Having flu can make one feel like a wet dishrag. The flu, innocuous though it may seem, can weaken and drain you and can make you feel as though you’ve been under a road roller. You may feel less than your normal self for days because of the flu. The flu is a sign that your immune system was attacked by an invader; so it’s important to strengthen and shore up the immune system now.
Here are some ways to help you boost your immune system after the flu:
Take sufficient rest
It is important to get plenty of rest after an attack of the flu whether you’re feeling fine or still feel debilitated. Get good quality sleep that helps the body repair and recover. Researchers have also found that sleep helps boost the immune system – getting 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep will not only make you feel a lot better, it will do a lot for your body’s defense system. However getting rest doesn’t mean that you abandon exercise completely; it may sound paradoxical but exercise is as important as exercise to shore up the immunity.
You can start with gentle walks and swimming as soon after the flu as you can. Exercise helps the body too. Research has also shown that exercise helps fight disease and that people who exercise regularly are less prone to coughs and colds than those who do not. Regular exercise causes the body to produce feel-good chemicals (hormones) that help one rest and sleep better. The important thing is to find the balance between rest and exercise. Exercise should be enough that it invigorates, but not so much that it exhausts (at least not right away after your bout of the flu). Work your way up to your regular exercise schedule gradually.
Lower the level of stress
There is also a lot of research to support the fact that stress weakens the immune system. People with high stress levels are seen to be more prone to chronic conditions as well as infections.
Eat an immune boosting diet
Avoid junk food, particularly sugary, highly processed food. Also avoid dairy for a time – dairy is thought to trigger mucus production. Also avoid alcohol and lower caffeine intake until you’re fully recovered. As far as possible, eat a diet that is rich in fresh veggies and fruit. Drink plenty of water to rehydrate the body. Fresh garlic, yoghurt and good old fashioned chicken soup are also known to be great for building immunity.