Flu Diet

What having the flu can teach us about nutrition. Everyone has gotten sick. Laying in bed with fevers, chills, and cough. We used to hope that we did not have the flu. Now we say I hope I have the flu and not Covid. Then we ask our loved ones to make us some chicken soup. As an overall theme Americans eat too much and way too many processed foods. Until we get sick. When you get the flu, your immune system goes on overdrive. Our body is working on controlling our temperature and fighting off a cough. At this time you may also have nausea, diarrhea, or headaches. 

All of these symptoms negatively affect appetite. We need to let our gastrointestinal tract rest so that more of our body’s energy can work on releasing cytokines and immune modulators to help us get better. Our bodies conserve energy in digestion by decreasing our appetites. Yet many of the foods/thoughts that we turn to while having the flu could actually help us overall with our daily nutrition. When one gets the flu we turn to chicken broth, we increase our fluids and oatmeal. Leafy green vegetables have likely immune-boosting benefits. 

As opposed to bacon and eggs, sick patients often will have a bowl of yogurt. You want to avoid fatty foods. It would be unlikely for you to get gout or have your gallstones flare while on the flu diet. Also, most people drink less alcohol when they have the flu. More water gets consumed and less vodka. Lots of people want to lose weight and eat healthier. So I am going to propose a new diet fad for the world. The Flu Diet. Yogurt or granola for breakfast. Lots of water and/or low sugar electrolyte drinks during the day. Lots of leafy green vegetables including broccoli or one of those kale smoothies that people are always trying to get me to drink. Low salt chicken soup for dinner. And definitely get your flu shot. But if you really want to lose weight consider eating like you have the flu.

The Doc is In

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