But, right, the flu... All the talk out there about how bad it's been can make you feel a little helpless. Truth is there’s a lot more you can do to protect yourself, like fortifying your diet with the healing and protective ingredients in this curried cauliflower soup.
We have the opportunity at every meal to reinforce our bodies’ defenses and keep our immune systems in fighting shape to protect against and fight the flu naturally.
When your immune system is strong (ie. getting what it needs to operate in tip top form) it can do a much better job of fighting off disease-causing germs and protecting you from getting sick. Even if you do happen to come down with something, the stronger your immune is, the less time you’ll be sick and the faster you’ll recover and get back to your normal life.
So, your first defense is giving your immune system the building blocks it needs to operate optimally. Your second line is using foods that are natural antimicrobials that help fight viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
You probably already have some of these foods in your kitchen. They're common, everyday foods but they have strong antimicrobial properties and have been shown to be effective at fighting off viruses and infections. Just remember, these foods do not replace regular medicines or antibiotics but they can help prevent infection from taking place and can be beneficial in shortening the duration of an illness.
Garlic. Garlic is one of nature’s most powerful antimicrobials and is known to be potent against infection-causing bacteria, viruses, fungi and other bugs that can make you sick. Studies have shown regularly eating garlic not only reduces your risk of getting sick but can also reduce how long you are sick and the severity of symptoms should you happen to get sick (1, 2).
Onion. When you cut into an onion right away you know it’s powerful. You smell that strong pungent smell and your eyes well up with tears; the sulfuric compounds are at work. Those same compounds are toxic to disease-causing organisms like the flu virus.
Ginger. Studies have shown ginger to be even more powerful than common antibiotics against certain strains of bacteria (3). Ginger also works to clean out the lymphatic system (the body’s super highway for waste removal) and break down toxins that make you more susceptible to getting sick. And adding it to garlic and onion make it even stronger.
Turmeric. Curcumin, the anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric, is also a natural anti-viral and has been proven effective against strains of the flu virus (4).
Cauliflower. One cup of cauliflower contains about 3/4 of your daily requirement for vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the immune system and is your body’s first line defense against disease-causing pathogens.
Bone broth. A rich broth is like a liquid multi-mineral. Boiling animal bones and vegetables in water for an extended period of time draws out their immune-boosting, health-supportive minerals into the water making them easy for your body to absorb and assimilate.
Put all of these immune-boosting, disease-fighting ingredients together and their powers combine to form an incredibly health-supportive soup that’s just as a warming and delicious as it is good for you.
Curried Cauliflower Soup
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
4-6 cups bone broth
In a large pot heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, ginger and the rest of the spices and cook another minute.
Add carrot, celery and cauliflower and stir to coat everything with spices. Cook 3-5 minutes.
Add broth and cover to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15-20 minutes until all vegetables are tender enough to be pierced with a fork.
Allow to cool slightly and blend either using a hand-held immersion blender or a regular blender.
If using a regular blender, go slowly blending in batches and be careful not to overfill the blender (no more than halfway). Before blending, remove the blender cap and cover the opening with a dish towel so steam is able to escape. Start slowly and gradually work up speed as needed to blend.
Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.