During the first whammies of the flu season, A Little Beacon Blog blogged about our own flu symptom prevention tea by sharing this recipe for our Sickness Miracle Tea. Nutritionists, however, are on the case all of the time in sharing their recipes, food tips and cleanses. When a flu prevention email from Beacon local Marika Blossfeldt showed up in our inbox, bearing several healthful recipes, we earmarked it and couldn't resist sharing them with you.
Of course, medicine can save lives, and food is not a replacement for medicine that can be prescribed by a doctor. Nutritious food simply builds the foundation for a strong body that can yield positive results, but you should always work with your doctor when addressing problems with your body. Please see your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of the flu, especially respiratory issues.
One day, Marika was holding a cooking class in the Chocolate Studio (thanks A Little Beacon Blog's Classes for Adults Guide!). It was at that class that Marika's book finally came home with me, and several promises to read and cook from it have been made ever since. Not gonna answer whether those promises have been fulfilled yet, but the picture for this article illustrates recent healthy purchases from Beacon Natural Market. We're committed to making one of Marika's porridges!
It's Spring now, and we're still hearing reports of people being knocked out for a week with the flu. Bonus! Allergy season has now arrived, and take it from this allergy sufferer - a bad case of an allergy can turn into a pretty bad cold. We're not out of the woods yet with the flu, so read Marika's remedies below in her own words. And do yourself a favor - just print this out and tape it to the fridge.
First: Sleep More!
To keep your immune system humming and strong, make sure you drink enough water and get plenty of rest. It is OK to sleep more in the winter – in fact, it is the smart thing to do. Our bodies crave it. So allow yourself to indulge in beauty sleep without any guilty feelings at all.
Spice Up Your Food & Use Spices to Make Hot Teas
Many common spices have antimicrobial, antiviral and expectorant powers. Use ground spices in your food and make tea from ginger and turmeric root, as well as cinnamon sticks. Boil them for 10 to 20 minutes, and sip on your brew often.
- Ginger: anti-inflammatory, fights the flu, common cold and respiratory infections
- Cayenne: detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, fights the flu and common cold
- Cinnamon: anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, fights infections and viruses
- Turmeric: anti-inflammatory, strong antioxidant
- Pepper: treats sinus and nasal congestion, expectorant
Get Your Daily Dose of Lacto-Fermented Vegetables
Lacto-fermented vegetables are higher in vitamins than their unfermented counterparts, and boost immunity by providing live probiotic bacteria. Have 2 tablespoons daily. You can find unpasteurized sauerkraut and pickles in the cold section of your natural food stores. They are easy to make yourself. My recipe for Peppery Sauerkraut follows below.
- Superfoods: garlic, lemon juice, raw honey
- Garlic: antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal
- Lemon juice: strengthens immune system, prevents viral infections like cold and flu
- Honey: antiviral, boosts immune system
Use these powerful ingredients in food and drink. Make salad dressings using raw garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Add lemon juice to your drinking water. Use honey instead of sugar. To keep honey’s medicinal power intact, never heat it over 95 degrees F (or 35 C).
Recipe: Natural Antibiotics in a Jar
This is a powerful concoction - take 1 teaspoon every day first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as a preventative. When already under the weather, take 1 tablespoon three times per day, one before each meal. This is strong stuff and meant for adults only. It is not suitable for children.
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons ground ginger
½ tablespoon ground cayenne
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup + 1½ tablespoons (100 ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
Press the garlic into a jar, add all spices and lemon juice and stir.
Add the honey and mix.
Let the mixture sit at room temperature for three hours, then transfer into the refrigerator.
At the first hint of a cold coming on, take a dropperful in a glass of water and drink 3 times per day between meals. You can find echinacea tincture at your health food store.
Eat vitamin C rich foods such as black currants, red and green bell peppers, kiwi, broccoli, kale and parsley.
Food: Eat This Not That
Eat leafy greens on a daily basis. Besides being powerhouses for vitamins and minerals, they help reduce mucus and clear congestion, especially in the lungs. Their chlorophyll content supports the good gut bacteria, thus boosting immunity. You can sauté them with garlic or have them in a smoothie.
Cut Back on Sugar and Sweets
Cut Back on Dairy
Milk products are mucus-producing foods.