The Best Drinks to Fight the Flu

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The Best Drinks to Fight the Flu
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The Best Drinks to Fight the Flu

Water

This shouldn't be a surprise: the ultimate clear liquid, water is the truest drink to keep you hydrated. Don't like the taste? Add a sugar-free flavor packet, like Crystal Light, to your glass to encourage more guzzling.
Credit: iStockphoto/ Thinkstock

Ice Pops and Ice Cubes

How do you think ice cubes became the 25th most searched recipe in America, after all? Ice pops, or ice cubes if your freezer just happens to be void of summer’s best treat, are two of the best defenses against dehydration. WebMD advises to look for ice pops made with 100 percent fruit juices to get a 2-in-1 fight against the flu – hydration, plus vitamins.

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Black Tea

Mother Nature Network notes one Harvard study that shows black tea as the ultimate immunity booster. Drinking five cups of black tea per day for two weeks nearly quadrupled a person’s immunity system – so if tea isn’t a part of your diet already, you germaphobes, you should get on it. Thanks to black tea’s abundance of theanine, flavonoids (antioxidant-like compounds), catechins (compounds that fight free radicals in the body), it’s been proven to fight off the flu.

Credit: Flickr/ HinduCindu

Ginger Tea

Ginger may as well be called a superfood, seeing as how much it can keep the flu at bay. Most people reach for a ginger ale when tummy troubles come about, and we can see why – it’s been a part of Chinese herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years to relieve digestion problems and nausea. Plus, ginger can help detox the body by inducing sweating (not the most fun symptom of the flu) to get rid of the body’s toxins. And ginger’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties relieve aches and pains that come with the flu. Convinced? Fortunately, ginger tea is simple to make: the University of Maryland Medical Center advises adding 2 tablespoons of ground ginger or ginger root to a cup of boiling water. (We particularly like this honey, lemon, and ginger flu-fighting concoction from Simple Green Smoothies, too.)

Credit: Flickr/ Ali Fayre

Chicken Broth

Chicken broth may be your best remedy against a cold and the flu. Vitamins and protein? Check. Hydration power? Check. Anti-inflammatory properties? Check. Congestion-fighting properties? Check. The most popular study on chicken broth, from the University of Nebraska, showed that chicken soup helped reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms and helped build up the nose’s protective cilia, hair-like substances in the nose that prevent contagions – like that pesky flu bug – from entering the body. While you may need a few days to feel well enough to eat a hearty chicken soup, the University of Nebraska provides the ultimate chicken noodle soup recipe. A scientifically-backed recipe to feel better? Not even your mom’s homemade soup-made-with-love can top that.

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As if the winter season wasn't enough to bum us out, this mutant flu virus that's spread through the country (and infected some of us Daily Meal staffers) has us even more down. How to beat this (inevitable) flu that's coming straight for us?

Click here to see 6 drinks that will have you healthy in no time

As those who've had the flu know, there's only so much you can do at home to get over the illness: rest, lots of blankets and damp washcloths to combat raging fevers, and clear liquids. As your body needs to rehydrate from loss of fluids (we know, not something to think about), it's important to hydrate to recover. As resources from Brown University explain, you need to give your overworked stomach and intestines a break — and clear liquids give them the rest they need.

Some other tips from Brown University to help you rehydrate and get better faster:

• While you're in the throes of stomach problems, give your stomach rest from liquids for two hours after vomiting. You may suck on hard candy, a Popsicle, or ice chips after 2 hours. Then take small, frequent sips of liquids every 10 to 15 minutes.

• Drinking too much at once, even an ounce or two, may cause more vomiting — so don't rush it.

• If you are vomiting for a long period of time, try to drink something other than water to replenish the vitamins and nutrients you've lost.

• Avoid liquids that are acidic (such as orange juice) or caffeinated (such as coffee), or anything that has a lot of carbonation.

Check out our slideshow above to find out what drinks to keep stocked in the fridge this winter — after all, you never know if the flu will get you, too. (And try these drinks if you have a cold — or better yet, make a resolution to start eating healthy, immune-boosting foods this year.)

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