With winter right around the corner, it’s a great time to strengthen your immune system before flu season kicks in. While it’s normal to catch a cold here and there, strengthening your immune system naturally can result in less sickness. That way, you can spend your winter productively, rather than feeling ill every other week.
I must mention, your great grandmother had it right all along with her chicken noodle soup! So is it the chicken, or the noodles? In fact, the secret lies within the chicken broth. Only today are holistic doctors and researchers astonished at the dozens of health benefits that lies in bone broth. It is rather easy to make, and can optimize your health in many ways. Making bone broth requires cooking the bones (of either the poultry, lamb, beef) which releases many essential minerals and vitamins. Bone broth is known to strengthen the immune system, combat colds, heal leaky gut, aid in hair and nail growth, improves memory, leads to better sleep, and the list goes on and on. It’s simply astonishing. Again bone broth is easy to make, and you can always store the extras in your refrigerator for three days. Be sure to store the broth in air-tight glass jars if possible. You’ll be doing your body a favor by including this on your fall season menu if you don’t already consume it.
Unfortunately, today many are turning to restaurants for majority of their meals. Restaurants are made to thrive economically, that means you’re not always guaranteed to be eating the best quality food. Soup will definitely not be made the way your great grandmother made it. In fact, it might be soup full of chemicals and preservatives, like monosodium glutamate (MSG). Atop that, restaurant food is extremely high in unnecessary sodium. Many other people rely on boxed or canned soups for their meals. While soup can be a health promoting food, I would definitely recommend you don’t purchase canned soups. Forget that the majority of cans are lined with BHT, a chemical known to disrupt your hormones, there is more you don’t want in your soup. Just like restaurant food, canned food is extremely high in sodium. It’s not even natural unrefined salt, but bleached and highly processed salt that’s used. Many have partially hydrogenated oil, bleached flours (cream of mushroom soup for example) or preservatives to keep it shelf life stable. This type of soup is more health sabotaging than a health food to nibble when you’re catching a cold. Try to avoid these soups. Yes, there are organic soups you can buy prepared, which are far better off than these mentioned. However, nothing compares to homemade food. The secret is in the broth, and you can’t be assured it’s cooked in such matter. Try sticking to homemade food whenever possible. You can not assure restaurants and the food industry use ingredients that you’ll be able to find in your kitchen cabinet, or nature even.
Aside bone broth and chicken noodle soup, foods to include to strengthen your immunity are those high in Vitamin C. Go for oranges, berries, grapefruit, citrus fruit, and leafy greens. When your body is not lacking essential vitamins and minerals, you’ll less likely catch a cold. If you feel your immune system is extremely weak, I would recommend you take probiotics, and try high probiotic food as well. That includes kefir, sauerkraut, and yogurt.
Best for last, I recommend this next tip to almost all my clients. Try taking a teaspoon of black seed with honey every morning. How should you make it? It’s very simple. Grind about a half cup of whole black seeds in a food processor or a spice grinder. Once it’s grinded into a fine powder, place it in a small bowl. Add about a half cup of raw organic honey; mix well until combined. You can place this in an air-tight container and take a teaspoon every morning. Black seeds comes from the Sunnah and was a food recommended by the Prophet (pbuh). It has dozens of health benefits, a main one being strengthening your immune system and fighting off bad bacteria. What better method can we ask for than one from the Sunnah.
So, be sure to make changes to your meal habits this winter and see if you’re in need of less over the counter cold medications, candies, or vitamin powders. It’s amazing what whole food from nature can do for you.
Editor’s Note: Noor Salem is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and is CEO of her own wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition, LLC. Noor specialized in women’s health, weight loss, and food intolerance versus allergies. She offers individual and group health coaching programs, and is a speaker on the topic of holistic health at workshops and seminars. The views expressed here are her own.