Cold-and-flu season has arrived, and the kids are already coming home sniffling and coughing. While multivitamins can help supplement your children’s diets with vitamins and minerals, the best way is to feed them foods that naturally contain immune-boosting properties. Eating healthy helps keep you healthy, so give your kids the foods they need to avoid getting sick this season.
Foods rich in vitamin C. Think it’s only oranges and other citrus fruits that contain vitamin C? Think again! Bell peppers, especially yellow and red peppers, are high in vitamin C, with 100–150 milligrams per serving. Broccoli is another veggie that can be eaten raw or cooked and contains 81 mg of vitamin C per cup (chopped). Strawberries contain as much vitamin C as oranges—59 mg per 100 grams. Chili peppers not only help you sweat out all the toxins, they also contain loads of vitamin C. Red chilies contain three times more vitamin C and beta-carotene than oranges or lemons! Green chilies contain 109 mg. Kiwi is another delicious fruit that contains lots of vitamin C.
Omega‑3’s. Fish such as salmon and tuna are rich in omega‑3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation. This can help your immune system to work properly and prevent catching the cold or flu.
Garlic and mushrooms. Not only does garlic have a potent flavor, but it contains allicin, which produces potent antioxidants. It works best when eaten raw but can also have benefit when cooked. Just about all mushrooms also contain immune-boosting antioxidants.
Spices. There are many herbs and spices that can help with cold and flu symptoms. Cinnamon contains an antiseptic property that helps treat a sore throat, flu, malaria, and the cold. Ginger relives inflammation, decreases nausea, and warms the body. Turmeric has antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. Sage has the ability to increase sweating to help eliminate toxins. And cloves have antiseptic and germicidal properties, which help fight infections like cold, flu, bronchitis, and arthritis.
Tea. Not only does tea soothe a sore throat and break up congestion from the heat, but black, green, or white tea all contain catechin antioxidants, which may have flu-fighting properties and help boost overall immunity.
Lean proteins. Lean proteins are not only good for building muscle, but also necessary for building antibodies and fighting infections. Skinless turkey breast, chicken, beans, nuts, and low-fat dairy are all good sources of lean protein. v
2 bags green tea
1 cup boiling water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 green onions, chopped, divided
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. minced fresh ginger
⅛ tsp. sesame oil
Place 2 tea bags in small bowl with boiling water. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and discard tea bags. Place olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breast, and brown 2–3 minutes per side. Remove from pan to plate.
Pour tea into skillet and add half of the onions. Stir in honey, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until sauce is reduced to about ¾ cup.
Add chicken, cover, and cook over medium heat for 4–5 minutes. Cut chicken into thin slices and serve with sauce. Garnish with remaining onions. Serve with steamed rice.
Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook that you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.