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Cold and Flu Myth:

Feed a cold and starve a fever.

Should you feed a cold and starve a fever? Or is it the other way around, starve a cold and feed a fever?

Whatever you may have heard about starving or feeding a cold or the flu, the good news is that this maxim is a myth: starving is never an appropriate option for dealing with a cold or flu. That’s because calorie restriction (starving) puts the immune system in a state of distress, while calorie ingestion (feeding) favors immunity.

The best thing you can do when you’re suffering from a cold or flu is take in plenty of fluids and eat foods rich in zinc and antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamins C and E.

Foods rich in zinc include: eggs, meats, nuts, seafood, seeds, wheat germ, and whole grains; while most brightly colored fruits, vegetables and dark leafy greens are high in antioxidants. And don’t forget to drink lots and lots of water!

Resources:

Gijs R. van den Brink, Daniëlle E. M. van den Boogaardt, Sander J. H. van Deventer, and Maikel P. Peppelenbosch. Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever? January 9, 2002; Laboratory for Experimental Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC119893/ December 20, 2011.

WebMD Medical Reference. Starve a Cold, Feed a Fever? Cold & Flu Health Center. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/starve-cold-feed-fever December 20, 2011.