When you are down with the sniffles and other minor bugs, where do you usually head to?
Do you open the medicine cabinet and pop those tasteless tablets and capsules into your mouth? What if I tell you to instead make a beeline to your pantry, whip up a gourmet dish, eat a delicious meal, and treat your illnesses at the same time?
Yes, it is possible!
As Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said:
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”.
Consuming healthy, nourishing food will not only cure your body, but also make you feel happier and more alert. It is definitely cheaper and you avoid the nasty side effects of synthetic medicines.
Below is a list of the most common ailments and how you can treat them with your yummy breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, beverage, or dessert:
Common Colds and Flu
You need hydration when you are down with the flu and all the symptoms that accompany it (i.e. sore throat, dry cough, mucus, headache, fever, etc.), so it’s crucial to consume plenty of fluids:
An ice pop made of 100% fruit juice can soothe your swollen and dry throat, as well as provide a boost of essential vitamins.
Citrus fruits, such as lemon and orange, grapefruit, guava, and kiwi are great sources of Vitamin C.
A fruit/vegetable smoothie is another refreshing way to drink your needed nutrients and boost your immunity.
Here is a fantastic recipe for a cold and flu smoothie that contains these ingredients: banana, orange, lemon, ginger, chia seeds, and spinach.
A warm bowl of good old-fashioned chicken soup helps protect your body from bacteria and viruses, combats nasal congestion, and soothes a sore throat.
Put in plenty of garlic, onion, ginger, and oregano leaves for extra antibacterial action.
Among the most common are urinary tract infections, skin and nail fungal infections, conjunctivitis (pinkeye) infection, yeast infections, etc.
Fortunately, there is a great chance that your kitchen pantry is stock-full of a common food ingredient that contains natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties: garlic.
Raw garlic is a very strong antibiotic because of a compound called allicin -- which is destroyed when garlic is heated or cooked.
On its own, raw garlic might be hard to swallow, but you can incorporate it into some delicious recipes to mask the strong flavor:
Dips such as hummus, garlicky guacamole, or a garlic lime tartar sauce. Blend up a huge batch and don’t forget leave some for me!
Use it in salad dressings and combine garlic with apple cider vinegar and coconut oil (two great immune-boosting ingredients!), for a tasty vinaigrette.
You can add honey for the added sweetness and antibacterial power.
Infections may also occur due to an imbalance in your intestinal flora.
Consuming probiotics that contain good bacteria helps restore your gut health and wards off all sorts of infections.
You can get probiotics from healthy food sources, such as:
- Yogurt: Combine Greek yogurt with garlic, cucumber, and dill to make an amazing tzatziki dip; use it in soups to take the place of all-purpose cream; or just eat it on its own or topped with your favorite fruits.
- Japanese Food: If you are craving for something warm to comfort you, try preparing a bowl of miso soup. Apart from its wonderful umami flavor, miso paste contains a good amount of probiotics too. Put in seaweeds (wakame or roasted nori), soft tofu, and leeks -- for a healthy and nourishing Japanese bowl of goodness.
This can cause debilitating symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting, flatulence, and heartburn.
It can also lead to loss of appetite and loss of energy.
This makes consuming visually- appealing and tasty food all the more important to help bring back your zest for life and eating.
Baked, grilled, boiled, steamed, seared lean cuts of poultry, such as chicken breast and turkey helps to reduce your tummy burn.
Leave out the oil, onion, and garlic to avoid stomach acid triggers.
This page provides numerous GERD-friendly chicken breast recipes, such as chicken satay and chicken marsala.
Seed / Grains (Fiber)
Oatmeal and chia seeds are good sources of healthy fiber.
They coat your stomach lining and improve digestion.
Top your overnight oats, warm oatmeal porridge, or chia seeds pudding with fruits that heal acidity including; banana, mangoes, figs, and dates.
Milk (non dairy)
Dairy can trigger acidity, so it’s best to avoid cow’s milk, cheese, and butter.
But don’t worry, as almond milk is a great dairy-free milk alternative. It is alkaline and can provide balance to your stomach acid level.
With the increase in environmental triggers and pollutants, asthma attacks are becoming more frequent and more serious recently.
Eating the right food that fight inflammation can help sufferers avoid those scary attacks.
A soothing ginger/turmeric tea has an invigorating, slightly spicy taste and helps prevent swelling of the lungs and constricted respiratory airways.
An avocado is an antioxidant powerhouse that helps your body fight free radicals and detoxify from pollutants and harmful substances.
It is one of the most delicious and versatile fruits as well -- eat it for breakfast (avocado-topped toast, avocado smoothie), have it for snack (guacamole dip, sirloin steak taco with creamy avocado dressing), wolf it down for lunch or dinner (salad with avocado, meat with avocado salsa), or use it to sweeten your dessert (chocolate avocado pudding, homemade avocado ice cream).
So many yummy options to choose from!
Countless edible remedies are readily available from your fridge, your kitchen counters, cabinets and baskets.
They are generally safe to use, easy and inexpensive to buy, and most importantly, can fill your hungry stomach and nourish your entire body at the same time.
So the next time you start feeling unwell, head on to your kitchen and find a delectable way to get rid of your physical ailments!
Sandy Getzky is the executive coordinating editor at The Global Nail Fungus Organization, a group committed to helping the 100+ million people suffering from finger and toenail fungus. Sandy is also a registered Herbalist and member of the American Herbalist’s Guild.