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5 Best Foods When you Have a Japanese Flu


Every year, the cold months from December to March are the time when influenza (a.k.a. Japanese flu) spreads like wildfire in Japan. If you are infected with the flu, we suggest that you be mindful of what you eat. Certain types of nutrients will help your body build a stronger immune system and increase resistance. To help you recover quickly from the flu in Japan, take a look at the 5 best foods for flu in Japan below.

Before you dig into the article, feel free to take a look at the Japanese vocabulary words related to this blog’s topic:

Influenza – インフルエンザ (infuruenza)

Food – 食べ物 (tabemono)

Runny nose – 鼻水 (hanamizu)

Cough – 咳 (seki)

Sneeze – くしゃみ (kushami)

Fever – 熱 (netsu)

Headache – 頭痛 (zutsuu)

Table of Contents

1. Meat stew or vegetable soup

If you have the Japanese flu or a similar sickness, you could lose your appetite due to experiencing deep fatigue. In times like these, a soup-based dish is usually the best food for flu. A pot of meat stew or vegetable soup will make it easier for you to digest, soothe your throat and ensure adequate nutrients for the body. You can use bone broth to help replenish water in your body and relieve nasal congestion. Below, here’s an easier and quicker meat stew recipe we found on Ready, Set, Eat’s website:

Quick recipe for meat stew (55 minutes – 6 servings)


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb (453.6 g) beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cups cut-up fresh vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions)
  • 1 can low sodium beef broth
  • 1 can tomato sauce with selected flavor (e.g., basil, garlic and oregano flavoring is recommended)


  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add meat and salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring until browned on all sides. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and vegetables to skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Return meat to skillet; stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in tomato sauce; simmer 15 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

beef stew recipe for flu japan
Photo by Ready Set Eat

2. Porridge or chicken soup

In addition to the soup family, chicken soup and porridge can also help you recover quickly from the flu or similar sickness. Similar to beef stew and vegetable soup, they also contain rich nutrients which are pulled from the meat’s bones. The broth is the most important part of the dish. If you have a sore throat or have a cough, porridge and chicken soup is soothing for your throat and will help you recover quicker.

3. Yogurt

The Denver Channel wrote an article about how yogurt can help you recover from a cold. The article mentioned that Dr. Mickey Rubin, Deputy Director of Nutritional Research at the US National Dairy Council, explains that yogurt has a lot of probiotic bacteria and zinc which helps strengthen the immune system. Combined with carbohydrate components, yogurt helps people recover quickly from a cold. Additionally, a recent study by the Council found that when women ate yogurt every day for nine weeks, inflammatory markers in their blood decreased. This proves that yogurt can help reduce flu symptoms.

Lợi ích to lớn của sữa chua

4. Fruits rich in vitamin C

Other foods you should eat when you have the flu include fruits that are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is another immune system booster and improves symptoms that are caused by a fever. Some fruits are rich in vitamin C such as grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes, oranges and tangerines. Vitamin C supplements can be an alternative, but please note that you should only consume them in the morning with a meal. If you have a history of stomach problems, it should be taken after meals during the day. You should not take vitamin C tablets too late in the evening because they are fairly highly stimulants, which can make it difficult to sleep.

5. Green vegetables

Although it’s not an appetizing sight, green vegetables should also be added to your list of foods to eat when you’re having the Japanese flu or having a cold. Vegetables such as spinach, kale, string beans and broccoli will help strengthen the body’s immune system and supplement your body with vitamins C, E and a number of other essential nutrients. Spinach, in particular, has fiber which can help with your digestive system. If you’d like to create an appetizing and healthy dish that includes your greens, take a look at a recipe we found for you.

So, let’s eat and recover!

As the weather becomes colder, sicknesses spread wider across Japan. Especially with COVID-19 and Omicron currently infecting a growing population, topping off with the flu, it’s always best to prepare for yourself getting infected. Sticking to the right diet will help you recover at a faster rate versus if you stick to eating junk food. We hope our article has helped you get a better idea of what to shop for when you’re at the grocery store. If you have any other suggestions or maybe delicious recipes to help recover faster from the flu or a cold, please let us know. Stay happy and healthy!

Related articles:

5 Worst Foods When You’re Having a Cold in Japan

10 Foods and Drinks to Recover from COVID-19 and Summer Flu in Japan

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