It was early October when we awoke to a paper bag at our doorstep with a ghost stapled to the outside. That night, while my daughters were in bed and sleeping, we were ghosted! The girls were thrilled with excitement and began immediately planning for their own ghosting ritual.
The concept is pretty simple. Fill a bag with some Halloween candy, attach a ghost with instructions, bring it to someone's doorstep, ring the bell, and run.
That evening, we hopped into the car and ghosted two of their friends. The girls were dressed in wigs and sunglasses, my husband behind the wheel. For a moment, we felt invincible, like superheroes!
But, whether it was the thrill of the excitement or just that time of year, my younger daughter woke up with the sniffles on Monday morning. Not so super...
Sniffles, and other early signs of a flu, cold, or virus are the perfect time to give your immune system a healthy boost.
At the onset of a sickness, remove all refined sugar, it will only serve to compromise your immune system. Instead, a whole foods diet rich in seasonal fruits and vegetables is your best line of defense.
Here are 10 of my favorite immune superheroes, perfect to support you through fall and winter's cold and flu season:
1. Coconut Milk Kefir - A probiotic-rich food that keeps the gut and intestinal tract free from disease-causing germs.
2. Camu Camu Powder - A superfood high in vitamin C, which tops the list of immune-boosting vitamins.
3. Almonds - A great source of vitamin E, also key for strong immunity.
4. Sugar Pumpkin - Contains beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A, a broad regulator of the immune system.
5. Tahini - Sesame seed paste that is high in magnesium and zinc, both immune-supportive. Zinc is a mineral commonly deficient in our diets.
6. Oregano - Anti-fungal; stimulating to the immune system. The leaves or oil are preferential to the powder.
7. Garlic - Anti-fungal; fights off infections and bacteria.
8. Medicinal mushrooms - Chinese wisdom validates the impact of mushrooms on immunity, especially the Maitake and Shitake.
9. Fish - Your essential fats, which help to protect the lungs and respiratory system from colds; and selenium, particular to helping clear the flu virus out of your body.
10. Chicken Soup - It turns out that scientific researchers are just beginning to discover the healing properties of bone broth, confirming that our grandmothers' remedy does, in fact, have medicinal value.
A whole foods diet, rich in anti-oxidants (colorful fruits and veggies) plus these ten superfoods will fuel your body's immune system with the essential fats, vitamins, minerals, herbs and probiotic support it needs for a quick recovery.
While eating healthfully doesn't exclude us from getting sick, I've found that with good dietary support we are able to prevent many of the sniffles from turning into full-blown illnesses. And viruses that lasted weeks are often over in days.
To your health, & my daughter's!
Lisa is a nutrition expert, food educator, & founder of Culinary Therapy, LLC, a boutique holistic wellness practice dedicated to teaching people how to nourish themselves with simple, nutritious foods so they can look and feel great.