Here are my top 3 cold and flu tips – using food!
So cold and flu season is around the corner and I thought what better time than now to kick start your immune system so that you don’t get knocked down with a nasty virus this winter. In order to kick off this immunity series, I produced my first You Tube Video! In Part One I talk about food we can use to help boost our immune system, this includes our antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E, selenium and zinc. Part Two discusses supplements and remedies that help.
I bet the first thing you think of when you hear vitamin C is oranges or orange juice, but did you know it’s also found in:
Amazing isn’t it? Vitamin A is found in many of the same foods, and includes orange veggies like squash, sweet potatoes and carrots. Vitamin E is found in olive oil, sunflower seeds and spinach, selenium is in Brazil nuts, and pumpkin seeds, crimini mushrooms and spinach all have zinc.
All of these foods also contain phytonutrients that help protect our cells from free radical damage from stress, pollution, pesticides, poor eating habits and electronic devices like our cell phones. The key is to get around 5 servings of veggies a day, so just eating a red pepper when you feel a cold coming on isn’t gonna cut it so be sure to include them every day!
I know how hard it is to get kids to eat their veggies. I offer them at every meal, and sometimes my 3.5 year old eats them, and other times he doesn’t. So if you have a picky eater (and many are!) you can incorporate some of these foods into a smoothie, or blend them up and freeze into 1 cup portions to be used in spaghetti sauce, stews etc. You can blend up a bunch of broccoli or spinach and add it to guacamole (my son loves abocado!) (not a type-o).
Garlic & Onions
Garlic and onions are excellent cold and flu fighters. They contain sulfur which is a powerful antioxidant, anti bacterial and anti viral that works with Vitamin C to help keep the immune system in tip top shape. So go ahead, roast yourself a whole head of garlic in a hot oven (wrapped in foil), cut off the head once cooked and use the mushy yummy garlicky goodness for many things, like: adding to butter to add to steamed veggies, mashed cauliflower, veggie roasts like potatoes, parsnip, carrots, or even an aioli. Onions can be eaten raw or cooked as you like it. When using garlic, when you crush it let it sit for a few minutes first, to allow the powerful antioxidant allicin to form (it’s the allicin in garlic that keeps us healthy). If you can tolerate it, it’s best to eat your garlic raw since cooking it does reduce the active form of allicin.
The best thing is that most of these foods are in season in September and October so you can find them in abundance at any farmers market or grocery store. Yay local!
I hope you found this helpful – be sure to check out the video which outlines these points and be sure to check out Part Two about supplements and remedies!
[kad_youtube url=” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBHJmC73YqE ” ]
To your health
Image courtesy of Jeroen van Oostrom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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