Fighting the Flu: Foods to Eat Before and After Getting Sick

Temperatures start to drop and as much as this shows that winter is nearing, it also means that flu season is hurtling in. This calls for extra caution if you want to avoid the emergency room for urgent care. Remember that the cost of an emergency room visit is estimated at $1,354 and you don’t want to add that to your bills.

The common cold tends to develop in one to three days once you come into contact with the virus. However, there are measures that you can take that will stop the flu and eliminate the need for urgent care. The first sure step is to get a flu shot.

Next, ensure that your home temperature is comfortable but don’t crank up the thermostat. This is the norm in most American homesteads with heating and cooling gadgets making up about 54 percent of annual utility bills.

You can also fight the flu from the kitchen. There are foods that can help prevent catching a cold and some that help fight it. Here is a list of foods to eat before and after catching a cold:

Foods to Eat That Fight Sickness


If you are feeling a little under the weather, then stocking oranges will come in handy. Oranges contain vitamin C, which is vital when it comes to preventing the flu. According to the National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health, vitamin C is essential for people who live in sickness-inducing environments, such as winter.

Ginger tea

When a cold is approaching, you should jump on foods that boost your immunity. Ginger can be relied upon to prevent and treat the common cold. Researchers speak highly of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Inflammation affects the immune levels of the body but the anti-inflammatory qualities in ginger can help improve immunity and avoid the need for urgent care.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is quite different from regular yogurt because it has a higher protein content and is full of probiotics that help fight sicknesses. These probiotics, according to researchers, can help prevent and even grind a common cold to a stop. Researchers also discovered that when you eat probiotics daily, it lowers the risk of catching a cold than when you don’t eat probiotic-rich food.

As an added bonus, yogurt is high in calcium, which can help strengthen your teeth. By regularly consuming yogurt and other foods that promote healthy teeth, you may be able to avoid being among the 47.2% of adults 30 and older who have periodontal disease. Why not prevent two diseases with one tasty snack?


Oblivious to many, tomatoes are a great food to help beat the common cold because they are rich in vitamin C. One medium-sized tomato has more than 16 milligrams of vitamin C. Vitamin C is known for strengthening the body’s immune system.

Vitamin C plays an important role in strengthening the body’s T-cells and phagocytes, the two most important components of the body’s immune system. When the body is low on Vitamin C, it has a weak immune system and offers little resistance to pathogens responsible for diseases.


These berries are laden with antioxidants that can help prevent and treat colds and coughs. Research carried out by the University of Auckland concluded that taking flavonoids, antioxidants that are in blueberries, makes the average adult about 33% less likely to contract a cold compared to adults who did not indulge in flavonoid-rich foods.

Foods to Eat While You’re Sick

If you let your defenses down and are already sick, fret not. With the right diet, you’ll be in a good position to evade the emergency room and the high costs that come with it. This avoidance is especially essential for people on Medicare, a government-run health insurance program for people 65 years old and older as well as people under 65 with certain disabilities. Federal programs like Medicare don’t always cover visits to emergency rooms, leaving vulnerable people with high hospital bills. With that being said, here are foods that you should eat if you have a cold:

Chicken soup

Chicken soup is a great source of vitamins, protein, calories, and minerals which are easy-to-eat and needed in large quantities when you’re sick.

Additionally, chicken soup provides the body with fluids and electrolytes and this helps hydrate the body, especially if you are losing a lot in the bathroom. Chicken soup is a natural decongestant, especially when taken hot, as it helps clear nasal mucus effectively. This is partly because it gives hot steam and also has amino acid cysteine. This not only breaks mucus, but also has anti-viral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.


Garlic has several health benefits, including anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial effects. It also stimulates the body’s immune system. Garlic extract supplements have been found to enhance immune function and reduce the severity of flu and colds. You should add garlic to broth or chicken soup for flavor and make them even more effective.

Hot tea

Hot tea is also a natural decongestant and helps rid the sinuses of mucus. However, it has to be hot to act as a decongestant but not too hot as it can irritate the throat.

Tea has polyphenols with health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory effects. Tannins, another polyphenol, acts as an antioxidant and has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.


Urgent care will be a thing of the past with honey that has antibacterial effects due to its large concentration of antimicrobial compounds. Some studies also suggest that it stimulates the immune system and is a wonderful food for the sick, especially in the event of a sore throat.

Leafy, Green Vegetables

Greens such as kale, romaine lettuce, and spinach are full of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. They are rich sources of vitamin A, C, K, and folate. They are also rich in plant compounds that have antioxidants properties protect the body cells from damage and stop inflammation.

Urgent care is needed if symptoms persist or veer off at a tangent. When researching for pediatric urgent care clinics, it’s important to look at their Google and Facebook reviews, which are left by patients who have visited these clinics and have a one to five star rating and a comment about what their experience was like. If a fever persists or you suddenly feel weak, seek urgent care in an emergency room.


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