As the season changes, there are many wonderful things to look forward to. However, in addition to fun with family and friends, the season change also brings cold and flu season. In this article, we’re going to look at how your nutrition and diet can help ease your symptoms and speed up the recovery process if you do end up sick.
Let’s start with what to avoid when you start feeling off. Although sweets are a big part of the holiday season, sugar and alcohol have been shown to lower the immune system, which leads to our bodies being more susceptible to colds and flus. Therefore, it is important to avoid sugary snacks or alcoholic beverages while fighting off an illness. Additionally, cutting out dairy and fried foods will help with reducing phlegm production, so it is best to avoid these food groups as well. We should also avoid cold and/or raw food and drinks when we are sick or fighting off illness. Cold and raw foods are harder for the body to break down and warm up, taking vital energy away from boosting your immune system. This includes drinking all drinks at room temperature or warmer, and not eating anything straight out of the fridge.
Next, we will look at how to boost your immune system and help your energy return while you are recovering from illness. Having more soups and stews during the colder months will aid in your body’s ability to fight off sickness. Since it’s warm, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to warm up and process its contents. With soup not being a fried or sugary food, and not often containing dairy, this is a great dietary option when trying to fight off sickness.
Chicken soup, for example, is a classic when we aren’t feeling well. This simple recipe is very beneficial to supporting your immune system before you get sick, as well as helping you recover after getting sick. It is also easy to digest and sip in small amounts when you have a poor appetite.
600 g. chicken
2 to 3 whole scallions (leave roots intact)
2 cloves of garlic, sliced (optional)
20 g. organic ginger, sliced ¼ in.
Salt and white pepper to taste
Start with boiling the chicken for about 10 minutes. Discard the water and add remaining ingredients to the pot with the chicken. Fill the pot with water to fully cover the chicken. Cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour. This will make 2 to 3 servings. You can store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Always reheat the broth before eating. You can eat the cooked chicken or add it to another meal depending on how your appetite is during the healing process.
Fresh, organic ingredients are obviously more nutritious—they contain more vitamins and minerals and are best for a weakened immune system. However, do what you can do with your illness.
Along with changing diet during times of sickness, remember how important it is to slow down. Make sure to get plenty of sleep to aid in the recovery process.
All in all, take care of yourself this holiday season. Be conscientious of your diet, water intake, and rest. Happy Holidays! Stay safe and stay healthy!