Nothing is less fun than a case of the summer sniffles. This season, many of my patients--and I, too--have spent a hot summer day nursing a cold. Here are a few things to cut out of your diet to help you get well in time to hit the beach.
While You're Sick...
- Skip the starchy comfort foods. We tend to crave them, especially when we're sick. But in fact, these foods (gluten/wheat, soy, dairy) can actually stress the immune system when its resourcees should be focused on fighting the infection. So instead of a grilled cheese and juice, opt for something a little less carb-y, like a salad topped with the protein of your choice, or try a nutrition-packed smoothie.
- Skip the noodles (unless they're gluten free). Chicken soup is great--if you cut out the noodles (though you can opt for noodles made from quinoa, brown rice, or other gluten-free types). Add a side of simple steamed greens dressed in lemon juice.
- Skip the OJ (for now). Staying hydrated is key--but while we were all taught to guzzle the OJ, you're better off with water. Not only is orange juice loaded with sugar, but citrus has also been shown to stress the immune system. If you're bored with water, opt for coconut water (has lots of great minerals), peppermint tea to open the sinuses, ginger tea to soothe an upset tummy or try this cocoa drink from my book Ultimate You: (cocoa contains theobromide which is good for a cough). Skip the orange juice and take a vitamin C supplement to avoid the added sugar and the citrus.
Brooke Kalanick, N.D., LAc is a naturopathic doctor and a graduate of Bastyr University, and the co-author of Ultimate You: A 4-Phase Total Body Makeover for Women Who Want Maximum Results. Visit her at betterbydrbrooke.com.