14 Foods That Fight Illness

Six pioneering doctors share their favorite recipes for foods that fight illness naturally—no drugstore needed.

| January/February 2015

  • Naturally boost immune function with foods that fight illness.
    Photo by Thomas Gibson

Enterovirus, ebola, swine flu—it seems as if every year there is a new crop of illnesses to worry about. Although it can be easy to fret when cold and flu season comes around, our best defense is in keeping our bodies strong with the power of a healthy diet. We have known about the healing powers of food since at least the time of the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who famously said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Foods That Fight Illness

Sautéed Wild Mushrooms Recipe
Spicy Mussels Recipe with Kale
Pomegranate Kale Salad Recipe
Ginger-Carrot Soup Recipe
Elderberry Cough Syrup Recipe
Essential Herbal Elixir Recipe for Immune Health

It’s interesting that the father of Western medicine promoted an idea that it seems many Western medical practitioners—often quicker to prescribe drugs than lifestyle habits—now seem to have lost a connection with. (Hippocrates also said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.”)

The medical professionals included in this article all stand with Hippocrates’ wise counsel, and so they offer you a proactive prescription for winter illnesses in the form of delicious recipes and useful kitchen tips. Happy cooking, and here’s to your health!

5 Food-Based Tips for a Strong Immune System

1. Eat garlic, onions, ginger & lots of spices (such as oregano, turmeric, cinnamon and sage). Add spices and herbs to soups, stews, casseroles, meats and vegetables, as well as bean dips and sauces. Garlic and onions offer wide-spectrum antimicrobial properties.

2. Eat many servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins A, C and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes and squashes. Aim for three to four servings of fruits and four or more servings of vegetables daily.

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