Did you know that eating nutritious and delicious foods can help you prevent and fight off the cold and flu? As a functional medicine physician who specializes in autoimmune conditions, I encourage all of my patients to eat a diet of nutrient-dense foods, including grass-fed and pasture raised proteins, healthy fats and organic vegetables and fruits, that will help your immune system fend off invaders and keep you healthy and strong all season long.
First, I recommend that my patients emphasize foods rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and Omega 3 fatty acids in their daily diet. The nutrients in these foods are known to support your immune system and when you are deficient in them, your immune system weakens and you are more prone to getting sick. So load up on fresh whole foods this season to keep colds at bay!
Supporting your gut microbiome is also important. Your microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms – both good and bad – found mainly in your gut. Roughly 80% of your immune system is in your gut, so it’s important to feed the good bacteria that contribute to healthy immune responses. To increase your levels of good microbes, “toss” foods that are inflammatory and suppress immunity, including: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, and processed foods.
Here’s one of my favorite immune-boosting, gut-healing recipes from my book The Autoimmune Solution. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do. Wishing you health and happiness this season!
Chicken Coconut CurryServes 4
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 onion diced
1/2 Tbsp ground turmeric
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup water
1 tsp sea salt
1 chicken breast, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
1 avocado, sliced
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with olive oil.
- When the pan is hot, sauté the garlic until it is slightly browned. Add the onion, and more oil if needed, then cover the pan and let the mixture simmer until the onions are translucent.
- Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and onion powder, coating the onions, then add the sweet potato, celery, scallions, water, and salt. Simmer the vegetables until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- Add the cooked chicken and coconut milk, and continue to simmer to mix the flavors
- Serve topped with slices of avocado.