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Rosemary-Lime Wild Alaska Salmon KebabsTips on Buying Wild Salmon

Salmon is good tasting and good for you—rich in omega-3s and a good source of protein. Want to know how to find the best available? Here are hints on how from Keith Harris, the Whole Foods Market Port Buyer based in Alaska below.

• King (chinook) salmon is the most highly sought-after of all the salmon due to its high omega-3 content and full flavor. King comes in many shades of orange to red; all are delicious!
• Sockeye reds have a bright red color and extra-firm texture. The best sockeye comes from Alaska.
• Coho (silver salmon) has a milder flavor so it’s a good choice for kids. Coho’s also great for grilling.
• How the fish was caught affects how it tastes. Try to buy troll-caught salmon; each fish is handled individually. Trollers care about the environment and take great pride in what they deliver.
• In general, avoid any salmon that shows signs of browning. Also, check for minimal bruising and firm flesh.
• Wild salmon populations are threatened in some parts of the world. Look for fish from Marine Stewardship Council–certified sources, or from fisheries that are green or yellow rated according to the Blue Ocean Institute or Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Salmon is delicious grilled, broiled, sautéed or poached. For inspiration, try this light recipe:

Rosemary-Lime Wild Alaska Salmon Kebabs

Ingredients
 
1 pound wild salmon fillets, cut into chunks
1 zucchini, cut into chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
Sea salt and black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (about 2 small sprigs) chopped rosemary leaves
¹⁄³ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
Wooden or bamboo skewers, soaked in water 10 minutes

Preparation
 
Place salmon, zucchini, bell pepper and onion in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk to­gether garlic, rosemary, olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour mixture over salmon and vegetables, toss and marinate 15 to 30 minutes. Preheat the grill or broiler. Skewer the salmon and vegetables, reserving marinade, and grill or broil 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, until salmon is cooked through and vegetables are tender. While cooking, boil the marinade in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Drizzle over skewers and serve.

Serves 4.

Learn More

You can find further tips and recipes online at www.whole foodsmarket.com.

*Article courtesy of NAPS.*

Nest PictureAn Empty Nest Shouldn’t Mean Empty Nutrition

By Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN (www.TamaraDuker.com), March 2013

An NYC-based registered dietitian who specializes in digestive disorders and food intolerances

After spending two decades shopping for food, planning meals, cooking and thinking about everyone else’s dietary needs, you find yourself in an empty nest, and with an empty fridge and cupboard.  Tamara hears it from her clients all the time. They are tapped out. Spent. There’s no energy left for even thinking about meals, let alone cooking them. Besides, what’s the point of preparing a big, elaborate meal for just one or two?

The problem, of course, is that empty-nestdom arrives at a time in one’s life where nature is most unforgiving. Your metabolism has likely just taken a nosedive, meaning you can get away with far fewer dietary indiscretions without paying for them on the scale. Your bones need extra TLC if they’re going to last you through retirement—particularly if you’re taking a calcium-sapping acid reducing medication. And when you skimp on fiber rich veggies and probiotic-rich cultured dairy, things tend not to go so smoothly in the loo. In other words, Empty Nestdom is a particularly inopportune time to give up on nutrition. 
Fear not. Armed with some basic pantry and fridge staples, creativity and a reminder that taking care of yourself is more important now that ever—you can improve your diet quality tremendously without much effort at all.

Here’s how:

• Make cultured dairy your essential fridge staple: More than ever, you need the convenience, protein and the calcium that low-fat yogurt and kefir offer. These foods happily fit in at breakfast, for a snack, with lunch and even at dinner, and if you’ve got some on hand, a respectable meal is never too hard to conjure up. Yogurt stands on its own, or accessorizes other meals (add cucumbers and a bit of garlic, you’ve got Middle Eastern veggie dip; add Indian spices, you’ve got Tandoori marinade). Kefir (liquid yogurt) is the secret to perfect smoothies, fluffy pancakes and easy overnight oatmeal. Once you start keeping these kitchen multi-taskers on hand, your fridge will feel like an empty-nester without them.

• If your intestines retired from their job of digesting dairy a long time ago, look for Green Valley Organics Lactose Free brand of yogurt and kefir. It’s organic, real cow’s milk dairy with the lactose pre-digested, making it an easy-to-tolerate source of essential calcium for your bones and live, active probiotic bacteria for your digestive health. It’s a far better option than non-dairy milks and yogurts made from almond milk, coconut milk or rice milk, as these latter options lack the protein you need to maintain lean body mass and feel satisfied after a meal. 

