What you eat when you’re sick can either make you feel better, or make you feel worse. If you’ve got a head cold with sneezing and a runny nose, and it feels like your head has been hijacked by the flu, you definitely want to avoid foods that will create more mucus. The worst mucus-producing food offenders are dairy and sugar; even fruit juice that’s full of vitamin C is a no-no because of the huge amount of sugar.
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Fortunately, you can get loads of vitamin C and other nutrients from fresh vegetables, which, in the right combination, can help kick your immune system into gear fast. Tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, and parsley are loaded with vitamin C, as well as beta carotene and other antioxidants. Garlic is a natural antibiotic, and kitchen herbs like oregano and thyme are practically worth their weight in gold when it comes to battling a cold and flu.
A hot bowl of spicy soup is one of the best ways to deliver all this immune-boosting goodness. I’ve made this soup many times in my own kitchen during flu season. This recipe is easy to make; feel free to tweak the ingredients and proportions to your preference (or what you actually have in your kitchen). Use organic ingredients whenever possible. This recipe is 100% vegan, but if you’re a chicken soup kind of person, add some chicken to the pot.
You will need:
- 1 can of roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup broccoli, broken into florets
- 6-8 garlic cloves (or more), peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium potato, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh Italian parsley, chopped finely
- 1” piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- ½ tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 tbsp organic oregano
- 1 tbsp organic basil
- 1 tbsp organic thyme
- ½ tsp organic sage powder
- ½ tsp organic rosemary powder
- 3 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock, or water)
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon organic cayenne powder, optional (to taste and tolerance level; make sure to add this at the very end of cooking and right before serving)
Simmer all the ingredients (except the cayenne) in a stainless steel covered saucepan until the veggies are tender and the flavors are blended, about 20-30 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste, and enjoy hot. Your immune system will get a huge boost, and hopefully you will start to sweat.
Let us know what foods help make YOU feel better!
In good health, Kita