Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4 Foods to Help You Fight the Flu

Article taken from the Living Well magazine: published by the Northern Nevada Medical Center

1) SALMON. A recent study of Japanese schoolchildren suggests that a daily dose of vitamin D during winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A, a common strain of seasonal flu.
The children in the study took vitamin D supplements, but oily fish such as salmon is an edible option. Fortified milk and cereals are good sources, too. This nutrient is also made naturally in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but it's not always enough when they days grow shorter. As your doctor how much Vitamin D you need.

2) GREEN TEA. Several studies have found that drinking green tea may improve your immune system- but can it battle the flu bug? In one study, participants took capsules containing two green tea components (L-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate). The results showed the capsules decreased the number of people reporting cold and flu symptoms by about a third. There was also a big decrease in how long the symptoms lasted.

3) YOGURT. Probiotics are live microorganisms that live in the gut. They are found in some foods, such as yogurt, and come as dietary supplements.
In a recent study, researchers gave 3 to 5 year old probiotic supplements to see if that would affect flu symptoms. Some children received one probiotic strain, while others received a combination of two. After six months, both groups showed a reduction in the incidence and duration of flu symptoms when compared to a placebo group. The group that took the combination of the two probiotic strains had the best results.

4) HOT LIQUIDS, LIKE SOUP. Fluids help your body fight infection, and hot liquids like chicken soup may relieve symptoms, too. In a small study, 30 volunteers with cold-or-flu-like symptoms drank either a heated or room temperature fruit drink. Researchers then tested their nasal airflow and asked about six symptoms: runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, chilliness, and tiredness. While the airflow test showed no significant improvement with either drink, participants who drank the hot beverage reported relief from all six symptoms. Those who drank the cooler drink experienced relief from only three: the runny nose, cough and sneezing.

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