Food as Medicine

It’s the eve before Christmas, and I’m sure we are all busy preparing for the big day. With so much going on during this time of the year – travel, school, preparing for Christmas, work, fitness and just living – the added stress of the season can wreak havoc on your adrenals and immune system.  We may all feel a little run down. ‘Tis the season for… lingering germs! This is a just friendly reminder from the Nurse in me that hand washing IS effective.

With all that said and done, I started feeling crummy early last week and came down with a minor cold. The life span of a common cold is 7-10 days and I recovered in 4 days. For the first time in years, I recovered completely without taking any medication.

Coupled with the information I have learned in school and some common practices, I decided to tackle my cold by supporting and treating my immune system with natural remedies that is based on nutrition. Instead of attacking the bug, why not provide your immune system with proper nutrients? For a strong immune system, I think these “remedies” should be practiced daily and not just when you fall ill.

Here is a list of remedies that worked for me last week:

  1. Rest – Making sleep a priority is vital. When you are sick, your body is telling you something – slow down. Always listen to your body.
  2. Hydrate – Drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Water moistens oxygen for easier breathing, regulates body temperature, removes wastes, flushes toxins and empowers the body’s natural healing process. Drink up!
  3. Probiotics – 60-80% of your immune system is found in your gut. Adding some probiotics can help balance, nurture and heal your gut. Some examples of probiotics: kombucha, fermented food (sauerkraut, kimchi), water kefir. I drank sauerkraut juice!
  4. Zinc – The most important mineral for immune system function – found in animal products like red meat, liver and eggs. I ate scrambled eggs cooked in grass fed butter during my short illness.
  5. Vitamin A – Works well with zinc and is essential for your immune system to function – found in animal products like eggs, seafood and organ meats (liver) and if that doesn’t work, you can take fish oil.
  6. Bone Broth – good minerals and gelatin which helps it with fighting germs and gut healing (recipe below)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks for a memorable year! 🙂

Michelle

broth

Bone Broth

(not my recipe – I cannot remember where this is from!)

Ingredients:

  • 4 quarts of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large onions, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
  • 2-4 lbs of meat or poultry bones

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a large slow cooker set on high
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the setting to low for 12-24 hours – the longer it cooks, the better it tastes!
  3. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter into a large bowl, and discard the waste
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