Starve a Cold? Feed a Fever? Feed a Cold? Starve a Fever? What to do with the Flu

Feed A FeverDuring the holiday season we are in contact with more and more people celebrating the holiday cheer and sharing our critters and cooties with others.  What do the Docs tell us to do this time of year to maintain our health, fight infections, and boost our immune system? Starve a cold, feed a fever.

  • Protein, Protein, Protein….. sick or not.  Proteins are essential to help our bodies maintain and build strength.  The FDA recommends adults eat 50 grams of protein per day.
  • Flavonoids?  Flavonoids include about 4,000 compounds that are responsible for the colors of fruits and flowers.  Flavonoids are responsible for the colors of fruits and flowers and have been shown to increase immune system activation.  Flavonoids are found in grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes.
  • Glutathione? Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found to strengthen the immune system to fight off infections.  Glutathione is most plentiful in the red, pulpy area of watermelon near the rind and those delicious deep green vegetables:  kale and broccoli.


What about exercise?  Can exercise help you from getting the flu?  If you already have the flu should you work out anyway?  What to do?

According to recent findings, when moderate exercise is repeated on a near daily basis, there is a cumulative immune-enhancing effect which leads to sustained response by the immune system to illness.  When you exercise, your white blood cells – the infection fighting cells – travel through your body more quickly, fighting bacteria and viruses (such as the flu) more efficiently.  The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day.

While mild to moderate exercise can help boost the immune system, be gentle on yourself if you already have the flu.  Listen to your body and give him/her time to recover.

Rest when you have the flu, allow your body a chance to recover, stay hydrated and remember, research shows the flu is contagious for up to 7 days after you have the symptoms.

Do you have any tips on how to manage your health during this cold winter flu season? 

References include WebMD and the ACSM.


Christie Rose MS, MBA
Christie Rose MS, MBA


Christie Rose is a Orange County based Marketing Professional with 10 years of Product Management experience in the medical device industry and an additional 10 years of clinical research with UC Irvine.  Christie has contributed to many research articles in the field of exercise physiology

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