The swine flu outbreak has dominated headlines and news reports for the last few weeks. And even though the virus seems to be winding down—for now—you should continue to protect yourself against infection by frequently washing your hands with antibacterial soap and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the crook of your arm.

Most importantly, if you begin showing any signs (fever, chills, aches, and a racking cough, along with a sore throat and congestion) of the illness, stay home so you don’t pass the virus on to anyone else. And if it strikes, the last thing you’ll be thinking of is what to eat or drink.

But you must—keeping hydrated and eating right will go a long way toward making you feel better faster. Following these four flu dietary rules of thumb will help:

· Drink lots of fluids. Water is the best choice, with at least eight glasses a day being the recommended amount.
· Eat light. Small meals of soup and vegetable juice are easy to digest, which allows your body to concentrate on a more important task—recovery!
· Hold the milk. Dairy products tend to make mucus thicker, which increases congestion and other symptoms.
· Tank up on nutrients. Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement that provides 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamins A, C, and E, and the minerals zinc and selenium.