Soups to prevent flu and influenza

Mothers and babies must up intake of whole foods rich in Vitamin C and zinc to prevent flu and influenza.

Here are 5 ways to prevent the cold and flu with nutrition.

  1. Hydration – The outdoor air is drier in cold weather, and our heated homes are dry. Staying hydrated in the winter keeps mucous membranes soft and moist, preventing tiny cracks that allow viruses and bacteria to enter. Is eight glasses a day enough water to keep hydrated? One simple rule of thumb is this: divide your weight (pounds) by two. That’s the minimum number of ounces your body needs. If you exercise, take your weight and multiply by 2/3 to get the number of ounces. Everyone’s specific fluid needs may differ.
  2. Plant-based foods – A diet rich in vegetables, fruit and whole grains is high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of stroke and enhance immune defense, which lowers the risk of cancer and infection. Phytonutrients are linked to increased immunity and faster healing. Aim for seven servings of fruits and vegetables and at least three servings of whole grains per day. Nutrient-packed choices include broccoli, red onion, blueberries, grapes, oats, barley and tea.
  3. Probiotics – Recent research shows probiotics (dietary supplement) boosting the immune system. The theory is healthy bacteria found in probiotics keep the gut and intestinal tract low in disease-causing germs. Yogurt with live active cultures and kefir are good food sources of probiotics. Over-the-counter supplements also are available. Some studies were based on a 7-ounce serving of yogurt with live cultures.
  4. Exercise – Moderate physical activity is a powerful immunity booster. A 30 to 60 minute walk most days per week is considered moderate exercise. Too much or not enough exercise actually can weaken immune systems. Try dancing, walking, stationary biking, indoor swimming or similar activities to move more in the winter months.
  5. Vitamins and Minerals – Many supplements claim to reduce colds and viruses, but few studies substantiate claims. A literature review on vitamin C supplementation found no difference in cold rates for those who took 200 mg daily and those who took none. One exception was people who exercised outside in the winter. They benefited from the vitamin C supplement and reduced risk of catching a cold by 50%. The best supplement option is a multivitamin/mineral once per day with 100% of the recommended daily values of vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D, and minerals chromium, copper, folic acid, selenium, calcium and zinc.

3 Warming Soups for Liver Cleanse and Detox


Our liver, the master metabolizer, filters the entire blood volume every three minutes. How about that? All our organs have their special role, but it’s the liver that processes and neutralizes all the chemicals our body is exposed to, from our food, environment, or personal care products. In healthy diets or detox diets, when we consume appreciable quantities of vegetables and fruits, our cells receive high concentrations of potassium which flushes out excess water and toxins, creating an alkaline environment.


The toxins are then sent via the bloodstream to the liver, which neutralizes them for excretion either by the kidneys or through the colon, via the bile. During detox diets, lots of toxins are flushed out from our cells, so the liver is exposed to a greater pressure and needs to be stimulated to cope with the higher bile production. A healthy production of bile is essential for eliminating the toxins, so we should help the liver with key nutrients, such as antioxidants (for instance the detoxifying betalains in this Beet and Ginger Detox Elixir) and fiber.


Soluble Fiber Sources: oatmeal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, beans, celery, carrots.

Insoluble Fiber Sources: seeds, nuts, brown rice, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins.


My three detox soups are not only packed with potassium for creating an alkaline environment and to help flush out the toxins from our cells, but also with fiber, soluble for stimulating the bile secretion and insoluble for promoting bowel movement and elimination of toxins. The soups come with gorgeous colors, taste delicious, and I actually added them to my comfort food recipe section because they make me feel amazing.

These soups are part of my 3-Day Detox and Restore Plan, one that you can actually keep, but you can also have one of them for dinner during my cleansing program The Simplest 1-Day Detox. Also, this Brussels Sprouts Soup or the Vegan Mushroom Soupwill perfectly fit any detox diet.


To make any of these soups  even sexier for my body cells, I sprinkle two teaspoons of my home-made detox mix on top of the bowl to boost their flavor and trigger the natural detoxification process with healing spices.
You’ll find the details, recipe and photo at the end of this post, after the soup recipes.


