No matter what time of year it may be, some of us will be dealing with colds, flus, and, of course, the dreaded allergy flare ups. Did you realize that what you put into your body can make a difference in your body’s ability to fight off any intruders – like viruses, bacteria, and allergens?
Eating healthy nourishing whole foods is essential to boosting your body’s immune system and giving it the power to do its job and FIGHT for you! You can start by removing processed foods, fried foods, white sugars, white flour, and artificial preservatives, sweeteners, and flavors! It sounds like a lot, but a little bit of label reading, and it becomes like second nature.
I used to suffer from allergies every spring and took medications daily (and nightly!). Changing my diet has alleviated many of my symptoms, and I have more energy to do the things I am supposed to be doing. People rely on me! I need to be at my best – and that begins with properly fueling my body.
For your Spring cold or allergies, focus on a WHOLE FOOD diet full of fruits and vegetables. “Eating the rainbow” is a fun way to encourage us to vary our veggies and fruits. The different colors are actually indicative of the different powerful phytochemicals in the plants that help our body!
Get back to basics – before over the counter medications were readily available, our ancestors used items found right in our pantries to help fight the common cold. These are just a few foods and beverage ideas.
Tea – a mug of hot tea will help relieve congestion of a common cold. Add a little bit of manuka honey to help soothe a sore throat. Green and black teas contain antiviral properties along with anti-inflammatory abilities to help shrink swollen tissues in the throat.
Garlic – this little wonder food contains compounds that are antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial. This has also been called nature’s antibiotic – it is that awesome!
Chicken Soup – Make a nice pot of chicken and vegetable soup using numerous herbs and spices. Let it sit in your bowl for a minute under your nose so you can breathe in the steam. This will help clear out a stuffy nose. Follow this by enjoying the favorable meal of healthy vegetables and spices.
Orange Juice – Freshly squeeze some oranges for some fresh Vitamin C. You can also take Vitamin C supplements.
Red Bell Pepper – A powerful antioxidant loaded with nutrients and containing almost three times the Vitamin C of an orange! A whopping 300% of our daily Vitamin C intake. Add to your favorite recipe or roast and enjoy.
Greek Yogurt: This yummy meal or snack contains probiotics, the healthy bacteria in yogurt, and will help build a strong immune system.
Take Vitamin D daily. Most think to take Vitamin C for colds, but Vitamin D is just as important. Being deficient can leave us more vulnerable to many illnesses – including cancer.
Don’t forget to wash your hands – wash for 15-20 seconds to remove viruses associated with cold and flu. Hand sanitizer is another alternative, although not as effective as soap and water. Try to find a natural hand sanitizer, such as Thieves or a homemade (and natural) recipe.