When it comes to getting and staying well during cold and flu season, your top defense is with the food you eat. At our panel on Nov. 9, 2017, we talked to board-certified internist, functional medicine doctor, and author of “The Happy Gut,” Dr. Vincent Pedre, health coach and author of “The Real Food Grocery Guide,” Maria Marlowe, and INDAY founder Basu Ratnam (they hosted!) about their best tips for eating for immunity.
Here are some highlights from our immunity-centric convo:
1. Eat these foods/spices to boost immunity:
Bone broth (It’s great for supporting a healthy gut lining.)
Cruciferous veggies (i.e. broccoli, cauliflower)
2. Sugar is definitely the bad guy when it comes to immunity.
“A diet that’s rich in sugar is a diet that inhibits your immune system,” Pedre said. Sugar stuns white blood cells (they’re the ones that fight against infection) for six hours and they can’t function, he said.
3. If you feel a sore throat coming on, take a shot of ginger and cayenne.
Ginger is antimicrobial, so it’ll kill the bad stuff as it goes down your throat, Pedre said. Try one of these recipes for homemade ginger shots.
4. Vitamin C is not that effective for colds.
Sorry, but this commonly held belief isn’t really well-proven. Instead, take zinc or elderberry if you get sick. Zinc can help reduce cold duration, and elderberry has been proven to reduce the duration of colds by 3 or 4 days.
5. Eat the rainbow! And with intention.
Mixing up your plate (Marlowe recommends at least 50 percent of your plate, at each meal, be veggies) with produce all across the color spectrum. At INDAY, their Indian dishes are not only Instagram-friendly, but the different colors and varying textures make the meals nutritious, and engaging. In other words, they help you pay attention while you’re eating (Crunch! Spice! Creaminess!) so you tune in to how your body responds to the food.
Some ideas for your medicine cabinet/pantry:
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