• Make lunch your main meal: To take the pressure off of dinner prep each night, consider lunch your main meal of the day. This especially makes sense if you’re working or otherwise out, as you may have more options available. Be sure to include a good portion of lean protein from fish, poultry, beans or tofu, paired with loads of veggies and a modest amount of slow-digesting carbs to keep you feeling satisfied through dinner.  Save the entrée salads for dinner; they’re more likely to leave you feeling hungry a few hours later, which means you’re less able to control portions at night when most people get into trouble. A more substantial mid-day meal means you’ll be less hungry in the evening and more satisfied with a light supper.

• Keep fancy condiments on hand: Fancy accessories like pesto, Dijon mustard, chipotle hot sauce and truffle oil can transform workaday pantry items like pasta, tuna, canned white beans, eggs and frozen veggies into appealing meals that take 10 minutes or less to assemble. Pasta tossed with (frozen) broccoli, white beans and pesto?  A Mediterranean dieters dream. Tuna with plain yogurt, Dijon and a hit of hot sauce?  Serve atop bagged salad greens, and you’ve got a respectable meal. An omelet drizzled with truffle oil and served aside (frozen) French green beans?  Oooh la la!  Dinner is served. 

• There’s no shame in breakfast for dinner: Veggie and lox omelets, whole grain pancakes, green smoothies…there’s no law saying a dinner plate needs to have a protein, starch and veg lined up side by side. Whole grain pancake mix spiked with canned pumpkin puree and topped with plain yogurt provides a low-glycemic carb, an orange veggie and a good serving of lean protein.  A low-fat kefir smoothie with spinach, mango and banana delivers protein, a day’s worth of Vitamin A and complex carbs—a far better option than pizza delivery or greasy takeout!  In other words, breakfast for dinner doesn’t have to mean standing over the sink and eating a bowl of cereal.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Yara 2Adventurous Grains to Set You Gluten-Free

Healthy cooking is a passion: just like the love of good food, it’s a great feeling to know you’ve served up a side of “good for you” with your family’s favorite meal. Sometimes, allergies mean we need to modify our diets even further. The words “gluten intolerance” used to sound like funeral bells for fresh, warm bread or a comforting bowl of cereal, but now there are delicious alternatives available on the market. May is Celiac Awareness Month, so we want to inspire you with easy, natural ways to go gluten-free. Even if your body can process gluten, diversifying your diet always gives your body a chance to take in different combinations of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements – and you may find a new favorite food in the process!

Oats: You can still enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning! Just know that while oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often contaminated from being processed near wheat products. Stick to buying oats (preferably steel-cut) from a supplier that labels them clearly as gluten-free.
Buckwheat: Don’t let the name fool you! Buckwheat is a closer cousin to rhubarb than wheat, and is a nutritious, satisfying option to replace wheat flour. Try it in pancakes!
Wild Rice: Another tricky name, wild rice is actually a seed, and higher in fiber and flavor than white rice. Pair it with vegetables or use it in a hearty soup.
Millet: These seeds are rich in B vitamins and absorb the flavors of the foods around them – use them to put a tasty spin on stuffing.
Amaranth: Densely nutritious and a good source of protein, amaranth works best when mixed with other ingredients. It’s great when combined with rice or quinoa in a stir-fry!
Teff: A little-known grain from Eastern Africa, teff is rich in calcium, iron, and other essential minerals. The tiny seeds can be ground into flour and used to bake bread or thicken soup.
Quinoa: Quinoa is one of the most famous gluten-free grains, but recent studies suggest it may actually irritate people with gluten sensitivities. If you have a gluten intolerance and haven’t yet tried quinoa, you might want to discuss it with your doctor before leaping into the unknown.

Rice isn’t exactly an uncommon food, but it does come in many more varieties than just white or brown! Broaden your palate by trying Malaysian red rice (excellent when simmered in coconut milk), fragrant jasmine rice, or even antioxidant-rich Chinese black rice!

Everyone enjoys satisfying breads, noodles and other traditionally glutinous goodies. Even if your body needs to skip the gluten, you don’t have to miss out on your cravings anymore! Hungry for a hot plate of pasta? Try Japanese soba noodles, made of naturally gluten-free buckwheat! Tempted by toast?  Have a slice of millet toast with creamy almond butter!

Yara’s new book, Health On Your Plate, includes many original recipes that can be adapted to be gluten-free, just by substituting one or more of these great grains for glutinous ones. Taking gluten out of your diet doesn’t mean taking the joy out of it! With a little creativity and a willingness to explore your supermarket, you won’t even miss it!

