The best foods against the flu


 Diet is a good way to boost your immunity in the prevention of the flu, but also when you have caught it. What foods to eat before or during the flu? Are there miracle foods? What foods to avoid?

When the flu circulates, it is good to put all the chances on your side to escape this virus that causes chaos! Diet is an excellent way to boost immunity in prevention and curative. What are anti-flu foods? Do they really exist? What foods to eat if you have the flu? On the contrary, which ones to avoid? Advice with Dr. Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache, the nutritionist.

What foods to eat when you have the flu?

"Once you're tired and you have the flu, you usually eat what you want," says Dr. Ayache-Chicheportiche. A good thing since 'if you listen to your body, it tells you what you need and naturally leads you to light, fresh and easily digestible foods that will give a little energy without being too heavy'. The following are preferred: 

Foods that hydrate 'especially when you have a fever to fight against dehydration mechanisms': vegetables and fruits rich in water (cucumber, zucchini, starfruit, grapefruit, lemon...).

dairy products

raw or cooked fruits and vegetables (compotes, juices, soups....)

What foods to avoid in case of flu? 

When you have the flu "you have to avoid dishes that are too fatty, too rich, and too sweet that are never pleasant in terms of digestion" answers the doctor. Flu symptoms, like those of other viruses, can cause very unpleasant digestive symptoms (nausea for example). Finally, it is recommended to avoid alcohol. Forget the famous rum grog and replace it with an alcohol-free and 100% natural version with cinnamon, lemon...

What foods to eat to prevent the flu?

Let's be clear: there are no miracle foods. Simply put, none will magically protect you from the flu virus (or other winter viruses). "Prevention should not be reduced to the plate, but to a way of life in the broadest sense," explains our interlocutor. It is important to have regular physical activity 'because it would tend to increase our immunity a little'; to reduce chronic stress 'which parasitizes our lives and produces a lot of cortisol, which could reduce and limit the reactions of the cells involved in our immunity' and to sleep enough and in good conditions 'to limit the risk of infection'. In terms of food, Dr. Chicheportiche-Ayache advises focusing on: 

  • Foods rich in tryptophan: almond, banana, milk, chocolate (especially dark). Tryptophan is the metabolic precursor of melatonin, which strengthens the immune system.
  • Foods naturally rich in probiotics: yogurt, pickle, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh. "They will feed the gut microbiota that plays an important role in immunity."
  • Foods with prebiotic effects: whole grains, flax seed, chia seed, cabbage, broccoli, artichoke, and onion. "They will give fiber that will feed the microorganisms of the gut microbiota." 
  • Foods rich in micronutrients that promote immunity (vitamin C, D, zinc, vitamin A, and E).
  • Raw and organic food products: "There is no direct link with immunity, but the body would be in better conditions" to face winter viruses.
  • Foods rich in vitamin C against the flu 

In prevention or during the flu, maximize the consumption of food rich in vitamin C: "It boosts immunity and reduces the field of fatigue conducive to infections" argues the nutritionist before recalling that fruits are the first source of natural vitamin C.  It is also found in: 

  • Black-currant
  • Citrus fruits
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Kale cabbage
  • Broccoli

'We can also make Acerola cures whose vitamin C content is much higher than all our citrus fruits.'

Foods rich in vitamin D against the flu

"Vitamin D practically acts like a hormone and is going to have an impact on immunity. We must make sure that we do not start the winter season with an insufficiency or a deficiency, "explains our interlocutor. Among the foods rich in vitamin D to put on the menu if you have the flu (or in prevention): 

  • Yolk
  • Butter
  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardines...)
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Foods rich in zinc against the flu

Zinc is a micronutrient with an important role in immunity. But "we can't store it so we need regular intakes," explains Dr. Chicheportiche-Ayache. It is mainly found in animal proteins: 

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Egg
  • Seafood
  • Oysters

Foods rich in vitamins E and A, antioxidants

Vitamins E and A have interesting antioxidant properties in the prevention of infections, including influenza: 'The antioxidant effect will limit the impact of harmful substances on the body. It is not directly related to immunity, but it will create a less weakened ground, "details the doctor. Vitamin E is present in vegetable oils and oilseeds such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and avocados. Vitamin A is available as retinol in the livers of fish and livestock; and in the form of beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, dandelions, vegetable Macedonia, parsley, lettuce, and spinach.