Flu Prevention: Best Foods for Exercisers

Topics: Aging and Costs of Aging, Wellness and Health

Health reform, including flu prevention, starts in the kitchen.

One misconception: H1N1 (swine flu) virus is not spread by food. And though there are other reasons you may not want to eat pork, you cannot get swine flu (or influenza A or B) from eating pork or pork products.

You also cannot get it from tap water or from drinking water. Or from flu shots: 5-10 percent of people have mild flu-like symptoms for about 24 hours after a flu shot, but that is not the flu.

What you can do is wash your hands often, for 15-20 seconds, with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand cleaner until your hands are dry. This is the best and easiest prevention.

H1N1(Swine flu) virus and all other flu is likely spread in the same way: person to person through coughing or sneezing, by other people who have the flu.

The best foods for flu prevention are

*those rich in the flavonoid quercetin (research done in mice, post-exercise, showed stressful exercise increased flu susceptibility, quercetin canceled it out; same thing in research done in cyclists!): apples, onions, broccoli, all high in quercetin…and flavonoids reduce inflammation

*(as a bonus, organic tomatoes have higher quercetin levels than conventionally grown ones!)
*chicken soup (actually reduces mucus and facilitates coughing it up: fantastic ChefMD Sopa Azteca de Pollo to help (disclaimer: it’s mine).

*green tea: high in flavonoids, and anti-viral activity against influenza.

Enjoy! And stay healthy!

John La Puma, MD