Swine flu has been all over the news lately with some reports sounding rather dire. While I’m mildly concerned, I’m not ready to follow Vice President Biden’s advice and stand out in a field by myself until the threat blows over. Aside from washing my hands more often, all I’m doing is avoiding sugar and sticking with my diet of fresh, wholesome foods. My intent is to keep my immune system tuned up and ready to launch an attack if I come into contact with any swine flu cooties.
The WHO (World Health Organization) recently announced a serge in confirmed cases worldwide and Canadian health officials released information suggesting the first reverse transmission of the virus, from farm worker to pigs, so it’s nothing to sneeze at.
Here’s a list of resources and links to specific information, all related to swine flu (H1F1 is the virus subtype).
• Good quality sleep (this is so important for healthy immune function)
• Moderate exercise
• Antioxidant-rich foods (vitamin C: citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, green leafy veggies, berries, tomatoes; vitamin A: sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, carrots, kale, collard greens, apricots, cantalope, peaches; vitamin E: nuts, seeds, gf whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, green leafy veggies; selenium: eggs, chicken, garlic, 100% grass fed beef, gf whole grains, fish)
• Fresh, whole foods — any brightly colored veggies and fruits as they are full of immune boosting phytochemicals (healthy plant chemicals)
• Green tea, ginger root tea
• Mushrooms, garlic, pineapple, coconut (other assorted good stuff)
• Poor quality sleep
• Couch potato lifestyle
• Consuming junk food and sugar (these suppress the immune system)
• More than 1 cup of coffee a day
• Soda pop and sugary drinks (HFCS)
• Too much alcohol
Immune booster soup
what you need (this is a launching pad recipe, adjust to your liking)
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
• 1 onion, chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• fresh ginger root (use to taste)
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
• 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, washed and chopped
• 2 tablespoons dried or 1/4 cup fresh burdock root, washed and chopped
• 1 cup cooked and diced chicken
• 1 cup cooked brown rice
• 6 cups chicken broth
• pinch of cayenne pepper
• assorted herbs (dill, oregano, basil, parsley, tarragon)
• sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
what you do
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes and add ginger, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and burdock root. Continue sautéing — add a splash of broth if the pan becomes dry (a touch of broth is a great way to sauté veggies). Add all the chicken broth, diced chicken, brown rice and remaining ingredients. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes.
Adjust as you see fit! Replace brown rice with a chopped sweet potato, skip the ginger, add a finely diced jalapeno pepper — play with your food!
Wash your hands, avoid cooties and stay healthy!