In this previous post, Dr. Morrison and Dr. Moreno offered specific diet and supplement suggestions for preventing and treating cold and flu. As a health coach, I work to make our doctors’ suggestions practical and fun for our patients with specific foods and recipes, based on their tastes. This week, I’ll break down their food-related suggestions with specific and tasty tips:
Avoid dairy and sugar
“Dairy is known to create mucous and sugar actually stuns our white blood cells, both of which weaken our immune system.”
- Almond milk – If you haven’t already, give it a try! Choose unsweetened, without the ingredient carrageenan (as it can cause gastrointestinal upset in some people).
- Organic canned coconut milk with a dash or two of cinnamon or even ¼ teaspoon raw cacao powder is delicious in coffee!
- Make your own nut-based cheese! 1 tablespoon of cashew butter + juice from half a lemon + a small pinch of sea salt + few drops of vinegar = instant dairy-free cashew cheese! I love it with eggs.
- Try powdered xylitol if you need a hint of sweetness.
Eat warm foods and drink tea
“Our body naturally activates our immune system when we get a fever; we can simulate this response by eating warm foods like soup and drinking tea.”
- Soups and stews are ideal in the winter – even for breakfast!
- Consider carrot ginger soup or roasted vegetables and warm protein like roasted chicken or steamed fish for lunch
- Green tea has the added immune benefit of providing polyphenols, which lower inflammation in the body.
- Hot water with fresh-squeezed lemon and fresh slices of ginger is incredibly health-supportive, especially when you are experiencing cold symptoms
Vitamin C “can help your body handle stress and it also stimulates your immune system.”
- You don’t have to turn to sugar-filled orange juice for your vitamin C – a number of other foods provide a healthy dose of this important nutrient:
- One orange provides about 70 mg of vitamin C – one spear of broccoli provides double, 140 mg! Other rich sources include Brussels sprouts and dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and Swiss chard.
- Rosehips, the fruit of the rose plant, are a superior source of vitamin C – 400-500 mg in just one ounce! You can find them dried online and drink them as a tea, or you can make a very simple rose hip “jam”.
- Probiotics: We now know that around 75% of our immune activity happens around the gut! While there is so much more to be said for healing and maintaining and healthy gut, probiotics can provide a helpful boost to your immune system, not to mention their digestive benefits. We find Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Formula to be particularly effective in our patients.
- Epsom salt baths: Adding 1-2 cups of epsom salts to a hot bath helps provides trace minerals, supports detoxification, and relaxation, all of which provide significant boosts to the immune system.
We know you’ve got tips to share too, don’t be shy! We’d love to hear how you stay healthy in the comments section below!
Stephanie Kurz is a certified health coach working at The Morrison Center, in NYC, where she partners with clients to optimize their energy, vitality and physical well-being with the use of diet modification, and a balanced, natural approach.