Kicking The Flu With Delicious Food!

I posted “‘Curing’ the Common Cold” about a week ago when I thought I had a slight cold….well, turns out I had the flu.  Yesterday was my first day without a fever and I actually felt a lot better, but I decided to take today off of work because whenever I get sick I tend to do too much right away and get sick again so I decided to learn from my mistakes.

Anyhow, I felt much better and I believe what Andrew and I ate for dinner helped.  They say chicken noodle soup really does help get rid of the common cold. This article from the NY Times points out one of the reasons why it might:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/12/the-science-of-chicken-soup/?_r=0

just to name one.

I did not have Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner by the way.  I actually made chicken in the crock pot (with Andrew’s help because I felt like I could hardly move).  I’m not one for measuring so I can’t give you exact measurements but here’s what we did…

Into the crock pot went:

2 lbs Chicken (about)
Orange Juice
1 Chopped Onion
2 Fresh Garlic Cloves
1/2 of a Serrano Pepper
Rosemary and Thyme Spices

Directions:

Put the chicken into the crock pot, pour orange juice over it until the orange juice covers about 2/3 of the chicken, then sprinkle rosemary and thyme into the crock pot.  I put the crock pot on high for 4 hours (because I didn’t start until mid-day).  When Andrew got home, he cut up the onion, garlic, and serrano pepper and threw it in with about an two hours to go.

Conclusion

The chicken was fantastic! But the best part was the broth.  The broth is what made me feel amazing.  I didn’t want to drink it at first, but Andrew insisted it would make me feel better, and boy was he right! It felt great going down and I felt even better in the morning.  I have to make homemade broth more often!

I had tried everything, tea all day, orange juice, soup, including chicken noodle…nothing helped until we made this. But I think for now on, I’m going to remember to be good to my body again so I don’t get sick in the first place!

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How Hard Is It To Get Your Recommended Daily Value Of Vitamins?

Getting enough vitamins is essential to our health, but what I’ve always wondered is, if it is that essential and as hard as people say to get our recommended value to the point we would need to take supplements, why would our bodies work like that? I’m a firm believer that the Earth gives us all we need to cure ailments, to live healthily.

And so, I gathered information to show you, maybe getting your daily value isn’t really that difficult.  Here goes:

Vitamin A

Top Foods:

Sweet Potato, 1 whole baked in skin – 561% daily value
Spinach, 1/2 cup frozen and boiled – 229% daily value
Carrots, 1/2 cup raw – 184% daily value

Benefits: Promotes vision, cell growth, a healthy heart, lungs, kidneys, skin and hair health.

Red Flags of Deficiency: Diarrhea, night blindness, low iron, anemia

The B Vitamin:

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Top Foods:

Tuna, 4 oz – 38% daily value
Sunflower Seeds, 1 cup – 140% daily value
Navy Beans, 1 cup cooked – 29% daily value
Black Beans, 1 cup cooked – 28% daily value
Green Peas, 1 cup raw – 24% daily value

Benefits: Maintains body’s energy supply, coordinates the activity of nerves and muscles, supports heart function

Red Flags of Deficiency: Loss of appetite, pins and needles sensations, feeling of numbness, muscle tenderness

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Top Foods:

Yogurt, 1 cup – 31% daily value
Soybeans, 1 cup cooked – 29% daily value
Mushrooms, 1 cup -25% daily value
Spinach, 1 cup cooked -24% daily value
Almonds, 1 cup – 72% daily value
Eggs, 1 whole – 15% daily value

Benefits: Helps protect cells from oxygen damage, supports cellular energy production, helps maintains your supply of other B vitamins

Red Flags of Deficiency: Sensitivity to light, tearing, burning and itching around eyes, soreness and cracking skin around mouth

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Top Foods:

Chicken, 4 oz – 78% daily value
Tuna, 4 oz – 68% daily value
Turkey, 4 oz – 43% daily value
Halibut, 4 oz – 40% daily value
Lamb, 4 oz – 39% daily value
Beef, 4 oz – 38% daily value
Salmon, 4 oz – 38% daily value
Peanuts, 1 cup – 88% daily value

Benefits: Helps lower cholesterol levels, helps stabilize blood sugar, supports genetic processes in the body’s cells, helps the body process fats

Red Flags of Deficiency: Muscular weakness, lack of appetite, skin infections, digestive problems

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Top Foods:

Avocado, 1 cup – 20% daily value
Yogurt, 1 cup – 14.5% daily value
Mushrooms, 1 cup – 13% daily value
Corn, 1 cup – 12% daily value
Sweet Potato, 1 cup baked – 10% daily value

Benefits: Helps turn carbs and fats into energy, supports adrenal glands

Red Flags of Deficiency: Fatigue, listlessness, sensations of weakness, numbness and tingling

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Top Foods:

Chickpeas, 1 cup canned – 55% daily value
Tuna, 4 oz – 59% daily value
Chicken, 4 oz – 34% daily value
Turkey, 4 oz – 32% daily value
Potatoes, 1 baked – 27% daily value
Cod, 4 oz – 26% daily value
Sunflower Seeds, 1 cup – 93%

Benefits: Supports the nervous system, promotes breakdown of sugars and starches, helps prevent homocysteine build up in the blood

Red Flags of Deficiency: Fatigue, anemia, skin disorders including eczema and seborrheic dermatitis, convulsions or seizures

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

(There is no recommended daily value of Biotin)

Top Foods:

Chicken
Egg Yolk
Organ Meats
Soybeans
Brewer’s Yeast

Benefits: Helps promote healthy hair, skin, and nails

Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid)

Top Foods:

Spinach, 1/2 cup boiled – 33% daily value
Black Eyed Peas, 1 cup boiled – 26% daily value
White Rice, 1/2 cup cooked – 23% daily value
Asparagus, 4 spears boiled – 22% daily value
Quinoa, 42.5g – 19.6% daily value

