Friday, September 23, 2011

God's Plan For Flu Season

Well, it's that time of year again! There's lots of beautiful turning leaves, cool, crisp weather and warm pots of soup. I absolutely love it, what an amazing creator we have! Unfortunately, along with all the beauty and cool weather comes... the flu. Along with hearing about how nice this cool weather is, I am constantly being asked if I will be getting the flu vaccine. Sometimes, along with the flu vaccine question, I often hear "Oh ya, and lots of Vit. C!" with a laugh as though this is just an after thought. Since I am one who chooses not to receive this vaccine, I make sure I am arming my own and my family's bodies with whatever I can to keep them healthy. This got me thinking about a few things...

Have you ever noticed that at the time flu season begins many of the most immune boosting fruits and veggies come into season? Think about it... Blackberries are in season until mid September, apples are in season from September to late October, citrus is from November till middle to end of January and don't even get me started on the squash and winter greens! Of course there are many more, which I'll get to later, but why do you think this is? As I began to research all the wonderful fall foods, I realized that God had given us his own flu vaccine. He knew that this time of year our bodies are under attack and we need a little something to help us fight back. In his infinite wisdom he has given us more than we could imagine to take care of our families and ourselves. We often underestimate the power that vitamins, minerals and even our bodies have to fight off illness and disease. Any time I dive a little deeper into things, be it flu season or something else, I am amazed and awed by how much thought our God put into every aspect of life. It's time for us to start really looking to the foods He created and how he wanted us to use them.

I wanted to give you a list of some of my favorite fall/winter foods with their healing properties. I hope you find this helpful!

Apples- Why does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Well, it's an excellent source of zinc, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and so much more! So take advantage of how sweet apples are right now and enjoy! These are a great way to fight off illness. Since they are in season right now they are quite affordable. For a family outing you can often find local apple orchards that let you pick your own apples for even less!

Asian Pears- These are truly my favorite fall fruit! They taste like candy, I can't get enough! These are high in vitamin C and folate. I find these are a bit pricey so they are normally a treat. Other pear varieties are cheaper and contain similar amounts of vit C. Like apples, you can sometimes find pears in local orchards that you can pick yourself.

Butternut Squash- Now, squash in general is an excellent source of immune boosting properties, so be sure to eat whatever squash variety you like. I just wanted to highlight butternut squash. They are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants as well as beta-carotene (Vit A) and fiber. In just 1 cup of squash there is nearly half the daily recommended dose of Vit C! It also contains B6 which is essential for your immune system to work properly and thats just a few of the amazing nutritional qualities. Butternut Squash is a rich and smooth squash, it is excellent turned into bread (like banana nut or pumpkin), stews, pureed soups and steamed served with a little butter and salt.

Sweet Potato- Sweet Potato is another excellent source for Vit C, B6, antioxidants and fiber. You can get up to 35% of your daily recommended amount of beta-carotene (Vit A). I love the variety of ways to prepare them from baked sweet potato fries to sweet potato bread to plane old baked sweet potato.

Pomegranate- Pomegranate can be a delicious yet time consuming treat and I often just purchase pomegranate juice. Im sure you have all heard about how rich these are in antioxidants, but they also contain folate, fiber and potassium. An added bonus is B3 which is sometimes used to treat depression, this is a great way to help fight off those winter seasonal blues! (I am NOT recommending that you stop taking medication and take B3 or that you take B3 without consulting a professional. Simply that B3 deficiencies can be avoided by pomegranate consumption! :)

Citrus- Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and tangerines are most well known for their high doses of Vitamin C. They are also high in anti oxidants and phytonutrients. Here is something else interesting, citrus, particularly pink citrus, contains components that may help fight off cancer.

Kale- Don't cringe, hear me out! When you mention kale most people I know immediately glaze over. Kale isn't usually a green you get excited about. However, it is an amazing source of Vit C, Vit A, Vit E, multiple B vitamins as well as lots of phytonutrients! This is a food that should be a regular part of everyones diet... If your not a fan (like myself) you might try kale chips. Personally, I like cheesey kale. You dehydrate the leaves until crispy and season them accordingly. They are like a chip! My husbands younger siblings say they taste just like cheetohs, I would agree. Because they are dried, the kale is still raw and you will receive all the health benefits from it.

There are many more immune boosting foods available in the fall. These are just a few I regularly include in my grocery list. To see more fall foods and how to tell if they are ripe, click here. I truly believe that God created these foods for a purpose, they are not just to please our palate! Rather than using "lots of Vit C" as an after thought, lets bring it to the front burner. In all out modern medicine it's easy to forget that God has his own superior tools. Lets teach our children about the amazing things God made for us and how he planned to keep us healthy. Let's show them how loving and caring our God is by showing them how he prepared for our needs.



"And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. " Deuteronomy 28:11-12

Written By Happily Domestic Contributer: Brittney Thompson
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3 comments:

Lark said...

Great blog post today! Vitamin D is also a great immune system booster. In fact, I have read that the only reason we have a flu season is because we tend to stay indoors during the colder months, therefore, not getting an abundant supply of vitamin D. Not sure if it's completely true, but it makes sense to me. A cousin of mine who is in nursing school said that Vitamin D was shown to kill flu virus in a petri dish.

~Lark

quiet ct said...

this post also makes me think that maybe humans are suppose to be vegetarians. All of these great vitamins from fruits and vegetables...pretty much the only thing we get from meat is protein, right?...and we can get that from healthy beans (fiber too).
I am not a vegetarian but I sure think about it alot, and this makes much more sense to me.

Brittney said...

Lark-

Thank you, Im glad you liked it! You are so right, I try to get outside at least 20 minutes everyday, regardless of the temperature. I should probably try and find a Vit D supplement as where we are right now is so much colder than where I grew up. Thanks for commenting!

Quiet ct-

I am constantly wondering that myself, if only I didn't like meat so much... I am amazed at what God provides in our food though. All the new studies are showing so much of the thought He put in to even the tiniest details.
Thanks for commenting!

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