By Peggy Butler It is interesting tonote that your body has the ability tofight viral infections all by itself.Antibiotics won’t do a thing for a cold, flu or stomach virus, and thediarrhea and sore throat that accompany them. You can help yoursystem recover quicker, by watching what you eat and drink. When a virus strikes, youshould eat simply. Avoid foods that are hard to digest, like gravy, fried dishes, rich sauces, and heavy desserts. If you are not hungry, don’tforce yourself to eat. A day or two without food won’t hurt you, but liquidsare essential.
As you recover, your appetite will return, and you can work yourway back to a normal diet. How you eat depends on where the virus strikes and what your symptoms are. Thesame virus can cause different reactions in each victim.Fever: Anextremely high fever makes you sweat. The dangers are dehydration andloss of salt. To counteract these symptoms drink liquids with a high saltcontent, such as Gatorade, tomato juice or lemonade with a pinch of salt. Ifyou are hot, treat yourself to cool beverages. During the chills stage drinkhot soup or tea.
Caution: Tea canincrease urine output and cause further dehydration. As for food, keep itsimple: toast, soup, cottage cheese and yogurt. Stuffy Nose: There’s evidence that chicken soup actually helps clear nasal passages. Somom was right, soup is a great remedy for colds. Headache: When headaches are brought on by fever and sinuscongestion, caffeine can bring relief because it constricts blood vessels.Drink tea, coffee or colas, as well asaspirin preparations that include caffeine. It is important to treat sinusheadaches with decongestants.
Upset stomach: Nausea and vomiting can causedehydration, as well as a lack ofdesire to eat or drink. You don’t have to eat, but liquids are important. Chewon ice chips or sip water or soda. As for milk, it is hard for some adults todigest. When the stomach is unsettled, milk should be avoided for several days.
Diarrhea: Replacing lost fluids, potassium and sodiumwith juice or broth is necessary with severe diarrhea. Best recommendations:Gatorade or sweet lemonade. When you are feeling better, you can begin eating simple foods with slightly constipative properties: rice,bananas and mild cheeses. Recommended Eating: A healthy diet forkeeping fit and staving off infections is high in fiber and complexcarbohydrates (whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables), with adequateprotein (meat, fish and dairy products) and low in fats (particularly saturated ones like butterand cheese and simple carbohydrates.So the next time your bodyis invaded by a virus determinedto reek havoc, a cure can be as simple as a slice of toast.
Here’s to GoodHealth!