ABC Nutrition on Foods to Beat the Cold

As we all know, we are well into the “sick season.” Most recently, the flu has been spreading rapidly along with the common cold. Many women will make their way to the doctor’s office with symptoms and get a prescription to kick the bug. Did you know you may be able to cure yourself right from your own home? Or better yet, keep your immune strong enough so you won’t catch a cold in the first place? For mothers, this is even more important since they are sending their little ones off to school where germs run rampant. Here are the ABC’s for “sick season” and how you can use whole foods to stay healthy and strong.

A. Elderberry- Sambucus or elderberry is a tart berry that has a ton of health benefits. It can be found in a chewable tablet, capsule or syrup. Syrup is best for kids. The benefits of Elderberry syrup is that it can boost the immune system and help you get over your sickness much faster. Some studies show it can even help with sinus problems and common allergies. However, it is most commonly used to prevent virus, cold or even the flu. When purchasing, make sure to check the ingredients on the back of the bottle. You want to only see elderberry in the list. Although some brands add extra herbs. It is best to choose pure elderberry. Take the recommended dose on the bottle.

B. Chicken Soup with Bones- Let’s never overlook the numerous benefits of simple mixed vegetable and chicken soup. When I am sick, the first thing I do is get a bunch of fresh or frozen veggies, make my own broth using herbs and spices and dump the vegetables in a pot. This is a lot of fun because you may add anything you want such as carrots, peas, broccoli, celery, spinach, beans, cauliflower, potatoes and more! Add the chicken pieces with the bones. Bring the soup to a boil and cook until the veggies are nice and soft and the broth has a nice rich color. Bone broth has been used for centuries to boost the immune, improve digestion, and ease aching joints. Bone broth can be purchased at a health food store, but it is pretty costly compared to the couple dollars it costs making it from scratch at home. Preparing homemade bone broth takes a couple hours, but it is very much worth the wait. Warm the broth and enjoy sipping on it from a mug or add chicken and vegetables for a heartier meal.

C. Raw Honey- Raw honey is the most natural form of the sweetness that bee’s offer us. Raw honey is unpasteurized and minimally processed or heated. Unlike highly processed honey, it still contains natural enzymes and a higher nutritional value. Raw honey can give your immune system a little boost, and also soothe a sore throat. A simple elixir is hot water, a teaspoon of raw honey and a squeeze of lemon or apple cider vinegar. This concoction is perfect as the honey soothes the throat and chest, the warm water will warm your whole body up and the lemon or apple cider vinegar adds more nutrients. Pregnant women should not consume any products that are unpasteurized as they may contain harmful bacteria. Children under the age of 1 year cannot have honey for similar reasons. Instead, try coconut nectar which is a sap from the coconut tree. This syrup has its own health benefits such as amino acids, B vitamins, and it is low on the glycemic index for blood sugar.

It is important to always pay a visit to your health care provider if you are feeling extremely sickor have symptoms that last longer than a few days and seem to worsen. However, there are a couple things that can be done right in your own kitchen to help your body naturally get rid of a sickness faster. The ABC’s can also be applied for women who want to prevent getting sick.