Friday, 18 May 2012

top foods for fighting colds

Ok, so this week's Friday Delicious is perhaps more nutritionally geared than normal, but with an unprecedented amount of people getting sick at the moment on account of the weather getting colder, it seemed the right time to talk about foods that can help safeguard against getting sick. Here are a few of the more interesting ones to check out:

1. Red Capsicum

Ok, so we know we're supposed to drink orange juice to boost levels of vitamin C at this time of the year. And while a red capsicum juice mightn't sound that palatable, this vibrant veggie has almost three times the amount of vitamin C than our lil' friend the orange. Half a capsicum gives most people their recommended daily intake of vitamin C for the day, so try eating them raw with dip, or in a stir fry or salad.

2. Goat's cheese

Goat's cheese is super tasty...and weirdly high in copper. Copper helps in the absorption and metabolism of iron in the body, which helps carry oxygen. Foods high in copper are particularly useful for this time of the year as they help to bolster the immune system. Other foods high in copper include kiwi fruit, cashews and oily fish like sardines, and salmon. Try sprinkling goats cheese in a salad with beetroot and walnuts.

3. Mushrooms

Mushrooms don't sound like a particularly helpful cold fighter, but as they're really high in vitamin D, which the body uses to help boost the immune system, they're actually really useful guys at this time of the year. Some mushies, such as shiitake and maitakes have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries and also tout antiviral and antibacterial qualities which are also useful. Maybe steer clear of the hallucinogenic varieties though. I don't think those are quite what the doctor ordered.

Other useful winter eats:

Ginger - Anti-inflamatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and contains proeolytic enzymes (that's good)
Blueberries - Super high in antioxidants
Yoghurt - Pick ones packed with live cultures and probiotics

And if all else fails, try my chicken soup recipe. I learnt my chicken soup skills from several amazing Jewish cooks over the years.

Sources: Healthy Alternatives, ABC News, Alt Medicine