Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done a Feast on This! post, but seeing as it’s cold season, I thought I’d repeat some information from a previous FOT post from a year ago.
A Veggie A Day Keeps The Colds (and Cancer) Away
It’s that time of year. Cold season. Although we can’t always avoid getting the traveling crud, there are ways to boost your immune and shorten the length of the cold or flu. And guess what? They’re all plant-based. No surprise there. Experts tend to agree that it’s best to avoid supplements and go straight for the real thing. For example, eat an orange rather than popping a supplement since you’ll also get magnesium, potassium, folate, B6 and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that are also key in fighting many cancers.
When I feel a cold coming on, I reach for kale every time. I steam it for no more than 5 minutes and enjoy it with just a smidge Earth Balance.
Works every single time! I also pair it with some Kick-Ass Immune, an herbal supplement that lives up to its name. It tastes pretty awful, but it’s worth it.
- Leafy Greens–Spinach, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens & Kale: are loaded with antioxidants. Steam some kale and spinach and add a little Earth Balance, which has lots of Omega-3.
- Broccoli, Green Peppers & Cauliflower: High in Vitamin C.
- Orange Veggies–Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Squash and Pumpkins: are loaded with Beta carotene which turns to Vitamin A, that is rich in antioxidants (which is also cancer-fighting).
- Apples: contain antioxidants and insoluble and soluble fiber to help the bowels run smooth (always a good thing)
- Kiwi, Oranges, Grapefruits & Cantelopes: High in Vitamin C and A and oranges and grapefruits are actually cheaper in the winter.
- Blueberries and Raspberries: Rich in antioxidants and Vitamin B.
- Strawberries: 8 berries supply 160% of your daily value of Vitamin C, as well as 170 mg of potassium.
Other Good Stuff:
- Onions, Garlic, Leeks, & Chives: loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, chromium and selenium.
- Ginger: Strong in antioxidants and helps with digestion and circulation.
- Whole Grains, Quinoa, Barley & Amaranth: packed with fiber, zinc, and B vitamins.
- Seeds: Lots of Vitamin E
Tips to Staying Healthy
- Stick to organic: free of chemicals and contain more nutrients.
- Avoid processed, canned or frozen food (With the exception of vegetables—steam or microwave them) but even avoid canned soups–they’re not fresh and are full of sodium.
- Keep away from excess sugar. If you need a sugar fix, eat some strawberries.
- Make some soup with vegetable broth, ginger, spinach, and green onions.
- Eat some hot salsa or sprinkle some cayenne on steamed veggies to clear the sinuses.
- Chew (and swallow) a garlic clove to cure a cough—some people swear by it. Just don’t breath on anyone.
Bottom line, stick with fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, and avoid hard-to-digest and processed foods. Don’t forget to drink tons of water and only 100% juice with a low sugar content. Then boil some fresh ginger, pour it through a strainer into your favorite mug, add a bit of fresh lemon juice and settle in with a good book!
Meat consumption is just as dangerous to public health as tobacco use… It’s time we looked into holding the meat producers and fast-food outlets legally accountable.
-Dr. Neal Barnard