Around my house, winter is also less-than-affectionately known as "plague season." or as most say, "cold and flu season." Coming down with some winter bug is always awful, it's especially awful if you're catching it from a small child who picked it up at, shudder, school.
So, I've really tried hard this year to take care of myself and my family, hopefully staving off as many colds as possible. But, every once in a while, we still catch a cold. We'll treat our symptoms as best we can and stay hydrated, but I've learned it's also important to fuel your body with immune-boosting, nutrient dense foods. I wanted to share some of my favorite go-to recipes for our family when we're sick. Each recipe makes use of some of the best ingredients proven to help fight your cold, boost your immune system and help give you an additional shot at getting better faster.
The Best Cold-busting Ingredients
1. Clear soups or chicken bone broth
Soups made with clear broth, specifically with chicken broth, are powerhouses at helping you get over a cold. Not only do these soups boost your fluid intake, which helps thin out mucus and keep you hydrated, but there are powerful vitamins in minerals in chicken broth (the amino acid cystine) that can boost your immune system.
Garlic is an age old remedy for many illnesses. It's been shown to have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal effects: the trifecta! Studies have shown garlic has the ability to help boost your immune system during colds, plus it adds some flavor to that boring chicken broth.
Honey has been proven to have high antimicrobial compounds, making it awesome to add to your tea while you're sick. The consistency of honey is also a simple way to help ease a sore throat or cough. Remember, children under one should never have honey, as it puts them at risk for botulism.
Ah, my favorite anti-nausea friend. I always recommend ginger to any one with tummy issue, especially parents-to-be with morning sickness. On top of helping your tummy, it's show to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Yogurt or your favorite probiotic
Sometimes getting sick can mean you need an antibiotic. If your virus has turned the corner to a bacterial infection, prepare to be taking a full course of these babies. Increasing your intake of probiotics like yogurt, kefir or probiotic supplement can help keep your micro biome much more in check, reducing your likelihood of a fungal infection.
6. Leafy Greens
Eating your greens is super important when sick. Leafy greens like spinach, romaine and kale are packed full of vitamins A, C and K, plus lots of folate. These nutrient dense leaves help boost your immune system and act as an anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric has really made a name for itself lately! This spice is a surprisingly powerful anti-inflammatory, especially when combined with black pepper. Adding this to your meals while sick can help reduce inflammation, help all that icky stuff drain and leave you feeling less like a balloon.
8. Lemons, citrus and foods high in vitamin C
Vitamin C is always name dropped when discussing how to beat a cold, why else do most people recommend orange juice? Lemons are a great way to add a hit of vitamin C to a lot of dishes. Don't forget other vitamin C powerhouses like red bell peppers!
My Favorite Immune-boosting Recipes
Click on the pictures below for links to some of my favorite cold-fighting recipes!
I'd love to hear some of your favorite cold and flu remedies in the comments below! What are your favorite recipes to help beat a cold?