Benefits: Helps prevent anemia, supports red blood cell production, supports proper nerve function, helps prevent bone fractures, helps prevent dementia, supports cell production especially in skin, prevents homocysteine build up in the blood

Red Flags of Deficiency: Irritability, mental fatigue, forgetfulness, confusion, depression, insomnia, muscular fatigue, gingivitis

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

Top Foods:

Clams, 3 oz cooked – 1402% daily value
Sardines, 4 oz – 135% daily value
Salmon, 4 oz – 110% daily value
Lamb, 4 oz – 40% daily value
Yogurt, 1 cup – 23% daily value

Benefits: Supports production of red blood cells, prevents anemia, promotes nerve cell development, helps cells metabolize protein, carbs, and fat

Red Flags of Deficiency: Red or sore tongue, tingling or numbness, nervousness, heart palpitations, depression, memory problems

Vitamin C

Top Foods: 

Papayas, 1 whole – 313% daily value
Bell Peppers, 1 cup raw – 196% daily value
Strawberries, 1 cup – 141% daily value
Broccoli, 1 cup raw – 135% daily value
Pineapple, 1 cup – 131% daily value
Brussel Sprouts, 1 cup raw – 125% daily value
Oranges, 1 whole – 116% daily value

Benefits: Helps support immune system, wound healing, prevents cataracts, acts as a natural antihistamine

Red Flags of Deficiency: Poor wound healing, frequent colds and infections

Vitamin D

Top Foods:

Cod Liver Oil, 1 Tbsp – 340% daily value
Swordfish, 3 oz cooked – 142% daily value
Salmon (Sockeye), 3 oz cooked – 112% daily value

Benefits: Promotes healthy bones, modulation of cell growth, helps regulate the immune system, helps regulate blood pressure, lowers risk of bacterial infections, supports cognitive function, supports mood stability, prevents fatigue

Red Flags of Deficiency: Muscle aches and weakness, bone pain, bone fractures, soft bones, lowered immunity, low energy, depression, stunted growth in children, asthma in children, impaired cognitive function

Vitamin K

Top Foods:

Kale, 1 cup cooked – 1327% daily value
Spinach, 1 cup cooked – 1110% daily value
Collard Greens, 1 cup cooked 1045% daily value
Turnip Greens, 1 cup cooked – 661% daily value
Mustard Greens, 1 cup cooked – 524% daily value
Brussel Sprouts, 1 cup raw – 194% daily value
Parsley, 2 Tbsp – 155% daily value
Romain Lettuce, 2 cups – 120% daily value
Broccoli, 1 cup raw – 115% daily value

Benefits: Helps blood clotting, healthy bones, prevents calcification of your arteries

Red Flags of Deficiency: Excessive bleeding including menstrual, gum, digestive tract, or nose, easy bruising, bone fractures and bone weakening, calcification of blood vessels or heart valve

Conclusion

If you had a salad that included of 1 cup of Spinach and 1 cup of Bell Peppers, you would have reached your recommended daily value of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. Add 4 oz of Salmon, and you now have your recommended value of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, as well.  Add 1 cup of Sunflower Seeds, now you have Vitamin B1 and B6.  Almost all of your vitamins in one meal.  (not to mention 66% of Vitamin B9)

And so, if you like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins such as chicken and fish – you could easily get all of your recommended daily values of vitamins.

“Curing” The Common Cold

I seemed to have come down with a slight cold, and seeing as everyone hates having the cold, this was a good motivator for making a blog post on “curing” the common cold, or in other words, getting rid of it as fast as you can!

Now, I personally don’t use any special remedies, and I thought I’d let you know this has always worked for me.  So instead of selling you an herbal remedy with promises of benefits that haven’t been proven, I thought I would give it to you straight.  I stick to the fluid rule.  Lots of fluids in, lots of fluids out, rid your body of toxins and help your body get rid of what it doesn’t want.

What do I drink?

I drink mainly tea, sometimes just water, every couple of hours for two days, and usually by the third day, my cold is gone.  Any type of tea works fine, I usually switch between different herbal teas, jasmine green teas, and oolong tea; chamomile and sleepy time tea if I want to sleep.

And if you really feel a need to go out to the store and buy healthy ingredients because you think tea just can’t do it…

There is no need to go out and buy tons of ingredients and herbs, you can add honey if you’d like because honey has some great health benefits.  Seeing as I could write a full blog post on honey and it’s benefits, I’ll save that for another time.

And what about if you don’t have the cold yet but you just KNOW it’s coming!

If you don’t yet have the cold, but you feel like you’re about to come down with one, you can also drink orange juice.  I swear by Tropicana orange juice! It may not be organic or fresh, and I’m sure if you’re willing to juice yourself, then fresh is 10x better, but if you don’t have the time, Tropicana work just fine.  I tend to buy 2 small single bottles of orange juice and drink both, one right after the other, when I feel a cold coming on.  Now, it could be because I wasn’t going to get the cold anyways and I was being over cautious, or it could really work because, Well, Hello! Packed with Vitamin C! Either way, I never have a cold when I wake up the next day.

…But I have acid reflux!

Of course if you have acid reflux or you’re sensitive to citrus, then maybe 2 bottles of orange juice may not be the right choice.  But I would recommend some form of Vitamin C in the form of fruits, vegetables, or juices.  And I would also recommend lots of fluids once again.  It’s amazing how much of a difference getting enough water makes in your day to day life.  That said, I’m almost always dehydrated because I always forget to drink enough, but when I do get enough water my skin feels better, my joints feel better, and I breathe better.

Stay healthy this winter! And don’t forget, drink lots of fluids!