Broccoli Detox Soup


4.3 from 18 reviews
Broccoli Detox Soup
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A gorgeous green soup, loaded with vitamins, fiber and minerals.
Author: The Awesome Green
Recipe type: Soups
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 2
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup greens (kale, spinach, beet greens or any other available)
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups filtered water or low sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Toasted mixed seeds and nuts, 1 teaspoon coconut milk, to garnish
  1. In a soup pot, heat the coconut oil, add the onion, garlic, carrot, parsnip, celery sticks and broccoli, and cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the filtered water or vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.
  3. Stir in the greens, then transfer into the blender, add the chia seeds and lemon, and process to obtain a smooth cream.
  4. Top with toasted seeds and serve warm.


Beet Detox Soup


4.3 from 18 reviews
Beet Detox Soup
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Pink colored and tasting delicious, this beet soup is a real power house when it comes to nutrition.
Author: The Awesome Green
Recipe type: Soups
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
  • 3 medium beet roots
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small leek, finely diced
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, warm
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, 1 teaspoon coconut milk, to garnish
ALSO YUMMY:  Black Bean Burgers with Herbed Avocado Sauce
  1. Place the unpeeled beet roots in a pot, cover with water, bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes until tender.
  2. Drain from water and set aside to cool.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet, add the onions, garlic, leek, and carrot and cook for 5-7 minutes over low heat. Remove from the heat and transfer onto a plate.
  4. Peel the beet roots, cut into cubes, and add into the blender, together with the cooked vegetables and warm vegetable broth.
  5. Process to obtain a smooth cream.
  6. Season with salt and serve garnished with mixed seeds.


 Sweet Potato Detox Soup


4.3 from 18 reviews
Sweet Potato Detox Soup
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Packed with vitamin A and fiber, this orange soup is the best choice for a detox dinner.
Author: The Awesome Green
Recipe type: Soups
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
  • ½ cup cooked red lentils
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in cubes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth, warm
  • ½ inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon coconut milk, to garnish
  1. Heat the oven at 165°C/329°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with baking paper, add the sweet potato, carrots, parsnip, onion, and garlic, season with salt, chili, turmeric, and cumin, add the coconut oil and toss to combine.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes then transfer into the blender.
  4. Add the warm vegetable broth, grated ginger, and cooked red lentils into the blender and process to obtain a smooth cream.
  5. Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley.

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Drugs that can cause constipation

Agents that cause constipation especially among the elderly include:-

  • Opoid pain relievers like Morphine, Codeine etc.
  • Anti-cholinergic agents like Atropine, Trihexiphenidyl
  • Antispasmodics like dicyclomine
  • Tricyclic antidepressants like amytriptyline
  • Calcium channel blockers used in arrhythmias and high blood pressure such as verapamil
  • Anti-Parkinsonian drugs – Parkinson’s disease itself may cause constipation and the drugs used for this condition including Levodopa cause constipation as well
  • Sympathomimetics like ephedrine and terbutaline. Terbutaline is commonly used on bronchial asthma
  • Antipsychotics like clozapine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine used for psychiatric disorders
  • Diuretics for heart failure like furosemide
  • High blood pressure lowering agents like methyldopa, clonidine, propranolol etc.
  • Antihistamines like diphenhydramine
  • Antacids especially calcium and aluminium containing
  • Calcium supplements
  • Iron supplements
  • Antidiarrheal agents (loperamide, attapulgite)
  • Anticonvulsants e.g. phenytoin, clonazepam
  • Pain relievers or NSAIDs (Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen, aspirin etc.
  • Miscellaneous compounds including Octreotide, polystyrene resins, cholestyramine (for lowering high blood cholesterol) and oral contraceptives
  • ————

Foods to eat when constipated

  • baked beans
  • black-eyed peas
  • garbanzo beans
  • lima beans
  • pinto beans, or
  • kidney beans
  • kiwi
  • plums
  • pears
  • sweet potatoes with skin


Artificial nutrition via feeding tubes myths and facts

Recently the scientific community has taken a closer look at the use of artificial nutrition and hydration to see if there is good evidence that these treatments are useful.  There have been some surprising findings!  Myths that have been held about the usefulness of artificial nutrition and hydration are being challenged, particularly as they have been used for persons who have incurable disease, in persons who have neurologic or brain disorders, and in the frail elderly person.

