By Peggy Butler
It is interesting to
note that your body has the ability to
fight viral infections all by itself.
Antibiotics won’t do a thing for a cold, flu or stomach virus, and the
diarrhea and sore throat that accompany them. You can help your
system recover quicker, by watching what you eat and drink.
When a virus strikes, you
should eat simply. Avoid foods that are hard to digest, like gravy,
fried dishes, rich sauces, and heavy desserts. If you are not hungry, don’t
force yourself to eat. A day or two without food won’t hurt you, but liquids
are essential. As you recover, your appetite will return, and you can work your
way back to a normal diet.
How you eat depends on where the virus strikes and what your symptoms are. The
same virus can cause different reactions in each victim.
extremely high fever makes you sweat. The dangers are dehydration and
loss of salt. To counteract these symptoms drink liquids with a high salt
content, such as Gatorade, tomato juice or lemonade with a pinch of salt. If
you are hot, treat yourself to cool beverages. During the chills stage drink
hot soup or tea. Caution: Tea can
increase urine output and cause further dehydration. As for food, keep it
simple: toast, soup, cottage cheese and yogurt.
Stuffy Nose: There’s evidence that chicken soup actually helps clear nasal passages. So
mom was right, soup is a great remedy for colds.
Headache: When headaches are brought on by fever and sinus
congestion, caffeine can bring relief because it constricts blood vessels.
Drink tea, coffee or colas, as well as
aspirin preparations that include caffeine. It is important to treat sinus
headaches with decongestants.
Upset stomach: Nausea and vomiting can cause
dehydration, as well as a lack of
desire to eat or drink. You don’t have to eat, but liquids are important. Chew
on ice chips or sip water or soda. As for milk, it is hard for some adults to
digest. When the stomach is unsettled, milk should be avoided for several days.
Diarrhea: Replacing lost fluids, potassium and sodium
with 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 for
keeping fit and staving off infections is high in fiber and complex
carbohydrates (whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables), with adequate
protein (meat, fish and dairy products) and low in fats (particularly saturated ones like butter
and cheese and simple carbohydrates.
So the next time your body
is invaded by a virus determined
to reek havoc, a cure can be as simple as a slice of toast. Here’s to Good