Winter can be a wonderful season, unless you can’t handle cold and viruses. As a dietitian specialized in autoimmune diseases, all the previous winters before lockdowns and pandemic, I used to meet a lot of people in my office, which would mean that viruses and bacteria would easily find and target me –not to mention the dangerous “buddies” my toddlers would bring home from school (like Mr. Cough and Mrs. Otitis). This year might be a little different, as with all the precaution measures against Covid-19, we’ve accomplished to stay healthy so far. Staying locked at home won’t (and mustn’t) be a permanent situation, though, so we need to prepare ourselves and build a strong immune system.
We know that gut microbiome balance and immunity are strongly connected, so what we did in the past in order to keep ourselves as healthy as possible or with mild symptoms when catching o cold, was to enhance our diet with fruits and vegetables. But then we went vegetarian and vegan, so that was a permanent situation which helped a lot. There really was a difference in the amount of times we would get sick after we emphasized on plant-based nutrition. So vegan diet is one thing I would recommend for a stronger immune system, able to fight colds.
My second suggestion is this super, anti-virus tea which is a “must” every winter in our family. It’s hot, it’s full of herbs, it’s delicious and it’s ideal for those who want to be ahead of diseases or are already sick with sore throat and a runny nose and want to ease the symptoms. In small quantities it can also have anti-cough properties, especially for children and I promise you’ll love it.
Ingredients (for 3)
4 cinnamon sticks
10 cardamom seeds
1 small piece of fresh ginger (about half a finger)
3 pepper seeds
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp oregano
2-3 leaves eucalyptus
4 cups water
3 bags of lemon balm or chamomile
3 tbsp molasses
Peel your ginger and cut it in pieces. Put 1 cup of water in a small pot and heat it. When it starts to boil, add your cinnamon sticks, the cardamom seeds, the ginger pieces, the peppers seeds, the oregano, the eucalyptus and the thyme and let them boil for about 5 minutes.
Then, add 2 tbsp from the mixture you just boiled to each of 3 different cups. You want small quantity, but it needs to have high density and intense aromas.
Your next step is to boil 3 cups of water in a pot and then add the water in the cups with the mixture. Stir and dip your lemon balm or chamomile bags in each cup.
Add 1 tbsp molasses and some lemon in your cups and let this super therapeutic and aromatic hot winter drink heal you!
Besides being rich in Vitamin C, which is essential for immune support, this tea has antimicrobial and antipyretic properties, while it is beneficial against stomach ache and headache. If you want to enhance its Vitamin C, you can add some orange juice drops and make it even more aromatic!
Find out about the “feel good” nutrition plan which is personalized according to your metabolic type, your hormonal state, your immune response and your lifestyle, in the nutrition plans section of www.feedyourimmunity.com.