Gradually the days are getting longer which indicates that spring is just around the corner. But let’s not count ourselves in because the temperature is dropping again from today, and that will make respiratory viruses gain a lot more prominence these days.
And among them, of course, the flu that is taking hold again in several regions of Spain.
It is not surprising that this happens, since flu season usually lasts until about the month of May, so we remain under its influence. And this year has come strong.
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Between December 26, 2022 and January 1, 2023, a total of 2,053 positive cases were detected in Spain, according to data provided by the Influenza Surveillance System (SiVIRA) of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII). There were 723 reported in the same period last year, which is an increase of 184%.
Therefore, to prevent flu and other respiratory viruses, experts recommend following a balanced and healthy diet. And if we get infected too.
“Foods made of high nutrient content, which are of good quality and easy to digest, contribute to maintaining a strong and healthy immune system.
For this reason, as he explains Natalia Galan, nutritionist From Sanitas BlueU:
“During a cold it is important to eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits with the aim of reducing symptoms and avoiding complications”,
What foods should I eat if I have the flu or cold?
To ease symptoms, whether I’m starting out with the flu or if I have severe cold symptoms, nutritionists offer some food recommendations we should take:
- This: It is an antibacterial food with antitussive, expectorant and mucolytic properties, ideal for fighting colds. It is also composed of allicin, an antiseptic that reduces infection and eases nasal congestion.
- Pumpkin: Rich in beta-carotene (organic pigments that convert into vitamin A when absorbed by the body), its nutrients boost immunity and protect against viruses. In case of allergies, carrots can be substituted without any problems, as their benefits are very similar.
- Onion: One of its main properties is quercetin, a natural antibiotic that acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Also, since it is an expectorant remedy, it thins the mucous.
- Egg: Provides minerals like zinc or selenium which strengthen the immune system. It is recommended to consume at least 2 or 3 per week to avoid nutritional deficiencies, as this deficiency increases the chances of getting colds.
- Ginger: Softens signs of congestion by clearing the respiratory tract and breaking up phlegm for its analgesic, antipyretic and antibacterial properties. By mixing honey and lemon, you can get a very beneficial infusion to fight the flu.
- Kiwi: Thanks to its antioxidant properties, it is able to prevent infections and, given its high level of vitamin C (twice that of an orange), it favors the absorption of iron, which strengthens the immune system.
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Can I do sports if I have a cold?
Respiratory infections can cause trouble for people who regularly play sports. In these cases, and if inconvenience does not stop us, Pedro Jimenez, Personal Trainer Blu de Sanitas warns that:
“Exercise can make breathing easier, thus relieving nasal congestion, as long as sessions are brief, at a gentle pace and control intensity so as not to go beyond level 7 in terms of sensation of perceived exertion.” It should be noted that in case of fever it will be contraindicated to exercise.