About the Author

Yara Shoemaker is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary appetite for knowledge about healthy living. She decided to dig deep into the facts of nutrition and health to learn how every bite would affect her and her loved ones. As a result, she created an ideal lifestyle centered on natural nourishment with real flavor. The principles are simple: savor the things you love and keep everything in proportion to be healthy and happy.  Find mouthwatering recipes, healthy advice and more at her blog: Yara’s Way!

ElderberryGrow Your Own Superfruits 

Superfruits — fruits that are exceptionally rich in vitamins and antioxidants — are popular ingredients in a variety of healthy foods.

Fortunately, although “superfruit” connotes something rare and exotic, a surprising number of these plants, including aronia, elderberry and goji berry, are hardy shrubs that can be grown right in your backyard. They’re easy to grow and require no spraying or complicated pruning and produce pound after pound of juicy, nutritious fruit every year.

Aronia

Aronia is a large shrub native to eastern North America. With showy white flowers in spring and blazing red leaves in autumn, it makes an excellent choice for landscaping around your home. Large clusters of glossy black berries ripen in late summer, making aronia a standout in the kitchen as well as the garden.

The fruits are sometimes known as chokeberries because of their very sour flavor but they can be sweetened and used in juice, jam, desserts, even wine, which makes it even easier to savor their high levels of antioxidants and vitamins. In fact, they’ve been enjoyed in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and Russia for decades.

Aronia tolerates winter temperatures as low as -40° F, and does best when planted where it will get at least six hours of sun each day.

Elderberry

Elderberry is another North American native shrub that you can count on to beautify the landscape and provide bumper crops of nutritious fruits.

Varieties that have been selected for ornamental foliage are especially useful for home gardeners, as they are even more attractive than plain green wild types.

Black Lace, which was developed in England, where elderberry flowers and berries are eaten regularly, has delicate, lacy foliage in a dramatic near-black color.

Black Beauty has bigger, bolder foliage but the same dark purple-black color. Both offer large pink flowers that give way to small black berries that are very high in vitamin C; research suggests they can be effective in minimizing flu symptoms.

Elderberry plants don’t mind cold weather, surviving through temperatures of -25° F, and they can grow well even in partial shade (up to four hours a day). For the most abundant elderberry harvest, you should put at least two plants in your garden.

Goji Berries

Goji berries are antioxidant-packed and sell for high prices at health food stores but they’re actually easy-to-grow shrubs. Also known as wolfberry, the rich purple flowers appear in early summer and are followed by gleaming red berries. The plants produce fruit continuously until autumn and never need spraying or special attention.

Though goji has been popular in China for many centuries, specially selected varieties have only recently become available in North America. These include Sweet Lifeberry and Big Lifeberry goji from Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs, and they were chosen for their exceptional vigor, flavor and size.

Goji berries can tolerate temperatures as low as -20° F. They need to be grown in a sunny spot but they’re not fussy about soil and need little water or fertilizer once they’re established. They can be planted in the ground or grown in a large pot on a deck or patio.

Learn More

You can find all these plants at a garden center, in the fruits or the shrubs section. They cost between $20 and $50 depending on size.

For further facts, tips and recipes, visit www.ProvenWinners.com/VitaminBerries.
 
*Article courtesy of NAPS. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Honey & BeeThe Sweet Truth Behind Honey 

How much do you know about the honey bear bottle in your pantry? With recent confusion over pollen and filtration, the National Honey Board (NHB) wants to clarify any misconceptions surrounding this natural ingredient with harvesting, filtration and nutrition facts about honey. With more than 300 varietals of honey in the United States, honey adds its own unique profile to every recipe. Plus, honey has many benefits before and after it gets to the pantry.

An Artisanal Craft: Harvesting honey is an ancient craft that begins with the honey bees. Honey is made from nectar, gathered by honey bees from flowering plants. The honeycomb is then removed from the beehive and honey is extracted by a beekeeper. Afterward, it is shipped off to a honey packer who places the golden liquid into honey containers, finally landing in a supermarket near you. It’s both an art and science that generates a myriad of honey varieties, ranging in both flavor and appearance.

Filtering Honey: To improve clarity and delay crystallization, many honey packers use a filtration method. The honey is warmed up to help it flow through the filters to remove pollen or residues from the beehive. Because filtered honey is cleaner and clearer than nonfiltered honey, it is less likely to crystallize as quickly and it’s more consistent in texture. Once the honey is filtered, it goes through the bottling stage.

