It’s that time of year again: The leaves are falling from the trees, you’re getting out your comfy sweaters, and yes, you’re also getting sick.
“What happens is, most of us have a weakened immune system because we haven’t been treating our body the way it’s supposed to be treated. And the more we do that, the more our system breaks down,” says Nikki Ostrower, NYC nutritional expert and founder of NAO Nutrition (who’s also opening a wellness center later this fall). “We become more susceptible to the pathogens around us, and so we catch things from other people. But the good news is there are definite remedies out there that can help us build our immune system and protect ourselves.”
To help you get ready for the seasonal craziness that will soon come—after all, it is the first day of fall—Ostrower shared with Domino some of her favorite recipes to help fight colds and flu, as well as the superfood ingredients one should incorporate into one’s diet all year long.
SOUPER Immunity Soup
First up? Her immunity soup. “Bone broth—they call chicken soup Jewish penicillin for a reason—has all these minerals, amino acids, magnesium, phosphorous, and glutamine to keep the gut strong. When the body sees a foreign invader coming in, it can protect it and nip it in the bud, thanks to the strengthening effects of the broth,” says Ostrower. “And the Gynostemma tea is a traditional adaptogenic herb in Chinese medicine, which is used to reduce fatigue and increase vigour. It improves digestion and strengthens your mind, as well as has an anti-inflammatory impact on the body.”
Berrylicious Immune Booster Bowl
“My secret ingredients for this booster bowl are the collagen powder and elderberry syrup,” says Ostrower. “The collagen detoxifies and boost the metabolism, but it also strengthens the gut, which automatically helps your immune system. The elderberry syrup was used by Hippocrates, the father of medicine, back in BC, and has been proven to reduce symptoms of cold and flu, and even prevent the duration of the disease by four days on average.”
Flu Buster Shot
“I love wellness shots,” says Ostrower. “The problem with traditional medicine is it fights disease, but also breaks your body down. Food is an inside job, while antibiotics strip your gut naked and kill both the good and bad bacteria. So, it will heal you in the interim, but leave your body more weakened.”
“For this particular shot, ginger protects against various pathogens; it’s anti-influenza, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It helps clear lungs of mucus, while the cayenne increases circulation. And the raw honey (it has to be raw because regular honey is pasteurized) helps to soothe the throat,” she continues.