Fight the flu

#Middlebury #TheKitchenDiva #FluFighters

Cold and flu season has arrived with record numbers of sick children and adults. There are antiviral medications available for the flu, but to be effective they must be taken within two days of the onset of symptoms. Antiviral medications don’t cure the flu, but may make the symptoms less severe. Your health-care provider can help you decide whether you should take antiviral medications.

If in spite of all your efforts you become ill, take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and pay attention to your symptoms. The common cold, the flu and pneumonia can have similar symptoms. Mistaking one for the other can mean serious complications. Don’t gamble with your health. Contact your health-care provider immediately!

Of course, a flu shot is the best way to keep from getting some strains of the flu, or to at least lessen its intensity if you do catch it. If can’t get a flu shot, a pneumonia shot can protect you against this potentially serious flu complication. It’s a one-time shot for anyone age 65 or older. Younger people with heart and lung diseases, diabetes or weak immune systems also should get this shot. Check with your or your child’s health-care provider before you get any of these shots.

While there are no guarantees, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of becoming ill:

  • Wash your hands often, particularly when you are around people who have colds or coughs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. This is a common way that germs spread.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. And if you’re sick, stay home. Keeping your distance from others will protect them from getting sick too.
  • Sanitize utensils, toys, equipment and furniture. This can help reduce the spread of colds, which then reduces your risk of developing more serious complications like pneumonia.
  • If you’re generally in good health, your immune system is better able to fight off illnesses. Get plenty of rest, exercise, eat right and learn how to manage your stress.
  • Chicken soup is an old remedy for fighting respiratory illnesses; however, some recent scientific tests show that it actually may have medicinal value. Chicken soup has been found to be more effective than other hot liquids to increase the movement of nasal mucus. It also improves the function of cilia, tiny hairlike projections in the nose that prevent contagions from entering the body.

Eating chicken soup also inhibits the movement of common white blood cells called neutrophils that defends against infection. By inhibiting the migration of these infection-fighting cells throughout body, chicken soup essentially helps focus the cells to reduce upper-respiratory cold symptoms.

This recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemon and Ginger will help you through this frigid flu and cold season! Be well!

Comfort foods for a cold (

Chicken Noodle Soup With Lemon And Ginger

1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 serrano chiles, stemmed, halved and seeded
6 cups homemade or canned low-salt chicken broth
4 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles (look in the produce section of your supermarket) or 4 ounces dried vermicelli noodles
1 medium carrot, cut into small coins
1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (this is easier if the chicken is partially frozen)

  1. Finely grate 1 teaspoon of zest from the lemon and put in a small bowl. Add the cilantro, parsley or basil leaves and the ginger, and mix together. Cut the zested lemon in half and squeeze it into a small bowl to get 3 tablespoons of juice. Thinly slice two of the chile halves crosswise.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice, noodles, carrots, fish sauce and the 2 remaining chile halves to the boiling stock. Reduce heat, cover and simmer the soup until the noodles are almost cooked, about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the chile halves. Stir in the chicken and chile slices and return to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, making sure the chicken slices are just cooked through. Taste and add a touch more fish sauce, if you like. Divide the soup evenly among four serving bowls. Divide the cilantro mixture among the bowls, stir and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis


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