“Through our recent Attitude and Usage study1, the National Honey Board has learned that when purchasing honey, 48 percent of consumers say it’s important for honey to be brilliantly clear and golden,” Bruce Boynton, CEO, National Honey Board, said. “Also, based on a recent research study2, we learned that filtering honey did not impact its nutrient content. We think these two studies are important as we continue to educate consumers on the multifaceted journey of harvesting honey to distributing it.”

Pure Honey Is Just That: Read the label: Honey contains only one ingredient: honey. With no added ingredients or preservatives, honey is just honey. Pure honey is sold in several forms: comb, liquid, creamed/whipped and organic. A honey blend or honey syrup should list the other ingredients or sweeteners. Take the stress out of finding pure honey in your area and visit www.honeylocator.com.

Versatility in the Kitchen: Honey can be used as something other than just a sweetener for your tea or on toast. Think of it as a natural flavor booster. Just take one look at the versatility of honey, and it’s easy to see why it’s a secret culinary weapon that can provide balance to any dish, complementing and enhancing a variety of foods and flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory. Honey also masks bitter flavors often found in gluten-free flours. This natural sweetener can also be used as an emulsifier in sauces and dips, a glaze for meats and vegetables, and as a humectant to attract and retain moisture in baked goods.

Whole-Body Benefits: This versatile ingredient is traditionally found in the kitchen pantry, but can also live on the bathroom vanity, in the gym bag and inside the medicine cabinet. Did you know honey can be used as a natural cough suppressant? A teaspoon or two of honey can be taken to soothe and relieve the irritation of a cough, according to emerging research2. Plus, at approximately 17 grams of carbohydrates per one tablespoon, honey is an effective, all-natural energy booster. Honey is also a humectant. This means it attracts and retains moisture, making it an ideal ingredient for a natural skin care regimen. Add a little honey to your normal moisturizing routine, or enjoy a honey mask every once in a while and reap the benefits of this liquid gold.

From being a vital component in a healthy ecosystem to providing whole-body benefits, honey is a sweetener with so much more. Visit www.storyofhoney.com to watch the minidocumentary “The Story of Honey,” which captures the many positives of honey.

1. National Honey Board, Attitude & Usage Study, 2013. Phone survey of 501 households nationwide, which consisted of men and women between the ages of 21 and 74. Ketchum Global Research & Analytics designed and analyzed this phone survey, fielded by Braun Research. January 5-11, 2013. Margin of Error: 4.4%
2. Ropa, D. “Comparison of Vitamin, Mineral and Antioxidant Levels in Raw and Processed Honey.” 2012. Research project funded by the National Honey Board.
3. http://news.psu.edu/story/192001/2007/12/03/honey-proves-better-option-childhood-cough-otcs

*Article courtesy of NAPS.* Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Dust MopWith spring’s welcome arrival, there’s no better time than now to start thinking about detoxifying our homes. As we begin the annual spring cleaning purge, how can we be sure that we aren’t leaving behind a house filled with stealthily hidden toxic chemicals that can unnecessarily harm us, our families and our pets?
 
This spring, we can all say goodbye to the “NRDC’s Top 5 Stupidest Household Chemicals” (toxic chemicals that serve no real purpose at all) that might be lurking in our homes, often without us even realizing it.
 
1) Tetrachlorvinphos and Propoxur on your Pet’s Flea Collars – Stop using flea collars with these neurotoxins. Safer flea and tick control options exist. See NRDC’s Green Paws’ product guide.
 
2) Toxic Flame Retardants in your Couch – Clean with a damp mop and vacuum your home (with a HEPA filter) and couches regularly. Removing dust decreases your exposure to toxic chemicals added to furniture.
 
3) Triclosan in Hand Soap – Ditch antibacterial products with triclosan and triclocarban. These chemicals don’t get your hands any cleaner but can interfere with hormones.
 
4) 2,4-D in Weed Killers – Avoid lawn care products with toxic pesticides such as “weed and feed” products with cancer causing 2,4-D. Pick weeds by hand and spot-apply only when needed.
 
5) Lindane in Lice Shampoo  – Check lice shampoo labels to make sure lindane, an EPA-banned pesticide and neurotoxin, is not on the ingredients list.
 
With some simple cleaning tricks to eliminate these risks for good, families can ensure they aren’t exposing their loved ones to harmful toxics. We’ve got quick, easy solutions outlined here that can help people rethink spring-cleaning with health and safety in mind.
 
