Nutritionists Agree—These 5 Healing Foods Are Better Than Cold Medicine

Kelsey Clark

Flu season is upon us, meaning we'll soon be digging through our medicine cabinets in search of a magical antidote. But as Well+Good put it, healing and long-term health don't start at the pharmacy—they start in the kitchen. The health and wellness site recently spoke with Sophie Manolas, a clinical nutritionist and author of The Essential Edible Pharmacy, about the foods to eat when you're starting to fall ill.

"What you put in your mouth can have an enormous influence on the digestive tract and the balance of healthy gut flora, which has been scientifically proven to affect all kinds of conditions from mental health to immune response," explains Manolas. Her process goes something like this: First, she analyzes a patient's condition and determines what deficiencies may be causing it. Then, she looks at what they eat in a week and recommends certain foods to balance out their nutritional profile.

When it comes to common cold-weather illnesses, Manolas has a natural antidote for everything. She recommends parsnips for stress relief, coconut oil for flu symptoms, ginger if you're feeling nauseous, lemon water to cure headaches, and pineapple to relieve cold symptoms. Rather than loading up on Emergen-C pre-cold or -flu, she suggests snacking on freshly cut red peppers, green smoothies, or kale salads to give your body an immunity boost.

Head over to Well+Good for the rest of Sophie Manolas's recommendations, and share your thoughts on her approach below.

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