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Foods That Can Battle The Flu

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- This bad flu season is still a big topic of discussion these days, but there are many ways to feel better that don't necessarily involve taking medication. Doctors from put together a list of foods that may help you get over the flu faster while treating some of those nasty symptoms. We'll start with the most obvious.

Chicken Soup
It's nourishing and hydrating, but there's also some scientific evidence that chicken soup may help with healing and have mild anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have found that hot chicken soup can improve the ability of cilia, the tiny hair-like parts of the nasal passages, to protect the body from bacteria and viruses.

Sliced, mashed, or whole, bananas are easy on the stomach. They can be a go-to food if you've been hit with symptoms like nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea, which often occur in kids with the flu. Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (sometimes called "the BRAT diet") are often the first foods doctors encourage people to try when they're recovering from stomach flu and ready for solid foods.

Making and eating a salad is probably one of the last things you'll feel up to while recovering from the flu. Instead, down a glass of low-sodium vegetable juice. You'll load up on immune-boosting antioxidants and keep yourself hydrated. Craving a sweet taste? Go with 100 percent fruit juice.

Hot tea is another way to sooth flu symptoms. Green and black tea offer disease-fighting antioxidants. Breathing in the steam can help relieve congestion. Add a spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon to help soothe a sore throat. If caffeine bothers you, opt for decaf or herbal versions.

How about a stomach ache or nausea? Natural ginger root is a home remedy often used to soothe these symptoms. Some studies suggest it may help fight inflammation. Try adding it freshly grated or in powdered form to other foods, or drinking flat ginger ale.

If you feel up to it, garlic can help you feel better. You don't have to eat a whole clove, but it's a good choice to spice up foods like soup. Garlic appears to have antimicrobial and immune-stimulating properties and may give you slight relief from congestion.


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