Baby, it’s cold outside. I really can’t stay, but baby it’s cold outside!
Okay, but seriously — it’s the south, isn’t it supposed to be in the 80s year round?
With the chilly air comes an onslaught of illnesses — the flu, the sniffles, pneumonia, you name it. Sure, many people are born with lower immune systems. My brother, for example, gets sick every Thanksgiving. It’s like clockwork. Sometimes the sickness sneaks up on him and other times it hits him like a tsunami.
If you can relate, never fear — there are preventative measures you can take before the fever gets the best of you. And these measures all have to do with the food you choose to put inside your body.
We’ll call these foods Immune Boosters. Or should we call them Fighter Foods? Sick Stoppers? I’ll get back to you on that.
The first food is sweet potato — rejoice! Sweet potatoes are usually the star of the side dish show at Christmas dinners, so make sure to get an extra helping (or two) at the table. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A, which helps maintain the health of your mucus membrane (that lines the inside of your nose).
Food number two — garlic. Mince some garlic into your savory dishes to fight the flu. Garlic helps stop nasty bacteria and viruses from entering your body.
Have you ever made a turmeric latte? Buy yourself some powdered turmeric and heat up the following ingredients on the stove: half a teaspoon of turmeric, a cup of almond milk, a spoonful of pure maple syrup, and a pinch of black pepper (to get the full nutritional benefits). Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and loaded with other health benefits.
Our final food is spinach. I couldn’t write an entire nutrition article without mentioning this superfood. Spinach is full of vitamin C which helps fight colds. Add spinach into your soup, stir-fry, or smoothie (you won’t taste it, I swear). My favorite spinach smoothie? One frozen banana, a spoonful of almond butter, a cup of spinach, and a splash almond milk.
Even better? Combine sweet potato, garlic, turmeric, and spinach for a powerhouse plate.
Here’s my suggestion: Cook up a coconut milk curry filled with chopped sweet potato, chickpeas, turmeric, and garlic that’s served on a bed of spinach. Here’s a step-by-step recipe for the curry: https://tinyurl.com/ycwpeqrv
What’s your favorite flu-fighting food?