There are many natural ways to stay healthy when everyone else is sick. When you boost your immune system with these 10 everyday foods that will keep you healthy, you’ll be able to get through cold and flu season without a scratch…
If you open your medicine cabinet now, how many cold and flu products are in there? How much of your bathroom storage is taken up with pills, capsules, and liquids all claiming to help you when you get sick?
If the answer is “more than I would like”, then you’ve come to the right place.
Food is medicine. And as a New York City wellness consultant, one of the best things I can do for my clients is to provide alternatives to chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and synthetic cold and flu products.
Many people are unaware that instead of visiting your local pharmacy, you can get everything you need at your local farmers market, supermarket, or street vendor.
Add these simple foods and herbs to your shopping list, and you will be in a position to fight colds and flus better than if you had stocked up on pills. Boosting your immune system with food and herbs is easier to do, better for you, and certainly more delicious!
One of the best parts about this list of 10 everyday foods that will keep you healthy, is that these items are all easy to get, easy to use, and have no side effects… oh, and THEY REALLY WORK!
Think about it. You go to the market every week, maybe more. These items are there just waiting for you. Even if some of these items are not ingredients you would normally use, they can be easily added to your everyday lifestyle. I’ll even go as far as saying that during cold and flu season, they are a must!
Some of my past clients have asked me exactly how many of these ingredients they should incorporate into their diet. My answer is always the same: as many as you can. That answer may seem like a cop out, but it’s not. If you hate the taste of something, I don’t want you to suffer. But, if you can add these items into your eating plan, then you should do so. I use them all. And, I’m happy to suggest ways for you to fit them into your plan — just leave me a comment below and we’ll figure out some methods that work for you and your tastes and lifestyle.
These Are The 10 Everyday Foods That Will Keep You Healthy
Oregano is one of the most potent medicinal kitchen herbs. It’s powers are really amazing. I keep a bottle of pure oregano essential oil in my kitchen at all times (be careful when using it — it can actual burn you if not used correctly). Put ONE drop into a huge glass of room temperature water and you have a germ-busting, cold-battling powerhouse of a morning drink. It tastes very oregano-y, but it’s worth it!
I want you to buy fresh oregano and add it to every Italian dish you cook. Add it to Mediterranean dishes. Add it to your soups, stews and chilies. Also, use that jar of dried oregano that’s probably sitting in your pantry — add it to everything you can. And you need to buy a small bottle of pure oregano essential oil. Then, read this article detailing the 5 Reasons You Should Be Using Oregano Oil.
The fresh and dried oregano will help prevent the colds from coming on. The oregano oil is strong enough to kill off the germs if you feel that you are getting sick… such a powerful immune boosting combination!
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body.
You can read more on the ways you can boost your immune system with common herbs like garlic, by reading my article: Top 5 Herbs To Boost Your Immune System.
You will ALWAYS find scallions in my refrigerator… and I hope to convince you to always have them in yours.
The root of the scallion is a powerful Chinese herb (Cong Bai).
If you feel like you are about to get sick (you know, that scratchy throat thing or the slight head congestion… ) you must put 2 cups of water on the stove with 2 scallions (cut into thirds — include the roots), and 6 slices of unpeeled ginger root. Boil for 20 minutes. Put a hoodie and some socks on, drink this while it’s hot, and go to bed. You will sweat out the cold overnight. Shower off the toxins in the morning, and you will be amazed!
This method is to be used at the very beginnings of a common cold.
Ginger is also a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Ginger is also great for some digestive issues. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).
5. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body. In this recipe the taste is amazing, and, I’m here to tell you that even when taking it straight from the spoon, it’s not so bad…
There are so many different varieties of mushrooms and each type has it’s own unique medicinal capabilities.
I want you to experiment with fresh shrooms, dried shrooms, mushroom powders, mushroom capsules, and mushroom elixirs.If you are unfamiliar with some of these ways to use mushrooms, leave me a comment below, and I’ll talk it out with you — mushrooms are so healing and I want you to get the full benefit of them!
In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around. There are more varieties of mushrooms than you regularly find at the market. And each one is for a different condition. I want you to be able to use all of them: from shiitake and button, to reishi, cordyceps and chaga … I use them in recipes, teas, smoothies… Some of these shrooms also promote healing and have even been found to fight tumors.
7. Bone Broth
Bone broth is filled with bone marrow and essential fatty acids — these things promote optimal brain health. It also contains glycine, which is an amino acid that helps with memory, concentration, stress, and focus. You can make your own bone broth, but you don’t have to anymore. Bone broth is now available in tons of markets. (I have my favorites and I’m happy to share them with you — just ask me in the comments below.) It’s sold in boxes just like chicken or vegetable broth. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day. Sometimes I’ll have a hot cup of bone broth first thing in the morning for a quick healing pick me up.
If you are new to bone broth, read my article: 5 Reasons You Need To Add Bone Broth To Your Diet.
Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. Onion is a superhero in the food world!
Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.
In Chinese medicine, cinnamon is an important herb (gui zhi/rou gui). It is used to combat the common cold — especially the kind of cold that is accompanied by muscle aches. This common herb is perfect to add to your diet during the cold winter months. Cinnamon can be added to smoothies, teas, and can be used when cooking your savory favorite recipes.
I know I said only 10… but here’s an added extra one that I can’t leave out…
Mint is a Chinese herb called Bo He. It’s one of the best things to fight a cold, sore throat, or fever. It’s also good for some abdominal issues too, like bloating, nausea, and some stomach pains. Mint also helps cool of the body in cases of heatstroke, so stock up in summer as well as winter.
Remember, this list of 10 Everyday Foods That Will Keep You Healthy is just an outline. I would love to give you tons of ways to fit these foods into your everyday life — actually, it’s one of my favorite things to do… so, reach out, comment below and ask away! I can’t wait to hear from you.