Let’s take a look at some of these myths:

Myth:  A person who gets aspiration pneumonia (pneumonia which develops because contents of the mouth are seeping down the trachea into the lungs) because of difficulty with swallowing and choking needs to have a gastrostomy tube placed to prevent recurrence of the aspiration pneumonia.

Fact:  There is no good evidence that demonstrates that gastrostomy tubes, or tubes into the small intestine, prevent aspiration pneumonia in a person who has difficulty swallowing.  In fact, there is good evidence in persons with advanced Alzheimer’s disease that gastrostomy tubes actually cause more harm than if no tube had been placed.  Other evidence shows that tube feeding may actually increase episodes of aspiration pneumonia. Careful feeding by hand is a better alternative.

Myth: Artificial nutrition speeds wound healing in a person who is unable to eat normally.

Fact: There are no good studies demonstrating that artificial nutrition and hydration speeds wound healing.  In fact, if a person is incontinent (unable to control urination and/or defecation) they may suffer from increased skin breakdown due to constant moisture and the irritation of urine and/or feces on the skin.

Myth:  Persons with cancer cachexia (a condition where the person keeps losing weight and does not eat well) should receive total parenteral nutrition (TPN) to maintain weight and strength.

 Fact:  Medical science has been unable to show any benefit from TPN use in patients with cancer cachexia:  It does not keep a person from losing weight, does not improve a person’s nutrition, and does not help the person gain strength and energy.  Some studies even show shortened survival in persons with cancer cachexia who are treated with TPN.

 Myth:  A dying person who has become dehydrated due to lack of fluids experiences extreme thirst, pain and distress.

Fact: Dehydration in a seriously ill person with a terminal condition, and in the frail elderly, is not painful.  In fact, frail elderly persons have a blunted sense of thirst, which allows them to slip rather easily into a dehydrated state.  This is generally characterized by increased sleepiness and less mental alertness without other signs of distress.  In the dying patient, studies have shown that the majority never experience thirst, or only initially, and the thirst that occurs is easily alleviated by small amounts of fluids or ice chips given by mouth, and by lubricating the lips.

Myth: A person with advanced disease or a terminal illness who stops eating will “starve to death” painfully.

Fact: When a person with advanced disease or a terminal illness stops eating, usually it is because his/her disease has progressed to the point where the person is no longer able to process food and fluids as does a healthy person.  Forcing this person to eat, or starting artificial nutrition and hydration does not help the person to live longer, feel better, feel stronger, or be able to do more.  In fact, such a person given artificial nutrition and/or hydration will often feel bloated, nauseated, and/or develop diarrhea.  Studies have shown that the majority of dying patients never experience hunger, and in those who do, small amounts of food and fluids, offered whenever the person wants, relieves the hunger.

What is known about the side effects and complications of artificial nutrition and hydration?

Complications and side effects vary by the type of artificial nutrition and hydration used:

