Natural Immunity Boosters
My favorite "under the weather" remedy is fresh squeezed lemon juice and raw local honey mixed into hot water. Since half of Ithaca seems to be walking around with some variation of a respiratory illness I'll also be loading up on the following spices to help boost immunity naturally!
1. Garlic: contains allicin and allion which have antiviral and detoxification properties. Add raw, fresh garlic to veggie-loaded soup (or whatever your cooking), make sure you chop it up, as this activates the antiviral compounds in garlic. Or make a simple tea by immersing chopped garlic into a cup of boiling water and let it steep for a few minutes.
2. Ginger: activates your immune system and has been shown in studies to work as a preventative and therapeutic measure against the flu. Ginger also helps relieve a sore throat and settle an upset stomach. Make a warming tea with fresh ginger, honey, and lemon.
3. Turmeric: a powerful spice with a long list of healing benefits, including antiviral properties. A 2010 study revealed that when curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) was added to cell cultures infected with H1N1 and H6N1 subtypes of the flu, the virus was reduced by 90%! Add turmeric to your soups and stews or make a delicious paste with a spoonful of ground turmeric and raw honey.
4. Elderberry: full of anthocyanins, flavonoids and triterpenes, compounds that are responsible for its incredible antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating effects. An Israeli study found that 75% of patients who took black elderberry extract cleared the flu within 48 hours and 90% were symptom free within 72 hours. That’s powerful! Find it at the health food store and make it into a warming tea.
Fall Squash & Apple Soup
So healthy and flavorful, don't let all the peeling and chopping make you pass this warming soup up!
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated gingerroot
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (time saver: Wegmans sells fresh squash that is already peeled and chopped in the produce department)
2 cups peeled and chopped apples
1 cup peeled and chopped sweet potato or carrot
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions begin to soften. Add gingerroot, curry powder and ground cumin. Stir well and cook for 30 more seconds.
Add broth, squash, apples, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heath to low and simmer, covered for 15 minutes (or until squash and potatoes are tender). Stir occasionally.
Blend soup until smooth with an immersion blender, or puree in batches in a regular blender. Serve hot.