“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
I recently read an article from MarketPlace entitled, “The Cost of the Common Cold,” and I was absolutely floored to learn that people living in the United States collectively spend close to $40 BILLION each year on cold remedies. This grand total includes money spent on over-the-counter medications, trips to the doctor’s office, and visits to the pharmacy/drug store. Hippocrates would definitely have a thing or two to say about this. Therefore, this week I’m proposing that we take a page from Hippocrates’ book by using food to avoid sickness. Below is a list of foods packed with all of the necessary vitamins and minerals that you’ll need to invigorate your immune system this winter season. Of course, there are others that I don’t list (think oranges, chicken soup, etc.). However, if you incorporate some of these foods into your diet this winter, you’ll be well on your way to strengthening your immune system and opting out of the $40 BILLION group!
1. YOGURT – Contains “live active cultures.” This bacteria is essential in preventing pathogens from forming/living in your gut and intestinal tract.
2. GARLIC – Contains allicin, a powerful ally in protecting your body from infection. In a British study, researchers gave 146 people garlic extract for 3 months and concluded that people who incorporated it into their diets were 66.7% less vulnerable to colds.
3. TEA – Is packed with the amino acid L-theanine, which is known to boost immunity. L-theanine is found most plentifully in green and black teas. COOL TIP: Bobbing your tea bag during the couple minutes it brews has shown to get up to 5 times more antioxidants into your tea.
4. BEEF – Contains a substantial amount of zinc, a mineral that is critical in the process of establishing the white blood cells in your body. These white blood cells are then able to distinguish between good and bad bacteria and they annihilate viruses in your body. Choose grass-fed beef whenever possible.
5. CARROTS – Contain both Vitamin A and beta-carotene. In particular, Vitamin A works to keep your skin flourishing and clean. When you think about it, healthy skin is one of the most imperative parts of your immune system because it provides a barrier to prevent germs and other bacteria from entering your body.
I hope that everyone stocks up on these foods, practices good hand washing, and gets plenty of rest in order to stay healthy! Let me know how you decide to incorporate these foods into your regular meal rotation!
Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,
EatingWell. Meredith Corporation. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.
Guy, Lisa. HealthNinemsn. Ninesman Pty Ltd. 1997. Web. 29 Web. 2013.
Schryer, Tamara and MacMillan, Amanda. Prevention. Kodale Inc. 2012. Web. 28 Jan. 2013.