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Foods to fend off/slow down flu?

My husband came home with a fever, achy, tired. Sounds like the flu, right? Well, I had been ill from Thanksgiving until the end of January, so I can't afford to get the flu. I am just starting to feel like a human being again. Is there some food, juice or whatever, I can feed/give him to help him get well soon? Puhleeze? I'm thinking chicken soup for tonight, if I can get him out of bed. What else?

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  1. I always feel that anything hot and spicy knocks those bad germs out of me! I love Thai Tom Yum Kai when I have a head cold. I also will make a toddy of hot lemon water with honey and cayenne pepper. Jalepenos seem to clear my head as well. I heard it's the capsian.......

    P.S. I also swear by Airborne for building up the immunity system.

    1 Reply
    1. re: janetms383

      I'm with janet...hot brothy liquids really help me...ginger tea is great, chicken broth with some kind of hot pepper mixed in also. Warm, clear liquids will help flush out the bug more quickly.

    2. Theraflu!

      I'm kidding. But Theraflu does work.

      I'm no doctor but chicken soup works for me and lots of fluids ( oj and water )

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jaytizzle

        I swear by Theraflu, really

        I like tea, honey, lemon, soups, tomato, chicken, if an upset stomach my doctor always said the BRAT diet. Even when my son was young. It works

        B - Bananas, R - Rice, plain no butter, A - apple, sauce or diced up, T - toast, again no butter, a little apple jelly is ok and some sliced bananas on top. It is a lifesaver, but that is for a upset stomach or intensional.

        I usually like warm simple foods. Grilled cheese, a light pasta with just a simple, sauce nothing too rich. I enjoyed Oatmeal, scrambled eggs, even roast chicken and my mom would put some in a broth with some rice and just some scallions. Simple easy soup. But everyone has their faves.

      2. Something easy to digest like soup/congee. Digestion of foods expends a lot of energy, energy that can be better used to fight off your flu. Rich, greasy foods can make it worse. Spice is good. And I would definitely stay away from dairy -- dairy tends to make phlegm worse.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Miss Needle

          Many say that about dairy, depends is you have congestion. Flu doesn't normally have congestion, just my thought. I like warm milk when I have the flu, not with a cold however. If this is the flu a bit different than feeding a cold. NO grease I agree.

        2. Yeah, once he's already sick, it's too late to fend off anything. If it's any consolation, partners mostly don't get their significant other's cold, so you may be safe.

          I find Thai food, as mentioned previously, does a great job -- tom yam gung is my preferred weapon of choice, with lots of lime juice, lemongrass, and SPICY!! Actually, any kind of spicy food will make you feel less congested, whether that is a fact or not.

          1. Chicken soup with plenty of garlic and onions is always good. Ginger tea w/ cinnamon, and plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.
            My gram always made us a hot toddy when we started getting achy... hot tea, lemon juice, honey and a good shot of whiskey or brandy.

            3 Replies
            1. re: CadienBelle

              Ditto on the whiskey, boubon in my house or brandy with tea and lemon and honey. A standard

              1. re: kchurchill5

                Ha! My mom swears by tequila and lemon, and my remedy is a shot of 1/2 Jager, 1/2 Goldshlager. Knocks the wind out of you, but you feel TONS better, and wake up the next day feeling GREAT!

                1. re: schrutefarms

                  I'm 100% german, jager I know very well. The less time unconcious the less you feel bad, lol.

            2. jfood - lots of chicken soup
              jfood's college rommate - a six pack and a hot shower.

              but you need to keep healthy as well so lots of hand washing and purel.

              1. We're getting over this bug too. Along with the chicken soup and tea and toddies I also ran everything through the dishwasher, antibacterial cycle. I figured it couldn't hurt and maybe the germs wouldn't be spread as bad.

                When he's able to eat a little, salmon is very good for you. All of the omega 3's helps to keep the bodies immune system up and it's also an anti-inflamatory.

                1 Reply
                1. re: CadienBelle

                  Spinach too is great if you guys like it. I try to just saute mine lightly with a little lemon, honey and red pepper and garlic. Simple sweet and tangy, Yum

                2. Everyone mentions liquids but I find the trick is LOTS AND LOTS of liquids- not just "try to drink more liquids." I'm talking, I fill a gallon of water and try to finish it in 2 hours and then do it again and then again when I first feel like I'm getting sick. It works like a charm- do this for a day and you'll flush out anything that you have going on. Make sure to include some gatorade in the flush and eat too, so you don't go too low on electrolytes.

                  If he's really already sick it might be too late for this trick but give it a whirl

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: CoryKatherine

                    When I was sick, and I went to the Dr. he told me to drink more fluids because I looked dehydrated. That surprised me since I drink only water all day long, More than the 8 glasses a day. So I think you have a good point. I am going to force it down him.

                    1. re: danhole

                      Drinking too much water can actually not be a good thing if you're becoming dehydrated....it can actually wash away important electrolytes.
                      Much better to drink liquids with good amounts of electrolytes....take it from a runner.

