While this time of year certainly brings a lot of new beginnings and wonderful changes in the weather and nature, it can also be a prime time for catching some pretty nasty colds! You know, the kids are back in school, spreading their germs, that barista at your local coffee shop that’s back there coughing away as he’s frothing your latte, people at the office sneezing around the water cooler… Yuuuck, I know!
I think we’ve all been there, getting caught up in what we know as “cold season.” And I don’t know about you, but in my house it always seems like when one person gets it, the whole family goes out like dominoes! And when that happens, the last thing you want to do is run to the pharmacy and get some of those awful over-the-counters that are available, trust me! They will only cover up the symptoms while your family still suffers.
The good news is that there are plenty of really delicious ways you can spice up your menu while you protect yourself! Spices like cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger, and garlic are great additions to your foods this season that will help warm you up and are sure to fire up your immune system so those little cold germs won’t stand a chance! Here are a few of my favorite weapons against germs this season!
- I pretty much put garlic in everything! It’s a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. You can put some garlic into vegetables and steam or sauté them, make a vegetable soup and put a few cloves in, and you can even throw it into a smoothie for an extra kick!
- This is another favorite, especially this time of the year. It also has a bit of a kick, so add to a homemade salad dressing, put some in your morning juice, or have ginger tea!
- It’s one of the best anti-inflammatory, anti-viral spices you can have in your cabinet! The mild taste make it easy to sprinkle onto a salad, into a smoothie, over your vegetables or in marinades for meats. Anywhere you can get a little turmeric, you are sure to be building up your defenses against colds.
- Cayenne pepper. Just like turmeric, this spice will kickstart even the most stubborn immune systems, and germs just don’t stand a chance!
- This one is less known for its medicinal properties because it’s just so darn tasty! The truth is that it actually stimulates the flow of blood and strengthens the immune system, making it a great addition to our diets this time of year. You can add this to any of your favorite dishes, but one place I love to put cinnamon is in my tea! Try making some dandelion tea and adding a little almond milk, a dash of cinnamon, and a bit of honey for an after-dinner treat!
These are just a few of my personal favorites, but play around—there are so many different ways to have fun and incorporate these foods into your meals. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!