Cold season is upon us, and if you’re like most of us, each time you recover from a mucus-filled episode, somebody sneezes at work and another one begins. You’re probably starting to wonder how it’s possible there’s no cure for the common cold — we’re with you — but for now, food is our best bet to help kick that cold to the curb.
Garlic has been used for more than 5,000 years as a medicinal food. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians revered it as a food to fight off many illnesses. It is a natural antibiotic and is said to boost immunity. Cooking with garlic in wintertime helps ward off bacteria, as well as kill oncoming colds. Finely chop raw garlic and put it in vegetable capsules to swallow when you feel the first signs you are getting sick. Garlic is also rich in vitamin C and potassium, which support both proper immune and digestive system function. When your digestive system is working properly, it plays an integral role in inhibiting illnesses.
Get the Vegan Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe from Yup it’s Vegan.
This healing root not only helps to settle your stomach or ease nausea but also has been used for centuries as a natural antibacterial remedy. Using fresh ginger to cook with or in tea is an extremely beneficial sickness eradicator in the winter months. Gingerol, a substance found in fresh ginger, helps lower the risk of infections.
Get the Cashew Carrot Ginger Noodles recipe from Naturally Ella.
Incorporating more dark, leafy green vegetables in your diet will provide your body with essential nutrients and vitamins. These vegetables are rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, and contain a variety of phytochemicals. They are also rich in beta carotene, which can be converted into vitamin A and has been shown to improve immune function. Leafy greens to incorporate into your diet include spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, collard greens, broccoli, and red and green romaine lettuce.
Get the Rainbow Buddha Bowl recipe from Elsa’s Wholesome Life.
Turmeric is a spice predominately used in Indian cooking. This bright-orange root has been shown in tests to prevent disease and relieve inflammation in muscles and joints. Turmeric helps your body fight off harmful foreign invaders and repair damage. Take turmeric daily to reduce inflammation in your body and strengthen your immune system.
Get the Spiced Autumn Smoothie Bowl recipe from The Beauty Chef.
Eating fermented foods provides your gut with healthy bacteria, which it needs to break down food and properly absorb nutrients. Try healthy and flavorful sauerkraut, kimchi, good-quality pickles, tempeh, or kombucha. Fermented foods boost antibodies in your immune system so you’re able to fight off illness and disease.
Get the Kale Avocado Wraps with Spicy Miso-Dipped Tempeh recipe from Lunchbox Bunch.
Bone broth is not only delicious and warming to drink in the wintertime; it’s also extremely healing. You should make this for yourself at home, though, because you won’t receive the same health benefits from store brands. Bone broth’s anti-inflammatory properties help restore your gut health, which strengthens your immunity. The collagen, gelatin, and amino acids help seal your gut lining and prevent leaky gut, which prevents inflammation in your body.
Get the Persian Matzoh Ball Soup recipe from Yummy Supper.
Oranges are another healing citrus fruit rich in vitamin C that provide antioxidant protection and help strengthen your immune system. Taking a vitamin C supplement doesn’t offer the health benefits your body receives when you drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice (it’s important to drink fresh orange juice and not store brands that are pasteurized) or eat an orange. When you drink fresh orange juice, your body is able to absorb all the essential phytonutrients that are in the fruit. These phytonutrients have been shown to provide your body with antioxidants, and they have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Get the Citrus Mint Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Arugula recipe from Dishing Out Health.
Lemons are detoxifying and anti-inflammatory. Drinking warm lemon water in the morning on an empty stomach can boost your metabolism and your immune system. This citrus fruit is extremely rich in vitamin C, which helps fight infections such as the common cold and flu. Lemons also stimulate your liver’s ability to detoxify any harmful bacteria in your body. They are extremely alkalizing and aid in balancing your body’s pH, which allows it to naturally ward off any free radicals or harmful bacteria that may enter your system.
Get the Lemon Vanilla Chia Oats recipe from Health & Bloom.
By Dorit Jaffe, as told to Devon Kelley
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