Additionally, NRDC has been taking legal action to push agencies like FDA get off the sidelines and do its job to protect the health of our families by getting these toxic products off store shelves.

NRDC senior scientist and mother Dr. Sarah Janssen blogs more about these crucial ongoing fights here:
 
· My Toxic Couch’s Days Are Numbered: New Furniture Flammability Standard Proposed
 
· http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/sjanssen/

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Vitazorb Purple BottleThe company’s motto is “You Are What You Absorb” and it is so, so true – when nutrients, vitamins and minerals can be properly absorbed from your food, and waste products broken down properly, it means a healthier (and happier!) you! “Mom” recently had the opportunity to try a new chewable probiotic supplement called Vidazorb®, which offers several chewable varieties of probiotics to aid in gastrointestinal health. For those unfamiliar with the overall health benefits of probiotics, you may wish to visit the Vidazorb website to learn more!

Vidazorb® is available in 5 distinct formulations for both children and adults, including:
 
Plus – Vanilla Flavor
 
+OPC – Pomegranate Flavor
 
Super C – Orange Pineapple Flavor

The Super C, +OPC and Plus varieties all tasted great – easy to chew and swallow, and “Mom” loves that this particular brand of probiotics does not require refrigeration, which is wonderful for traveling. For those who travel to other countries frequently, taking a probiotic supplement daily is a must to help with traveler’s diarrhea!

Vitazorb Orange Bottle

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of probiotics, or to locate a store near you, visit Vidazorb.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

CoffeeWill Green Coffee Beans Really Help You Lose Weight?

First, let’s start by saying that green coffee beans aren’t necessarily “green,” which is to say organically grown. You may be able to find beans that conform to your eco-friendly standards, but in general you should assume (unless otherwise noted) that these coffee beans and their extracts are labeled as green due to the fact that they are raw. The idea here is that they retain greater potency, and studies have been conducted to determine whether these extracts can help people to lose weight. As you may or may not know, your average cup of Joe has long been thought to help you to lose weight in two ways. For starters it is a diuretic, so it could help you to shed water weight (a temporary solution at best). But it could also curb appetite for those who have trouble fighting off cravings. Of course, if you’re the cream and sugar sort, coffee as a drink is probably best avoided while dieting. But can green coffee beans, or more importantly, their extract, help you to lose weight?

According to studies, the answer is yes. One published in January of 2012 in a journal called ‘Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity’ (available through DovePress.com) showed incredible results. Sixteen subjects with a BMI of over 25 (considered to be obese) were followed for twelve weeks and given daily doses of green coffee bean extract. Some took 700 milligrams per day while others took a dosage of 1050 mg. By the end, researchers discovered that the subjects had lost an average of 18 pounds, which amounted to an average of 4.4% loss of body fat and 10% loss of overall weight. What you might be more familiar with, though, if you watch ‘The Dr. Oz Show,’ is the similar study his staff conducted (along with consulting experts) for a segment last year.

Dr. Oz’s experiment followed 100 female subjects, age 35-49 with BMIs over 25, for only two weeks, with some being given a placebo and others receiving 400 mg green coffee extract capsules to take three times a day (for a total of 1,200 mg). The participants were not made aware of which pills they were receiving. They also had to keep food journals and they were asked not to change their regular diets during the study. The results were that the women on the extract lost an average of two pounds per subject while the women on the placebo lost an average of one pound (likely due to awareness of their food intake).

So it seems pretty clear that green coffee beans have the potential to help you lose weight. But before you rush out and buy them, slow your roll for just a minute. There is one small problem. This type of extract falls under the category of herbal supplements. As such it is unregulated by the FDA. You can celebrate vitamins that are FDA approved (so you know that labeling is accurate), but supplements are another story. However, there are a couple of ways to hedge your bets here. First, you want to look for a bottle with ingredients listed (yes, you may find some with no list provided). Next you should go for a minimum of 45% chlorogenic acid extract (sometimes listed as GCA – green coffee antioxidant – or Svetol). This has been deemed the minimum amount of the green coffee bean extract needed to boost weight loss potential (as per available studies). And if eco-friendly products are a must, don’t rely on words like “natural” or “pure” that have no legal definition (and could mean almost anything). Instead, look for the word “organic,” which does have a specific legal meaning.

scale imageBoosting Your Metabolism for Winter Weight Loss

For many people, weight loss is a greater challenge in the winter than in other seasons. Changes that we make to our health habits during the winter slow down our metabolism; in consequence, we burn fewer calories. If you’re struggling with weight loss this winter, what can you do to boost your metabolism?

