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  • Dr. Michelle Jackson, ND

Enhance Your Diet in 3 Easy Ways to Prevent the Common Cold


It’s that time of year again. The kids have gone back to school, the warm days of summer are slipping away, and life becomes a little more hectic. This combination usually wrecks havoc on our immune systems and many of us succumb to the dreaded common cold.

The types of food we choose to eat has such a huge impact on our overall health, and specifically, the functioning of our immune systems. This article highlights a few ways that you can enhance your diet to boost immune function, which will help prevent the cold, because lets face it: 1. food is medicine and 2. getting sick is a huge pain.


1. Reign in that sweet tooth! Sugar directly suppresses our immune system. Research has shown that following ingestion of simple sugars (ex. glass of orange juice) the ability of our immune cells to engulf bacteria (a.k.a prevent them from infecting us) is significantly decreased.

Tip #1: Resist adding sugar to your coffee. It may taste strange at first, but you'll get used to it and your body will thank you.

Tip #2: Make your own baked goods using ingredients like bananas and dates vs. buying store bought, which are loaded in refined sugar. Need a recipe? Check out our Peanut Butter Banana Protein Balls.

2. Choose immune boosting foods - You can’t go wrong with eating lots of vegetables, but honorary mention to: mushrooms, onions, garlic, and raw/unprocessed honey (definitely not you, Billy Bee) for their super immune boosting abilities.

Tip #3: Cook your mushrooms on med-low heat, as high heat destroys the immune boosting polysaccharides.

Tip #4: If you’re starting to feel run down, eat a spoonful of ~2 tsp of raw honey with a minced garlic clove. This is my go-to and yes, it’s gross but it works like a charm.

3. Spice it up! Herbs/spices support the immune system and are a key ingredient in many cultural dishes. Unfortunately, many of us use jarred sauces to enhance the flavour in our meals and the tradition of cooking with herbs is becoming less common.

Tip #5: I love adding ginger (fresh or ground) to my morning protein smoothie. Give it a try or consider others like: cinnamon, basil, peppermint, etc.

Tip #6: Expand your horizons in the kitchen! I challenge you to cook one new recipe this week that uses herbs/spices you don’t commonly use. Need some help finding recipes? Check out last week’s post on Change of Season Soup or some of our older ones: Thai Purple Cabbage Bowl, Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry and Ethiopian Salad Rolls.

Extra support? This is where naturopathic medicine thrives. There are SO many different nutritional supplements, botanical herbs, and treatments that can be done at the clinic to help support your immune system. If you're someone who: wants to be proactive with your health, gets sick frequently, or takes a long time to recover, I encourage you to reach out for immune support!

References:

Sanchez A, Reeser JL, Lau HS, Yahiku PY, Willard RE, McMillan PJ, Cho SY, Magie AR, Register UD. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 1973 Nov 1;26(11):1180-4.http://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/featured-articles/mushroom-articles/

Mandal MD, Mandal S. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. 2011 Apr 30;1(2):154-60.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6669596

Elnima EI, Ahmed SA, Mekkawi AG, Mossa JS. The antimicrobial activity of garlic and onion extracts. Die Pharmazie. 1983 Nov;38(11):747-8.

Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms [Internet]. 1986 [cited 2016 Sept 23]. Available from: http://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/featured-articles/mushroom-articles/

#sick #immunehealth #immunesystem #preventativemedicine #garlic #honey #herbs #sugar #commonecold #fall

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Disclaimer: Any information on this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice.

Always seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner with any questions or health concerns you may have.

 

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