5 Simple Healing Foods and Proven Edible Remedies
It’s all too easy to turn to a bottle for relief during cold and flu season, but the problem is, over-the-counter cold remedies are simply not curative. When the immune system is compromised, you need nutritive foods to strengthen it. The immune system resides in the small intestine, the same organ that absorbs key nutrients into the bloodstream. So it only makes sense to use mama nature’s edible remedies during the winter months to fight off sickness even through the worst of the seasonal ills. While there are many healing foods and supplements for immune support to choose from, here are a few of my family faves:
Probiotics are microorganisms that resemble the beneficial bacteria which occur naturally in the human gut. Known as “good bacteria” probiotics are used to alleviate and prevent illness, especially issues associated with the digestive tract. Clinical trials have demonstrated that taking probiotics may decrease the incidence of respiratory tract infections. Available in tablet form in the refrigerated section of most health food stores, use probiotics during cold and flu season to build your immunity and help you to ward off sickness.
Ginger tea With a multitude of health benefits behind it, ginger is a go-to herb during cold and flu season. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, fresh ginger prevents human respiratory virus from infecting cells in the upper respiratory tract, while stimulating cells to secrete a protective anti-viral protein. Ginger also hinders mucous production and helps to relieve congestion. Grate some fresh ginger into a cup of hot water, add some lemon juice and honey for a simple wellness tonic.
Try turmeric tablets to reduce inflammation associated with a cold or flu. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and has long been used in Chinese medicine as treatment for depression.
Chia Pudding On low energy days, this is a perfect choice for breakfast, and if you haven’t tried chia seeds, you’re in for a treat. These tiny seeds contain more omega 3s than salmon, more antioxidants than blueberries, plus ample calcium, fiber and protein (4 grams in just 2 tbsps). Relatively low in calories for all of the amazing nutrients they deliver, chia seeds are naturally gelatinous in water, so blended with anti-oxidant-rich berries and oranges loaded with vitamin C, this delicious breakfast pudding will give you a boost to last all morning long.
Sample Savory Carrot Soup This lively soup is a wellness bonanza, with ginger and spices that both enhance the flavor and give your immune system an extra boost. Carrots are loaded with Vitamin C, Beta Carotene and antioxidants, a potent combination for healing. Delicious sprinkled with sunflower seeds for extra crunch and protein.
Most importantly, be sure to get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and avoid refined processed foods as much as possible, since sugar in all of its forms has been shown to compromise the immune system and drain your energy. The key to wellness is healthy diet, so shop smart, cook often and enjoy all the goodness the cold weather brings your way.