While colds and flu can happen any time of year, the typical season begins in October, runs through the winter months and begins to wane in March. Beyond supplements like BioPro-Plus 500, your diet can have a huge impact on your ability to resist the cold virus, and fight it should it infect your body. These three delicious recipes will get you started.
BREAKFAST: Strawberry Cashew Smoothie
Enjoy a taste of summer this fall with a decadent strawberry smoothie. The cashew milk gives this shake a rich, creamy texture not unlike ice cream (who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast?). And did we mention that depending on how your cashew milk is made, a single cup of this milk can get you nearly 20% of your daily value of magnesium?
Other healthy ingredients to note include cauliflower (a great way to sneak more vegetables into your diet), hemp hearts and chia seeds (a source of inflammation-fighting omega 3 fats), and vitamin C-rich strawberries (eating more vitamin C may reduce your risks of getting sick this cold and flu season).
1/3 cup unsalted cashews, soaked overnight
1 1/2 cups frozen organic strawberries
1 1/2 cups frozen organic cauliflower
1 1/2 cups cashew milk (homemade or store-bought)
2 tablespoons hemp hearts
OPTIONAL: 2 tablespoons local, organic raw honey (or a natural sweetener of your choice)
1 tbsp chia seeds
OPTIONAL: 1 tsp bee pollen (for added immune support)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. Enjoy!
LUNCH: Apple Walnut Balsamic Salad
Whether you’re eating lunch at home or packing lunch to go, this delicious salad can be easily made ahead and tossed into a big Mason jar for a convenient, and more importantly delicious, zinc meal.
The balsamic-drizzled walnuts give this salad a zesty crunch, and also a lot of zinc. In fact, a single cup of walnuts provides more than 20% of your daily needs of zinc. Zinc is an essential mineral that your body needs for a strong immune system. In fact, taking zinc has been linked to reduced risks of respiratory infections, and cutting short the duration of the common cold! Unfortunately, millions of Americans don’t get enough zinc.
If you don’t have walnuts on hand, many of your favorite nuts are also rich in zinc. Prime examples include sunflower seeds, pecan seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Plus, the healthy fats in nuts also support a strong immunity!
1 head of red or green lettuce, chopped
1 medium apple, diced
1/4 cup red onions, julienned
1 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or the oil of your choice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (very important as an emulsifier!)
2 tsp raw organic local honey or a sweetener of your choice
Pinch of salt and pepper
First, whisk together all the dressing ingredients and set aside to let the flavors swirl.
Assemble the salad by sprinkling the apple, onions and nuts on top of your lettuce. Drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy!
DINNER: Salmon Sauteed in a Mushroom-Lemon Sauce
Flu season coincides with a drop in natural sunlight, and that might not be a coincidence. Vitamin D, the so-called “sunshine vitamin,” is key for general immune health and reducing your risks of catching the flu.
A single 3-ounce serving of this delicious salmon dinner offers you more than 400 IU of vitamin D.
And while it looks fancy and smells amazing, the secret is in the simple lemon-mushroom sauce. It’s delicate and flavorful and elevates this dish to 5-star restaurant status, all while taking just seconds to whip up. Meanwhile, the mushrooms add a smoky flavor (and more vitamin D) and the lemons boost this anti-flu dinner’s vitamin C levels.
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (ideally shiitake, which have higher levels of vitamin D)
2 tbsp butter or plant-based butter alternative
2 tbsp fresh, organic lemon juice
1/2 tsp fresh or dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
4 6-ounce salmon fillets (ideally not farmed, but instead wild sockeye from a sustainable fishery)
Saute the mushrooms and “butter” in a frying pan until the mushrooms are tender and fragrant. Once done, whisk in the lemon juice, dill weed, and salt and pepper.
Raise the heat to a gentle simmer and add in the salmon fillets. Cover, and let it fry and steam for a couple of minutes. Flip the salmon over and repeat until the salmon is fully cooked (it should be pink and flaky in the middle of each steak).
Remove from heat and let the fish “rest” for five minutes before serving.