We are about to enter into the holidays and with that comes more to do and very little time to get it all done. And the cold and flu season will be upon us at the same time. Thus it’s vitally important that these five foods are enjoyed more during the holidays to keep us strong and vital all winter long. These winter foods will boost the immune system, and help us to enjoy the holidays with a good mood and lots of vitality.
Elderberries and Sauerkraut
Elderberries are usually harvested in the fall and they are either dried, frozen, made into syrups and capsules by the time the holidays roll around. Elderberries are a powerful food for the holidays. A study in 2004 showed significant improvement in flu patients who were given elderberry extract. Elderberry has antioxidant properties and boosts the immune system helping with bacterial and viral infections. Elderberries also contains anthocyanin which is a good anti-inflammatory agent, plus elderberries also contains Vitamins A, B and C and amino acids, carotenoids, and minerals. Elderberry juice and extract can lower cholesterol and especially LDL or bad cholesterol caused by all that rich food during the holidays. And elderberry Juice also helps lower blood sugar and is effective in treatment of colds, coughs, and congestion, and protects against cardiovascular and heart diseases. And Elderberry is good for improving our eye sight and for stress reduction… and we all have lots of stress during the holidays.
Sauerkraut is made from cabbage which grow during the fall and even throughout the winter in some areas. And to preserve all that cabbage it’s naturally fermented into sauerkraut thus it contains lots of probiotic bacteria to boost up our immune system. Probiotics help us stay healthy during the holidays by protecting us from colds and flues. Probiotic bacteria keep our GI tract healthy with good bacteria, and because of the lactic acid in sauerkraut it also soothes the GI tract helping to prevent diarrhea and inflammation of our GI tract. Sauerkraut also contains Vitamin C to fight off viral and bacterial invaders. In the old days sauerkraut was enjoyed all winter long, perhaps it’s time to go back to eating lots of sauerkraut during the holidays.
Most people have dug out their garlic for the season and have them in a cool dry place for the winter. Thus we can have lots of fresh garlic during the holidays when we need garlic the most. Garlic contains allicin which in double blind studies has been shown to cut our probability of coming down with a cold or flu by 50%. But allicin must be taken in it’s raw natural form as fresh garlic. And garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure and manage blood pressure for long periods of time… and during the holidays we need to lower our blood pressure because of all the stress.
Garlic contains lots of B Vitamins, A and C Vitamins and zinc to boosting our immune system and lots of other trace minerals such as iron and copper for anemia, and tryptophan for helping us get a good nights rest… and rest is vitally important during the holidays. Garlic is a good antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agent making it great for preventing and curing all kinds of diseases. Garlic is one of the best all around preventatives for disease on the planet. And Garlic Tea is powerful… and it makes a wonderful tea for healing colds and flues during the holidays. Garlic contains diallyl sulphide, quercetin, nitrosamine, aflatoxin, allin, ajoene, and more great antioxidants that slow the aging process and protect our DNA. Taking 2 fresh cloves and cut them up and swallowing them with honey, will sooth away gas, indigestion, sore throats, and boost our immune system during the holidays.
Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkin
Now that the holiday season is upon us perhaps we need to be reminded of the the great health benefits of Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are full of B-6 Vitamins which is important for reducing inflammation and which also helps reduce arthritis, cardiovascular problems, and also strokes. Sweet potatoes are also filled with a good amount of iron that helps our blood transport more oxygen and powers up our muscles, boosts your immune system, and also helps with stress. And most people don’t get enough magnesium which helps us feel relaxed.
And we can obtain lots of Vitamin D from sweet potatoes which is vital for enhancing our mood and giving us a real boost of energy. Sweet potatoes are full of betacarotene which is a great anti-oxidant that helps with free radicals… and what I like most about Sweet Potatoes is that they break down into glucose much slower than other starches thus making them important for diabetics for stabilizing blood glucose. Bake them, mash them, grill them, make long strings out of them with a peeler and make Sweet Potato pasta, sweet potatoes are great food for the holidays.
Pumpkins and winter squash will keep well all winter long if kept in a cool dry place. And during the holidays pumpkins are important because they contain lots of nutrients that boost our immune system and help with stress.
Pumpkin is just one type of winter squash, this family also includes Butter Nut, Hubbard, Turban, Kabocha, Acorn, Spaghetti Squash, White Pumpkins, Blue Kokkaido Pumpkins, Cheese Pumpkins, Red Kuri Pumpkins, Sweet Dumpling Pumpkins, and other less know winter squash. These orange fleshed squash have amazing amounts of beta carotene and Vitamin A. In fact they contain 300 times the RDA of Vitamin A which is a powerful antioxidant. And pumpkin contains lots of fiber which creates a wonderful place for probiotic bacteria to grow and boost our immune system. Winter Squash works wonders for staving off disease because they are packed full of lots of great antioxidants that protect us from colds, flues, cardiovascular disease, strokes, and even cancer. One cup of Winter Squash provides over 18,000 micrograms of beta carotenoids a powerful antioxidant.
Pumpkin also contains Cucurbitacin which is a great anti-inflammatory and Cucurbitacin is a antimicrobial agent that kills invading bacteria and viruses.
So enjoy a few foods that we normally have around during the holiday season. Eating what we have during specific seasons is important because Mother Nature is trying to keep us healthy with her bounty of great foods.
Dr. Paul Haider - Master Herbalist
This information is meant to get you started… so you can do more research on your own… dig a little deeper and find what works for you. This article is for educational purposes only, I strongly recommend that you seek advice from your own GP, private doctor, or medical specialist for any ailment, illness, or medical condition.. this article not meant to be a scientific analysis in any way, shape, or form.
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist and Spiritual Teacher for over 25 years, helping people to recover and feel healthy. You can also find Dr. Haider on FB under Dr. Paul Haider, Healing Herbs, and at www.paulhaider.com – feel free to connect with him any time.
Here is a short video bio - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK6Eg-xlX3U
Dr. Paul Haider, Master Herbalist, HH, USA, Health and Wellness, Five Important Foods for the Holiday Season, Boost Immune System, Help with Stress, Get through the Holidays, Antibacterial, Anti-viral, Elderberries and Sauerkraut, Pumpkin and Sweet Potatoes, Garlic, Foods we have during the winter, Winter Squash, Keep Away Colds, and Flues, Help with Stress, Improve Mood, Healing Foods,