No matter how healthy a lifestyle you lead, it is inevitable that one day you will suffer from a cold or catch true influenza. The common cold is unpleasant, but rarely lasts more than a few days. Influenza can knock even the fittest person off their feet, and while you can take medication to manage the symptoms, it makes sense to give your body a helping hand with good nutrition too.
Treating the Flu
The Paleo diet provides your body with all of the nutrients that you need to recover from a cold or a bout of influenza. However, it can be difficult to persuade yourself to eat properly when you are feverish, have no energy and are aching or nauseated. The best thing to do when you are unwell is to eat fresh food and to drink lots of water. Fresh meat and vegetables are great choices for someone who is unwell. Traditional remedies such as onions, garlic, spicy foods and home-made chicken broth are all effective ways to clear your head and make yourself feel better.
Conventional wisdom states that loading up on foods that are rich in vitamin C can help you to recover from common illnesses. Sadly, recent research suggests that this is not the case. Vitamin C can increase your resistance to illness, but once you are displaying symptoms supplementing vitamin C does not make a significant difference to your recovery time. However, eating foods that are rich in zinc (such as chicken) can help to speed up your recovery time.
The Exercise Question
If you have a serious case of influenza, then resting is the best choice. Exercise can help with milder illnesses, however. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot ?sweat out a cold?, but exercising does release endorphins which make you feel better temporarily. Choose your exercises carefully, though. It?s one thing to go out for a jog to take your mind off how you feel, but it?s not a good idea to go to a large aerobics class and sneeze all over your class mates!
Feeling Ill on a New Diet
Many people find that they experience flu-like symptoms when they first start the Paleo diet. This phenomenon is known as the low-carb flu, and it is not really a sickness. Rather, it is your body adapting to a diet that is radically different to what you are used to eating. The mental fog, fatigue and generally run-down feeling should not last for longer than a couple of weeks, as long as you stick to your diet. Don?t cave in and start eating junk food during this early period, because that will undo your efforts and mean that when you go back to the Paleo diet you will go through the same symptoms again.
Good nutrition and regular exercise can help you to fight off illnesses and make you recover more quickly when you do get sick. The Paleo diet won?t turn you into Superman, but it could help you avoid too much time off work next flu season.