Catch me on KUSI, Channel 9 in San Diego, on Friday, February 24 at 9am discussing healthy breakfast options to fight flu and cold season!
Power Up Your Breakfast to Fight Colds and Flu!
Cold and flu season is in high gear right now. What can you do to defend yourself? A great way is to begin your day with a breakfast packed with powerful antioxidants to help prevent catching a cold and lessen the symptoms if you are already sick.
Antioxidants are essential nutrients and help protect your body against life’s stressors. They are thought to play a role in the body’s cell protection system. They interfere with the disease process by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can disrupt and tear apart vital cell structures such as cell membranes. Antioxidants may take away the destructive power of free radicals, thus helping to reduce your chance of illness. They may also help you recover from an illness more quickly.
Including more raw fruits and vegetables in your diet is the best way to ensure a high intake of antioxidants. If you follow the guidelines issued by most health organizations and eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, you can easily get enough antioxidants. For example, one quarter of a cantaloupe gives you nearly half the recommended daily requirement of beta-carotene and is a rich source of vitamin C. Spinach is not only full of beta-carotene, but also contains vitamin C, folic acid, and magnesium. Acai berries are one of the highest sources of antioxidants, while blueberries and raspberries are also a delicious and nutritious choice.
Another important choice is to eliminate dairy and gluten from your diet if you are finding you have chronic stuffy nose and/or hoarseness in your throat. It may be that you have cold symptoms or it could be that you are allergic to dairy and gluten, found in wheat, barley, rye and through cross contamination, oats. Dairy creates dampness in the body and causes congestion. Gluten also causes stuffy nose and congestion. Try eliminating these two top allergens for at least two weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
There are many tasty substitutes for dairy. I truly love coconut milk and am so glad that it is easy to find at your local natural food store. So-delicious brand has an unsweetened variety that is perfect for smoothies. You can also try almond milk, hemp milk or rice milk.
So instead of making an ordinary smoothie, raise the bar by adding ingredients that will provide you with all the daily recommended vitamins and minerals. Adding ingredients like acai, coconut milk, whole food protein powder and fish or flax oil will make your breakfast smoothie complete.
Here are two breakfast recipes to power up your immune system: a nutient rich Power Berry Smoothie accompanied by Berry Boosted Buckwheat Flax Pancakes.
Power Berry Smoothie, (gluten, dairy and soy free)
1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries and/or strawberries)
1 pack Sambazonfrozen organic Acai Puree
1-2 teaspoons flax oil or try Barlean’sOmega Swirl Pina Colada Fish Oil (it tastes so amazing, you won’t believe it!)
1- 1 1/2 cups So-delicious unsweetened coconut milk
1 scoop Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer (I recommend this because it is gluten, dairy, soy and animal protein free)
Place frozen fruit, acai puree, flax or fish oil, coconut milk and Vega in blender. Blend until smooth. Add more coconut milk if too thick.
Berry Boosted Buckwheat Flax Pancakes, (gluten, dairy and soy free)
1 1/2 cups Buckwheat Flax Pancake Mix from The Pure Pantry
1 3/4 cups So-delicious Coconut Milk or Almond Milk
1 teaspoon flax seed oil
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
Agave nectar and more berries for the top of pancakes
Preheat pancake griddle or pan to medium heat. Measure pancake mix and coconut milk into large bowl. Whisk together. Add flax oil and blend. Grease pan with coconut oil. Pour about 1/2 cup batter to form pancake. Drop blueberries and raspberries into pancake as it cooks on the first side. After about 2 minutes flip pancake over and cook an additional minute. Enjoy your super-antioxidant breakfast and stay healthy!