Caused by the influenza virus, the flu is a common viral infection that affects about one in five U.S. adults each year. Like the cold virus, the flu generally attacks the upper respiratory system, including the sinuses, throat, nose and lung. However, the flu is a more serious illness that can result in body-wide symptoms like malaise, fever, muscle aches and weakness as well. While there’s no cure for the flu, there are ways to speed up your body’s recovery time. So, if you’re suffering from this common viral illness, consider the following tips to recover more quickly.
Rest and Minimize Physical Activity
Exercising and staying physical activity is usually good for your health — but not if you’re suffering from the flu. If you exercise while sick with the flu, your immune system will weaken, which could result in a longer recovery. You can walk and move around, but refrain from performing any serious physical activity until you’ve completed recovered from this viral illness. Instead, rest by lounging around on the couch or lying in bed.
Install a Humidifier
Try installing a humidifier in your living room or bedroom. Not to be confused with a dehumidifier, a humidifier is a device that releases small amounts of moisture vapor into the air. It’s called a “humidifier” because it “humidifies” the air, thereby making it moister. A humidifier may ease some of your symptoms by making the air a little easier to breathe. As the humidifier releases moisture vapor, it makes the air in your home more humid. And because humid air contains more moisture than dry air, it’s naturally easier to breathe, especially if you’re suffering from a sore throat or chest congestion.
Make a Bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is the perfect food to eat when suffering from the flu. According to a study cited by WebMD, chicken noodle soup can relieve the symptoms of the flu in the chest and head. How does chicken noodle soup help exactly? Medical experts continue to debate how chicken soup is able to clear up flu symptoms, though most agree that does it in fact work. One possible explanation is that chicken noodle soup contains nutrients that have an anti-inflammatory effect. When you consume a bowl of chicken noodle soup, these anti-inflammatory nutrients work to reduce internal swelling in your body, which could otherwise worsen the symptoms you experience. In addition to reducing inflammation, chicken noodle soup is mostly liquid, so consuming it will naturally hydrate your body, which is also important when suffering from the flu.
Juice Up Some Fruits and Vegetables
If you own a juicer, use it to make some delicious and nutritious flu-fighting beverages. Just toss some of your favorite fruits and vegetables into the juicer, and you’ll have the perfect beverage that’s loaded in beneficial nutrients like vitamins and antioxidants. It’s no secret that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is good for your health. What you may not know, however, is that it can also strengthen your immune system. When you rarely or never consume fruits or vegetables, your body won’t have the nutrients it needs to support a healthy immune system. As a result, it will take longer to recover from the flu. You can eat fruits and vegetables plain, but juicing them is an easy and effective way to consume them if you’re suffering from the flu.
Watch the Sugar
There’s nothing wrong with eating an occasional sweat treat, but you should keep them to a minimum if you’re suffering from the flu. The problem with sugar, especially table sugar, is that it suppresses the immune system. As sugar enters your body, it triggers various biochemical responses, including the weakening of your immune system. And with a weaker immune system, you can expect a longer recovery period.
While easier said than done, you must wait and allow your body ample time to recover from the flu. As previously mentioned, there’s no cure for the flu. Rather, you’ll get better once your immune system has eliminated the virus. Most cases of the flu last about one or two weeks, with symptoms peaking after about three or four days of onset.
Getting vaccinated for the flu won’t help if you’re already suffering from it, but it will reduce your risk of catching it in the future. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who get vaccinated for the flu are 40% to 60% less likely to catch the flu than their counterparts who don’t get vaccinated for it. A flu vaccine will expose your immune system to a weakened or deactivated strain of the flu, allowing it to develop antibodies for that particular strain.
Don’t let a cold or flu infection disrupt your life. To learn more about chiropractic and integrative medicine services, contact us today.