It’s Flu Season – Are You Ready?
Flu Season is here!!! Monday night my daughter called at almost midnight from Minneapolis. “Mom I’m so sick!” As she described in vivid detail waking me out of a deep sleep, my own stomach started feeling queasy.
She was unable hold anything down or in her body, and we are hundreds of miles away from her. All I could do was try comforting her on the phone. I went through an entire list of things that I thought could help her from getting weak and dehydrated.
I asked if she had any Gatorade. Gatorade is is ideal when you’re having flu-like symptoms because it contains the electrolytes sodium and potassium lost from vomiting and diarrhea and helps to replenish the depleted nutrients. For athletes it restores the body with electrolytes lost after a hard workout. My daughter did not have any on hand. If you don’t have any Gatorade available, water is also ideal or ice chips, especially if feverish to help bring your temperature down. Remember though to take small sips – it will help hydrate you, and not cause additional nausea. Gatorade should be a staple in your cupboard during flu season!
She also didn’t have saltine crackers which helps with nausea. Saltines saved me when I was pregnant with both kids. Saltine crackers are bland foods with a high starch content. This high content of starch works to absorb excess stomach acid and relieve nausea. The bland nature of the cracker helps to satisfy hunger without the strong smells or tastes that may increase nausea. Eating saltine crackers before you get out of bed helps to absorb the acid and reduce the occurrence of nausea and morning sickness. Eating crackers throughout the day can also help to control and reduce stomach acid and alleviate nausea. Whether combating nausea during flu season or pregnancy, saltines can feel like a life saver!
Applesauce – provides a little fiber that goes a long way toward clearing nausea-inducing chemicals out of your system. “Fiber slows down digestion, so it’s possible that the slowing of the intestinal transit may help ease digestion and relieve nausea. I know from experience that eating all natural applesauce that’s cold has always done wonders for me. Plus it’s smooth and easy to digest. Thankfully my daughter had some in her refrigerator. While she was talking to me on the phone she opened a container, and I knew instantly when she took a spoonful because I heard “umm” and I said, “it tastes good doesn’t it?” She said, “yes!”
They say Ginger, Ginger Ale, Ginger Tea, and even Ginger candy also does the trick for aiding in nausea. Of course I knew my daughter wouldn’t have any on hand, but it’s something to consider to keep in your pantry come flu season. Ginger ale or ginger tea is easy to store, and is made with the herb ginger, which has long been used as a natural remedy for nausea and stomach discomfort. Ginger is said to possess chemicals that may reduce nausea that work primarily in the stomach, and possibly in the brain and nervous system.
Chicken Broth is also easy to store, and because it’s light and slightly salted can help not just make you feel better, but also alleviate the nausea and hydrate you. Chicken Soup while comforting when you’re sick may be too heavy if loaded with noodles and veggies. So save that for when you can actually hold your food down. My daughter did have a box of Chicken Broth that she said she might try Tuesday if she felt better, but at that moment she didn’t feel like standing to try and make it.
I’ve heard that it’s good to eat a Banana if you’re dehydrated due to vomiting. Bananas can help restore potassium which is often depleted as a result of diarrhea and vomiting. For me personally, I love bananas, but I’d probably avoid those until I was certain I wouldn’t vomit again. That said, bananas are starchy and binding, so if diarrhea is the main issue it could definitely help to remedy the situation. She also had no bananas.
Mint is said to help relieve nausea so if you have any Mint Tea in the cupboard you might want to brew yourself a mug. She didn’t have mint tea but does have other tea and may consider that if she doesn’t feel like heating up the broth.
My poor little girl, I hated that she was so sick and all by herself. She’s strong and she seems to be through the worst part now – I hope! Fortunately one of her co-workers was kind enough to bring her Gatorade and Saltine Crackers which she was so grateful for. She said it saved her.
You know what I did? I went out first thing Tuesday morning and stocked up on Gatorade, Saltine Crackers, Applesauce, Ready-made Jello (because it’s light) and made a pot of vegetable soup. Even though vegetable soup wasn’t on the list, my stomach felt a bit queasy just listening to how sick she felt. I needed something to comfort me so I had the soup with saltine crackers.
This year they say the flu has been horrible, to the extent they’ve had to close down some schools. So if you don’t already have some of the grocery items I mentioned above, you may want to go out and get some. It’s always best to be prepared in the event someone in your home comes down with a sudden case of the flu. Be proactive and tackle it head on.
Your flu grocery list – select the items you feel your family will like:
- Saltine Crackers
- Ginger Ale, Ginger Tea, Ginger Candy
- Chicken Broth
What have you found helpful when you have the flu? Of course, lots of rest and fluids are vital, and if feverish, take medication recommended by your physician.
Hoping everyone starts the year off to a great day and stays healthy!
Here are a few comforting foods to get you thru cold & flu season you might enjoy!