There’s so much to think about as summer comes to an end: mourning the closure of our neighborhood pool, the start of football season, my fading tan, and my favorite wardrobe season. Along with all of this, as the weather begins to swing towards cooler temperatures, I tend to see an uptick in feeling sick. My daughter’s darling daycare classmates usually fuel this, but the changeup in weather alone can aggravate my husband’s and my allergies, send us reeling into sinus infections and even introduce the most unwelcome cold. It’s no fun at all.
At the first hint of feeling sick, we usually go into survival mode stocking everything from neti pots to nasal spray and vitamin c chews to throat lozenges. It can start to feel like a pharmacy around here, but as I have become increasingly interested in more natural and homeopathic treatments, I have accumulated a list of foods to introduce into our diets when we begin feeling sick. Read on to find out more about the top 5 foods my family eats when we are under the weather.
Anyone with a toddler will tell you that the first couple years of life can be measured in the time between cold viruses. From that awful cough that sounds like a barking seal to nasal congestion that just won’t quit, my go-to remedy to soothe the worst nighttime symptoms is a spoonful of honey. It works far better than children’s cough medicines (in my opinion) and I love that I’m giving her something natural. This remedy comes from my grandmother who always gave us a spoonful of honey when we had a sore throat. Some things stand the test of time!
2. Hot tea or soup
Regardless of what ails him, my husband gets the absolute worst sore throats. They are angry and incredibly painful so I’m always looking for ways to help him feel better and most recently, I have turned him on to hot teas and broths. The steam serves as a decongestant and the liquids prevent him from getting dehydrated. Opting for teas that include antioxidants or protein-packed chicken soup ensures added health benefits, too. This is my secret for helping him feel better, especially when he’s taken down by something that just has to run its course.
We are major garlic lovers, so upping our intake never feels like a chore. I learned last winter that garlic can actually boost the immune system, helping us to get sick less often and even to feel better more quickly (or decrease the severity of certain symptoms). Adding minced garlic to our existing meals is a piece of cake and it even makes the most simple chicken soup taste extra delicious. This one might just be my favorite!
An immune-boosting smoothie can be a true cure-all when everything else fails. Smoothies taste delicious, are easy to drink when you’re nursing a sore throat or nasty cough, and they can be a simple solution to get some much-needed calories and nutrients into the diet of anyone not feeling their best. I like to throw in some almonds for added Zinc and Vitamin E, strawberries for Vitamin C, and Greek yogurt for protein and beneficial probiotics. Yum!
If I’m being honest, these are a staple in our diet when we are healthy, but avocados have really saved the day when my family is sick. The low-carb, high-fat option can serve as a meal replacement providing the calories, vitamins and minerals we crave while also being soft and easy to eat. Avocados are chock full of healthy fats which makes them incredibly stimulating to the immune system and they have the added benefit of decreasing inflammation.
Are any of these foods on your list for battling the sick season?
Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy fall!