By Peggy Butler It is interesting to note that your body has the ability to fight viralinfections all by itself. Surprisingly,antibiotics won’t do a thing for cold, flu or stomach virus, or the diarrheaand sore throat that often accompany them. Hence, you can help your system recoverquicker, by carefully watching what you eat and drink.
Generally, when a virusstrikes, you should eat simply. Avoid foods that are hard to digest, like frieddishes, rich sauces, gravy and heavy desserts. Moreover, if you are not hungry,don’t force yourself to eat.
A day or two without food won’t hurt you, butliquids are essential. As you recover, your appetite will return, and you canwork your way back to a normal diet.Specifically, how you eat depends on where the virus strikes and what yoursymptoms are. The same virus can cause different reactions in each victim.Fever: An extremely high fever makes you sweat. Thedangers are dehydration and loss of salt. To counteract these symptoms drinkliquids with a high salt content, such as Gatorade, tomato juice or lemonadewith a pinch of salt.
If you are hot, treat yourself to cool beverages. Duringthe chills stage drink hot soup or tea. Caution:Tea can increase urine output and cause further dehydration. As for food, keepit simple: toast, soup, cottage cheese and yogurt. Stuffy Nose: There’s evidence that chicken soup actually does help clear nasalpassages. So mom was right after all, soup is a great remedy for colds.
Headache:When headaches are brought on by fever and sinus congestion, caffeine can bringrelief because it constricts blood vessels. Drink tea, coffee or colas, as wellas aspirin preparations that include caffeine. It is important to treat sinusheadaches with decongestants. Upset stomach: Nausea and vomiting can cause dehydration, 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 sodium with juice or broth is necessarywith severe diarrhea. Best recommendations: Gatorade or sweet lemonade. Whenyou are feeling better, you can begin eating simple foods with slightlyconstipative properties: rice, bananas and mild cheeses. Recommended Eating: A healthy diet for keeping fit and staving offinfections is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates (whole grains, freshfruits and vegetables), with adequate protein (meat, fish and dairy products)and low in fats (particularly saturated ones like butter and cheese and simplecarbohydrates (sweets).So the next time your bodyis invaded by a virus determined to reek havoc, a cure can be as simple as aslice of toast. Here’s to Good Health.