Cold and flu season is coming at us fast. Imagine someone sneezing close enough to you that you feel a breeze. What do you do? Well... you most likely will flinch a bit and frantically look through your bag for hand sanitizer, all while wondering when it will be your lucky turn to get sick!
Good news is that at Elevated Health and Wellness, we are here to help you optimize your immune system to ward off those nasty bugs this season.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
When we eat, we feed not only our stomach but also our cells. If those cells are not nourished with the vitamins and minerals they need, your body can start to perform sub optimally.
Here are 3 powerful food groups that you can add daily to your plate to prevent the common cold!
Allium vegetables – these includes onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, and shallots. These aromatic healers contain numerous anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Cruciferous vegetables – these include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, watercress, kohlrabi, arugula and collards. The bitter, pungent flavours of these vegetables provide anti-microbial properties. They are also all a great source of vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant that can reduce cold symptoms.
Herbs and spices – particularly ginger, basil, sage, rosemary, cilantro, coriander and turmeric. These flavourful immune boosters can enhance your immunity power even in small amounts.
Here is one of my favourite weeknight recipes that incorporates all of the above food groups. This simple skillet dish combines cauliflower and minced meat with ginger, garlic and Thai basil for an easy low-carb Asian inspired dinner.
CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE
What you need:
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (or 2-340g packages of Eat Smart Cauliflower Rice)
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup cooking onion, small dice
1 cup frozen sweet green peas
1 medium carrot, small dice
1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and grated on a microplane zester
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ cup Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped
To taste sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper
If using the pre-packaged cauliflower rice, skip to step 2. Otherwise, place a handful of cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds, until it resembles fine grains of rice. Repeat with remaining florets.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the ground turkey. Using a wooden spoon, break apart the meat and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Push the turkey meat to one side of the pan and add the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the ginger, peas, carrots and cauliflower then cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the Thai basil. Transfer to a bowl and enjoy warm.
There are many other natural methods for treating and preventing the common cold. Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss the next blog post.
Until then, relish every bite.
-Amanda Li, Registered Dietitian & Chef