The haze is back and with a vengeance. As we face yet another season of poor air quality, many of us seek refuge indoors. Certified Dr Sears Health Coach in children/family nutrition and ante-natal wellness Daisy Ng has put together a list of foods that will help to cope with the haze in Malaysia at the moment.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has to be one of the most vital vitamins for our body. It helps with tissue growth and repair, and negates the effect of pollution by neutralizing free radicals. In addition, if the haze is triggering allergic reactions in you, vitamin C helps by destroying the molecular structure of histamine, thereby working like a natural anti-histamine. Increase your daily intake of Vitamin C through food or supplements.
2. Grosvenor Drink
The Grosvenor momordica fruit is a natural expectorant and regular feature in cough remedies. Boil the Grosvenor momordica, Singo pear (or dried pear slices), dried figs, dried tangerine skin together to ease that itchy cough and cleanse the body.
3. White Fungus & Chicken Soup
White fungus has a detoxing property and it is purported to nourish the lungs. Chicken is anti-inflammatory. Boil these two together with some goji berries and a pinch of salt for a light chicken broth that negates the effect of the haze.
4. Osmanthus Flower
The Osmanthus flower is a favourite ingredient in Cantonese cuisine. This humble flower boasts many benefits including removing toxins from the body, improves lung health, reduces coughing and improves eye sight!
Besides steeping it in hot water to make a light tea, you can add it to soup. As the Osmanthus flower has a natural sweet taste, it can be used to reduce sugar in baking. Some dessert ideas include mooncakes, jellies, popsicles or smoothies.
5. Anti-oxidant-rich Foods
Anti-oxidants neutralise free radicals. Time to double your daily intake of anti-oxidants. Food rich in anti-oxidants include berries, beans, artichokes, spirulina, Chia seeds, and grapes. Sprouts offer high levels of powerful anti-oxidants to fight free radicals.
6. Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and veggies are full of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients that help body growth and repair. Take your fruits and vegetables raw to maximise nutrient absorption. Juicing is an efficient way to get as much fruits and vegetables in as possible.
7. Oily Fish
Fish that are oily are rich in powerful omega-3 fatty acids and the elusive vitamin D. Locally-available fish include sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna and trout.
8. White Tea, Green Tea or Rooibos Tea
Certain teas – such as white, green and Rooibos – have detoxing properties due to the anthocyanin and proanthocyanin present, which blocks cell damage. The caffeine-free Rooibos tea is suitable for children. Chill some Rooibos tea and add a slice of lemon for a caffeine-free version.
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble anti-oxidant, which means it repairs the damage to the layer of fat that exists in the membrane of the cells in our bodies. Get your vitamin E through sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, avocado and almonds.
Here’s a superfood that’s anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and it contains selenium, tryptophan and active ingredients such as allicin that starves cancer and tumours. If you cannot bear to increase eating more garlic, get some odour-free garlic oil from the pharmacy.
Daisy is a mother of two and Founder of Trinity Kids Malaysia. A dedicated practitioner in early childhood education, she has been featured on BFM, The Edge, NTV7, The Star, BabyTalk magazine and given talks on related topics. As a certified Dr Sears Health Coach in children/family nutrition and ante-natal wellness, Daisy actively promotes a wholesome and non-processed diet in Malaysia’s schools. An avid reader and writer from a young age, she now writes about topics in early childhood education, child development and nutrition.
Image Credit: Wall Street Journal.