Superfoods for the sick

It's that time of year when colds and strep throat run rampant through offices and schools. I was hit hard with a nasty head cold the past three days. I've never sneezed so much in my life. I only got up to make soup, smoothies, tea, take spoonfuls of this natural remedy or drink a glass of water.

When sickness strikes what do you eat? I turn to whole, nutrient dense soups and smoothies. I prefer homemade soups because they have so much more flavor and less sodium than canned or boxed soups. I also get to control the ingredients that go into the soup, adding extra superfoods to boost my immunity. I made a coconut carrot soup and this superfood packed miso soup. A few reasons why the ingredients in this soup are considered to be superfoods.

Garlic & onions: From the allium family, the sulfur compounds are thought to have incredible anti-biotic and anti-viral powers for fighting infection. Garlic reduces sinusitis, influenza, cholesterol, eat troubles, blood pressure. Also reduces fever by causing the body to perspire. Onions are an excellent source of immune-supportive, vitamin C.

Mushrooms: Help reduce mucus and toxins. High in protein and a good source of vitamin B2 and zinc. Great for boosting immunity.

Miso: A fermented soybean paste containing live lactic acid bacteria and enzymes that help digestion. Also contains zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, tryptophan, and vitamin K. Zinc is very beneficial to the immune system.

Kombu: Kombu is a type of seaweed. Adding kombu to boiling water not only flavors the broth, but adds essential vitamins and minerals like iodine, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A and C. Vitamin C is essential for fighting infection. 

Cilantro: An herb that supports perspiration which means it treats fever. Also soothes nausea, headaches, and coughs. Cilantro is thought to safely rid the body of toxins.
Miso soup can be made in minutes, which is perfect if you're feeling pretty awful. The most difficult part is boiling water.

Miso soup
1.5 c water
1 stick kombu
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
2 dried mushrooms
2 tsp miso paste
1 green onion, sliced
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tsp seaweed gomasio mix*

Boil 1.5 cups of water. Remove from heat, add the kombu, garlic, mushrooms. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Take 2 tbsp of water and put into a smaller dish. Add the miso and stir well, dissolving into a thick sauce. Add the miso to the bowl of soup along with the onion, cilantro and gomasio. Enjoy!

*A blend of seaweed, sesame, sea salt. Eden Foods makes this or you could make your own.

Bauman College, NE Handbook, 2008., 2012.
Wood, Rebecca. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, 2010.