost immunity.
4. Apples Can Be A Great Alternative To Coffee
Apples have a unique property – 25% of an apple is just air. They have a variety of antioxidants that help boost immunity and can be helpful in treating chronic diseases. Phytochemical antioxidant is one such antioxidant that helps boost immunity and minimizes the risk of chronic ailments. Having an apple a day can also help in treatment of other diseases as well. They also have ample amounts of calories, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which keep you energized and active throughout the day in a natural way, making it an alternative to coffee.
Kiwi Has Almost Twice As Much Vitamin C Than An Orange
A fruit that has both Vitamin C and E in abundance. Presence of these two vitamins make kiwi an important fruit for consumption if you have flu. It is also good to have kiwi on a daily basis as it helps in fighting those pathogens that cause flu. Presence of potassium equal to that of a banana but with half the calories, it aids in lowering blood pressure. Also, Vitamin C present in kiwi fruit is double to that of an orange, making it a great immunity booster.
Coconut Water Helps Replace The Lost Electrolytes
Dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting can cause loss of electrolytes in the body. If these electrolytes are lost, it can lead to dehydration and you may lose consciousness. To avoid the above-mentioned condition, it is advised to have coconut water. Presence of sodium, potassium and chloride in coconut water can help regain the lost electrolytes and keep the body hydrated. Coconut water is not only useful in flu, but can also be consumed on a daily or regular basis to keep your body hydrated especially in summers.
Pineapples Are Nutritionally Dense Fruits
Pineapples have exceptional anti-inflammatory properties which are helpful in cold and flu season. They also help in treating cold symptoms and improve immunity. Pineapples have flavonoids and phenolic acids in abundance and can reduce the risk of other chronic diseases. They also help people with heart conditions and certain cancers. The best part about this fruit is that it has a low-calorie count and can be consumed by anyone.
Avocados Are Rich In Healthy Fats
They provide calories, vitamins and minerals, hence, are considered as one of the best fruits to eat when sick. Avocados are bland in taste yet are easy to eat. They also help in reducing inflammation in the body apart from improving the body’s immunity. They also have high levels of glutathione, an oxidant that helps the body absorb nutrients from the food we eat.
Other Things To Take Care About
If a person has symptoms of flu, apart from having good food and medicines (if recommended by a doctor), there are few other things that needs to be taken care of, they are:
- Staying home and taking rest till the fever subsides.
- Avoid contact with other people to stop the spread.
- Cover your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing.
- Wash your hand with soap regularly.
- Seek medical help if symptoms get worse.
- People who smoke, should avoid smoking till the symptoms subside. Smoking only aggravates the symptoms and can cause damage to the respiratory tract.
- Medicines such as Acetaminophen can help relieve a fever and ease aches and pains but should be taken only after consulting a medical practitioner.
While the above-mentioned fruits and tips work and help you recover from flu or influenza, practicing breathing exercises in the form of pranayama, is known to be beneficial too. As believed in yogic science, pranayama is the best way to maintain a healthy respiratory tract which also helps avoid breathing and lung related issues. Some of the exercises in pranayama include Natural breathing, Basic Abdominal breathing, Thoracic breathing and Clavicular breathing among others. These exercises when practiced on a daily basis can work wonders for people with respiratory problems and asthma. They also help in improving immunity by providing oxygen in abundance to all parts of the body.