Build your immune system health for the coming winter season…
Our lungs are vulnerable in the fall, and it is easy to catch a cold or flu. In Chinese medicine, fall is the season associated with lungs and respiratory health, so we recommend foods to strengthen them. Foods such as onions, garlic, and other naturally spicy foods are known to protect the respiratory system.
Dr. Irwin Ziment, a professor at UCLA, discovered a fascinating correlation. He found that Hispanics who take chilies for respiratory problems but smoke in the polluted Los Angeles area have a surprisingly low rate of lung cancer (Pitchford, 2002). In addition, radishes, turnips, ginger, cabbage, and white pepper are considered mildly spicy in flavor and will help strengthen the lungs. The age-old remedy of chicken soup for fighting respiratory infection works as well. It is even more effective with the addition of garlic and chilies. Pears and especially Asian pears are another traditional remedy for lung irritation from illness or pollution, and can help soothe a dry cough.
Keeping our diets focused on whole foods from quality sources like the farmer’s market will help keep you healthy into the winter months. Consider eating raspberries and blackberries for immune enhancement on a consistent basis. Also important are a wide variety of nuts and mushrooms for immune system wellness. We suggest choosing a hearty breakfast of oatmeal with a handful of berries, slivered toasted almonds, a bit of almond milk and ok, a touch of brown sugar. YUM!