As a follow-up to last week’s post on natural ways to beat the Spring sniffles, this week I am getting groovy with some immune-boosting super foods and drinks!
Of course, just as no food or drink has magical fat-blasting properties, there ARE foods that can support your fat loss efforts and there ARE foods that can support your immune system function. When your body is fighting of a cold or flu, it needs tip-top nutrients. The best quality nutrition is needed to support your organs (especially our often unsung internal superhero, the liver!) so that they can kick some germy butts. Now that you’re feeling one hundred percent better, if you’re too busy with Spring cleaning to read this entire post, you can listen to or watch my Instagram video series and Facebook posts instead.
*Remember of course that I am (still) NOT a doctor and you should always discuss dietary changes with your trusted health care professional.
It’s important to stay hydrated all of the time, and especially when you’re sick. It’s exactly why my first tip for overcoming just about any ailment is to DRINK MORE WATER (except if you’re dealing with “water sickness” – consuming SO much water that it over-dilutes your blood’s electrolyte balance – a dangerous and potentially fatal condition). So of course my first immune-booster is actually a drink: green tea. Green tea is actually proclaimed as the “healthiest beverage on the planet” in this article (and who else loves a little hyperbole?).
Of course, green tea really does have good things going for it, what with those free radical-fighting antioxidants (polyphenols and catechins). Not only does it make you healthier, but it’s also associated with better brain function, improved athletic performance and fat-burning, and more! Who’s got the kettle on? Happy sipping!
Ok, who else had never heard of elderberries? (Raises hand sheepishly.) Interestingly, the first Google hit for it after Wikipedia was WebMD, pointing to its long history as a natural remedy. If you’re looking for a doctor’s perspective on including it in your arsenal, of course check with your own trusted health professional, and you can also read this helpfully-titled post Elderberry: A Natural Way to Boost Immunity During Cold and Flu Season?
Upon further reading, I realized that I *had* heard of elderberry wine (I’m not sure if that says something about me). It’s also incorporated in jams & jellies, syrups & spreads, and my preferred form: tea. However you take it, it’s something to consider including to amp up your immunity and steer clear of upper respiratory infections.
Fresh, local, organic raw honey is the way to go if you are looking for beneficial health-promoting compounds and enzymes! This honey hasn’t been treated with heat, which kills off or destroys many beneficial enzymes and other compounds. Just like green tea (remember that from two paragraphs ago?), it has polyphenols, those wonderful “bio-active” compounds (again, proving what a weirdo I am; when I read “bio-active” I think “bio-hazard” and then I think “bio-dome” and then I think “Encino Man” and then I think “Brendan Fraser.” Did anyone else go from raw honey to Brendan Fraser in only four degrees of separation? Nope, didn’t think so!).
Raw honey also benefits from anti-inflammatory bee pollen and potentially even little bee bits. Not so great if you’re vegan (and of course you wouldn’t be eating honey in the first place, not after all the hard work those bees have gone through to make it for themselves and the bears), but great for the rest of us.
Of course, “raw” does not necessarily mean organic (and vice versa) – ideally, your honey is raw AND organic. Check our labels carefully. Feeling buzzed? You can read more about honey, here.
Specifically, raw garlic. Like raw honey, raw garlic has beneficial compounds that can be diminished or destroyed by too much eat, namely allicin, which is only briefly present in raw garlic after it’s crushed or cut. You can get all of the fun facts about garlic’s greatness in its own Healthline article.
Garlic goes way back…like way, way back. It was prescribed by the famous Greek physician Hippocrates (ever heard of the Hippocratic oath? You know, the one that doctors swear, to do no harm, yadda yadda – remember I’m not a doctor!). Get garlic in everything you can. Garlic in your tea. Garlic in your omelettes, garlic in your soups and stews and stir-fires.
There was a restaurant in Calgary (aptly named The Garlic Clove) that incorporated garlic in every single dish, including dessert like garlic cheesecake (surprisingly good!). Little did I know there is a whole word of savoury cheesecakes out there!
What’s your favourite way to eat garlic? Garlic bread? In pasta? Straight up?
Chicken soup! Yup, an oldie and a goodie. This classic sick-food staple is on the list for a reason.
- Soothing, warm broth for fluid intake and providing relief to a sore throat
- Delicious salty flavour to balance electrolytes and perk up your appetite
- Easy-on-the-stomach lean protein to give the body nutrients needed to recover
- Bonus if you add garlic and/or other immune-boosting foods. I even saw green tea chicken noodle soup when I was scoping out recipes!
Have a fit (and well) day!