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Soup, tea and sympathy: What to eat when you are sick

KRT LIFESTYLE STORY SLUGGED: TEAROOMS KRT PHOTOGRAPH BY BOB THAYER/PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-BULLETIN (KRT3-May 13) A soothing cup of tea is poured from fine china at Tickles County Shoppe in Swansea, Massachusetts, where the tea room is thematically colonial -- complete with a warming fireplace for those cool and damp New England days. Across the nation, coffee shops are headed for some steep competition as the number of tearooms rapidly increases. On the West Coast alone, there are over 300 authentic English tearooms. (PJB) AP, PL (jak20019) 1998 (COLOR) NO MAGS, NO SALES (Additional photos available on KRT/PressLink or upon request.) This photo may be of interest to At-Risk Readers.

Avery Driggers

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Noses are running wild, and the Student Health Center is standing room only. That’s right, it’s flu season again, folks. And this year’s yo-yo temperatures and scatterbrained storm patterns have many people feeling especially under-the-weather.

So, if the flu, crud or stomach bug have you feeling down, try these pick-me-up recipes and tips.

 

1. Chicken Noodle Soup:

No surprise here, but Mom’s chicken noodle soup really does make you feel better. Chicken soup has an amino acid called cysteine that is released by cooked chicken. Cysteine, as well as other soup ingredients, reduces inflammation, and salty broths help thin mucus.

If you think your stomach can handle it, try adding coconut milk to your soups. The richness pumps up the comfort food factor, and new studies show that coconut milk is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial. Also, ginger, garlic and spices can help clear up sinuses when congested.

 

Thai Chicken Soup: (Recipe and picture courtesy of http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/images/20090902-seriouslysick-soup.jpg )

Ingredients

1 quart chicken stock

1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated

1 clove garlic, freshly grated

Juice of one lemon or lime plus zest

Sea salt to taste

Optional garnishes: cilantro, basil, scallions, green onion, mint, mushrooms, carrots

Directions

Bring the chicken stock to a boil, skimming off any foam that accumulates.

Add the coconut milk, chili flakes, ginger and lemon juice to the chicken stock. Reduce heat and cover for 10 minutes.

Add salt to taste and sprinkle with garnishes.

 

2. Chamomile Tea

Most hot tea will make your throat feel better, but chamomile is the one that will help prevent sickness. Chamomile tea boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, relaxes nerves and soothes the stomach.

Basically, chamomile is a cup of cure-all. Try adding lemongrass, cinnamon, apple slices, ginger or peppermint to your tea for additional flavor.

 

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal helps activate white blood cells that fight off bacteria and viruses. The white blood cells are activated by beta-glucans found in fiber foods, and steel-cut oats have almost double the amount of beta-glucans found in rolled, quick-oats.

Oatmeal Muffins  (Recipe and picture courtesy of http://www.mccanns.ie/recipes/r_hmuffin2.html)

Ingredients

1 cup of Oatmeal

1 cup flour

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup honey

1 cup raisins

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the muffin pan or line with paper baking cups.

Lightly toast sunflower seeds for about five minutes. (But take care: They burn easily!)

Combine the toasted sunflower seeds, the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and raisins in a large mixing bowl and stir them together with a fork. In another bowl, mix the milk, eggs, honey and butter. Then add the combined dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until just blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

 

4. Wine

Wine is well known for its heart-healthy traits, but when enjoyed before a meal, it can also help prevent food poisoning before it happens. Based on a study done at Oregon State University, wine can kill E. coli, listeria and salmonella pathogens. Researchers say that all wine has some effect, but red wines are the most powerful.

 

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Soup, tea and sympathy: What to eat when you are sick