Don’t you just love the flu? Nothing like a bout of head spinning, body aching, coughing and sneezing to make you feel on top of the world. I’m slowly coming back to life after a particularly nasty bout, and with energy levels bordering on the comatose, my body is in serious need of repair. Thankfully, I’ve been talking to someone who knows exactly how I can repair it. Vicki Edgson is, quite simply, one of the best nutritionists in the world. Not only does she run several health clinics in London (where she offers dietary advice, health screening and blood tests), she’s also the author of several books including her most recent, Honestly Healthy (more on that in a future post) and founder of the fabulous Vital Energy retreats in the UK and Ibiza. Vicki has been kind enough to recommend to us the five best foods for building your body up after the flu. Take note. If you’re unlucky enough to be struck down, these are exactly what you need to get up and running again.
Vicki’s top five foods to build you up after the Flu
1) Barley: This mineral-rich grain is often thought of as rather old-fashioned but is, in fact, one of the best grains you can include to boost immunity, and get you back on track. Use it as an alternative for risottos, add to vegetable soups, or cook it, cool it, and use it as a base for substantial winter salads.
2) Chicken (organic only): The old Jewish Mother’s Soup remedy for all ills, chicken is a rich source of zinc, that’s vital for the Natural Killer cell production in our immune system. Take the whole carcass and simmer it gently with onions, garlic, celery, carrots and all other root vegetables to make a hearty, warming soup. (Add barley for the benefits above!)
3) Spirulina powder: Containing the highest serving of cholorphyll, this micro-algae will pick you up faster than most other food-state supplements. Add to smoothies, with bee pollen, green matcha tea powder, oats, almond milk and a banana, or avocado (the best green smoothie you will drink!) for its rich source of Omega nutrition and vitamin E.
4) Chia seed shots (ChiaCo). The richest source of vegetarian Omega-3 for supporting your immune system and making sure the dryness of skin caused by the flu, is properly re-hydrated. Add to morning porridge or muesli, or smoothies with blueberries, raspberries or cranberries for their antioxidant benefits, and abundant vitamin C.
5) Mixed Berries. You can buy large 5 kg frozen packs, as the vitamin C and beta-carotene is not lost in the freezing process. Take out one cup and allow to thaw overnight, then blitz with porridge oats, quinoa milk and banana until smooth. (You can add Chia shots too!)