  • TPN and central catheters can cause infection at the site of the catheter and in the catheter itself as well as sepsis (a generalized life-threatening infection).  Pneumothorax (collapse of the lung) can occur at the time of inserting the catheter.  Thrombosis (clots in the vein) can occur, causing local swelling.  Sometimes these clots can travel to other parts of the body such as the brain or lung and can be life-threatening.  Cardiac arrhythmias (irregularities of the heart beat) as well as electrolyte disturbances such as low sodium, low potassium or low blood sugar can occur.  These are all potentially life-threatening.
  • A nasogastric tube can cause choking and extreme discomfort at placement and afterwards.  At the time of insertion, it can be misplaced in the trachea and cause pneumonia.  The tube can cause erosions and abrasions, even perforations (holes) in the nasal passages, esophagus and stomach, and can cause acute and chronic bleeding.  Aspiration pneumonia is a risk whenever an NG tube is in place.  If a person is confused, he/she may need restraints to keep him/her from pulling the tube out.  This can cause a whole host of problems, including psychic distress and increased agitation and anxiety, skin breakdown due to immobility, pneumonia due to immobility, and injury from restraints, to name a few.
  • A gastrostomy tube requires anesthesia during placement and has risks associated with the use of anesthesia.  There is also a risk of infection of the abdominal wall and peritonitis (life threatening infection of the abdominal cavity).  Gastrointestinal bleeding, blockage of the bowel or perforation of the bowel may occur. Diarrhea from the feeding formula is fairly common.  Aspiration pneumonia is also common.  If the person requires restraints to keep from pulling the tube out, the same complications listed above can occur.
  • Intravenous fluids require IV tubing, with associated pain on insertion.  Localized infection or cellulitis (a more serious infection of the skin that can spread) can occur. Thrombophlebitis (clotting in the vein) can occur and cause swelling and discomfort.  Fluid overload is possible, causing swelling of the legs, arms and body.  Electrolyte imbalances such as low sodium or low potassium are common.

Are there any beneficial effects of dehydration?

Dehydration can actually have several potential benefits for a person who is at the end stages of his/her life:

  • Secretions in the lungs are diminished, so cough and congestion are less, and procedure.
  • Dehydration can lead to a melting away of the swelling and increased comfort in a person who has edema (swelling of the body caused by excess body fluids) or ascites (fluid in the abdominal cavity).
  • With dehydration, there is less fluid in the gastrointestinal tract, which may decrease nausea, vomiting, bloating and regurgitation.
  • A dehydrated person has less urine output, thus less need to go to the bathroom for extremely weak and frail patients and less skin irritation when the bedbound person develops incontinence.  There is also less need to place a foley catheter in such a person.  Foley catheters are irritating, can cause extremely painful bladder spasms, and are known to increase the risk of serious infections of the urinary tract and body.

Are there any situations in the seriously ill where artificial nutrition and hydration are helpful?

There are situations where artificial nutrition and hydration, in a specific person and in specific situations, are likely to be more beneficial than harmful:

  • A person who has a mechanical blockage of his/her mouth, esophagus, or stomach, but is otherwise functioning fairly well, especially if this person is experiencing hunger, is likely to benefit if a tube is placed below the blockage in order to be able to receive nutrition and fluids.  This is the case in many persons who suffer from head and neck or esophageal cancer, especially in the earlier stages of the cancer.
  • In some cases, when a blocked bowel develops, such as in spread of ovarian cancer, but the person is otherwise fairly functional, TPN has been helpful in allowing that person to live and function longer than without the treatment.
  • A person who has a temporary bout of severe nausea and vomiting or has diarrhea causing serious dehydration can often benefit from a short course of intravenous fluids to rest the bowel.
  • Evidence is conflicting in some persons with cachexia due to HIV disease.  Some persons appear to benefit from artificial nutrition and hydration, especially those who have no active infection at the time of receiving it.

From time immemorial, human beings have expressed their love for one another through the act of feeding and sharing meals.  Much of the anguish over decisions to start, withhold, or discontinue artificial nutrition and hydration stems from a mistaken feeling that the act of administering artificial nutrition and hydration is equivalent to the nurturing acts of feeding our babies or serving a meal to our family.

Artificial nutrition and hydration is a medical treatment, with intended beneficial effects but many side effects and complications attached to its use.  Decisions about its use need to be based on a dispassionate look at what, if any, benefits will occur, what side effects and burdens are likely to occur, and what the individuals’ and families’ goals are for the treatment.

When artificial nutrition and hydration is more likely to be burdensome than helpful, it should be avoided or discontinued.  Nurturing can be expressed in more helpful ways, such as gentle presence, touch, talking with the person (regardless of his/her ability to respond), keeping the person’s lips and mouth moist, gently massaging the skin using lubricants, praying with the person, or playing favorite music selections.  These alternative ways of nurturing can be very powerful and moving for both the person with the life-threatening illness and his/her loved one.

By Dr. Cheryl Arenella