                      1. re: latindancer

                        Power Ade, or many natural supplements and even gatorade, anything that hydrates with some nutrients. Agreed. I try to push gatorade. Eve some warmed up with some honey and lemon can be good. Not great, but it works

                  2. Last time I got the tickle, I went for the Vit-C--grapefruit, Emergen-C. I've heard that adding a little lemon juice to the chicken soup could help.
                    Just avoid dairy, which I have a really, really hard time doing (and got into as soon as the flu-ish died down).

                      1. When I was young, and got the flu, mom always fed me congee mixed with Chinese dried shredded pork (or pork floss) and pickled cucumbers.

                        Then she would brew up a big cup of ginger and brown sugar "tea" for my throat and sinuses.

                        Dunno if they worked, but I know it sure didn't hurt.

                        1. Dani, flu is a virus and there is no cure. Rest is key to recovery and fluids to keep from dehydration. If his job allows, take time off and get as much sleep as possible, lots of naps. To keep you from getting it, use lysol on everthing he touches, refrigerator handles, door knobs, the phone, etc. Have him eat whatever feels good to him. For the cough that may result, my mom always gave us whiskey, honey, and lemon juice, even when we were kids. She said she felt like a lush going into a licquor store and asking for the cheapest whiskey. I guess had she given us a single malt scotch we would become addicted.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            James, My dad always made me the whiskey, honey and lemon mix for coughs, too! Mostly he is sleeping, which is good, and I did make him chicken soup last night, but he didn't eat much. I'm going to get him more juice and pull out the Lysol! I like spicy, myself, when I start to feel puny, but he doesn't eat spicy at all. He wanted to go to the Dr. to "nip it in the bud" but, as you said, it's a virus, and there is no way to cure it. I just want to lessen it!

                            1. re: danhole

                              Virus runs it course unfortunately. Rule of thumb, luquids, easy food. But if they want tacos, make tacos ... my doc always told me their body knows what they need. If they crave spice and whatever it may be. That is what you should eat. Liquids are always the key and drink whatever tastes good. Water is key, but anything else which tastes best. He has been my doctor for over 30 years and has never failed me yet. I go very rarely and he actually takes the time to call and advise. 99% of the time he is right. I am not giving medical advice .. merely that you body knows best. If it craves spice, give it spice, soup, give it soup. If nothing he said to force liquids, maybe dry toast and some apples, a previous post BRAT, it is for nausea, but it makes your stomach feel better. Bananas, Rice, Apple and Toast.

                              But by all means, eat what your body craves. There is a reason for this. But remember, fluids are essential no matter what! Water and others, gatorade is great to replenish nutrients.

                              1. re: danhole

                                I once came down with a raging case of the flu while I had a crippling hangover in San Marcos, Tx. while visiting a friend in my college years. He was a smart guy who eventually became a veternerian. I took his suggestion of menudo for the flu, it didn't work, however, the hair of the dog took care of the hangover.

                            2. Chicken soup is good, but if you have access to a GOOD Chinese "hot and sour" soup, you're off to the races. (Note: I've tried h&s soup around NYC in about a dozen restaurants, and it's horrible compared to what we get in Toronto; first, it's an opaque brown, not a translucent red, and second, it's overwhelmed by the taste of pepper, which to me is neither hot nor sour.) You're looking for a good chicken base, flavoured with red vinegar and chili oil, and brimming with tofu, scallions, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, etc. Depending on where you go, you'll usually get either pork or shrimp in as well.

                              It clears your head, and the heat from the chili gets the endorphins flowing so you feel better, even if you're not cured (which, of course, you're not). Good luck!

                              1. The soup I swear by for boosting my immune system to fight off a virus is garlic chicken soup. Basically, anything you'd put in a chicken soup normally (potatoes, noodles, carrots, celery, onion, whatever) plus a LOT of freshly minced garlic. Yes, the garlic tends to dominate, but it also helps boost the immune system and the hot fluid helps your body flush the germies that are hanging out in your mucus membranes. I also add chopped FRESH parsley, for a vitamin C boost, as well.

                                1. When I am feeling puny my husband makes me the "puny soup."

                                  Home made chicken stock, LOTS of onion, garlic and ginger, chunks of chicken and noodles. Float a dried habanero on the top at the end (but don't forget to fish it out or the soup will become too picante to eat).

                                  3 Replies
                                    1. re: kchurchill5

                                      I think he uses a standard mirepoix to start, and then lots of sliced fresh onions toward the end.

                                      Sometimes I pretend to be puny just to get the soup!

                                  1. I second the hot and sour soup. Also, when we feel a cold / flu / illness coming on, we binge on vitamin c in the form of kiwi fruits - lots of them .

                                    1. Mrs Hole, I sincerely hope that Mr Hole gets well soon. My perverse side has me thinking, however, that this is a golden opportunity. Give him stuff like spicy hot and sour (maybe egg drop) soup as others have suggested. Give him spicy and ethnic, the stuff you like and that he does not. Git 'em while he's down! Maybe when he gets better, he'll have an expanded food spectrum.