Exercise regularly

Winter weather keeps us from enjoying long walks and most outdoor sports. Blizzards and freezing rain cause us to cancel trips to the gym. We become more sedentary, and our metabolism gets sluggish.

To avoid depending on the weather, adopt a few exercise routines that you can do at home. Don’t sit around for hours without moving.

Eat wisely

Warm baked goods and heavy starchy dishes are dietary staples in the winter. Eat less of them and turn to foods that boost your metabolism. Lean proteins and high-fiber, low-calorie foods, including fruits and vegetables, keep you sated and improve the efficiency of your metabolism.

Try a green tea extract

If you’re interested in dietary supplements, consider green tea extracts. Green tea extract benefits may include a faster metabolism, weight loss, and a healthier cholesterol profile. However, you must consult with a doctor before taking these extracts, as they interfere with various medications and are potentially harmful to people with certain medical conditions. Furthermore, they may be toxic if they are low in quality or taken at improper dosages.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep stresses out your body and messes with your metabolism. As a result, you have poorer control of your appetite during the day and are more likely to crave sugary or starchy foods. To allow your body to rest and regulate itself properly, get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night.

Prevent illnesses

In the winter, people are especially vulnerable to physical and mental illnesses. The season is known for colds, coughs, and the flu; furthermore, the insufficient levels of sunlight may trigger depression. Illnesses disrupt the body’s metabolism and keep people inactive and isolated. They also prompt unhealthy coping mechanisms such as over-eating.

By exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep, you reduce your chances of developing an illness. You should also monitor the effects of any medications or supplements that you’re taking; they may be slowing your metabolism or hurting your body in other ways. Discuss any adverse effects with your doctor.

Little BoyBlowing Nose5 Green and Natural Flu Remedies for Children

The flu season is definitely upon us, and if you’ve paid any heed to the news over the last couple of months you’ve likely already gotten flu shots for the whole family. Unfortunately, there seem to be several strains going around, which means you and your kids might not escape the flu this year. And with the majority of strains being viral rather than bacterial, the best you can do is treat the symptoms and ride it out since antibiotics are useless. Of course, if you catch it early enough you might be able to stave off the worst of the side effects with a prescription for Tamiflu, but kids are still bound to suffer all the hallmarks of the bug, including fever, body aches, and cold symptoms like coughing, congestion, and sore throat, even if only to a lesser degree. So you’re likely looking for a few good ways to cut down on their discomfort while they’re laid up. And if you want to skip the yucky syrups that make them feel even more out of whack, here are a few good green and natural remedies that can help them to overcome the symptoms of the flu and get back on their feet in no time.

1. Hydration. Your mom always told you to drink plenty of fluids when sick, and it’s a lesson you can now pass on to your own kids. When struck by the flu, your children may not be in the mood to ingest much, but they need to flush the virus from their system as well as stay hydrated, so it’s important to make sure they’re getting plenty of liquids. Nourishment, even in small measure, can also help to relieve symptoms, which is why chicken broth is such a popular food for those best by the flu.

2. Tea with honey. Hot liquids can help to relieve a sore throat and clear nasal passages, but herbal tea in particular can also help to soothe vocal cords that are raw from coughing. In addition, honey has anti-inflammatory properties and it has been known to settle the stomach. In short, hot tea with honey packs a one-two punch of relief for children suffering from flu symptoms.

3. Oscillococcinum. This homeopathic remedy (made from highly diluted duck liver) is said to reduce flu symptoms and even decrease the duration the flu. It doesn’t prevent the virus or treat the symptoms, per se, but it is a natural remedy that could just help your kids to suffer less if taken immediately after flu symptoms appear.

4. Vitamin D. I know what you’re thinking: that should say vitamin C, shouldn’t it? In truth, vitamin C has many wonderful properties, but helping to shorten the duration of a virus or lessen its symptoms is not among them. Vitamin D, on the other hand, has been shown in studies to boost your body’s production of a virus-killing protein called cathelicidin that could actually help with the flu. So give the kids vitamin D fortified milk or make sure that their daily vitamin has the recommended dose of this essential supplement since it could just help their bodies to fight off the flu virus.

5. Rest. You don’t need to search environmental data resources to know that the best natural remedy for kids trying to overcome illness is plenty of rest. When the body and mind are resting, cell turnover and healing increase, giving your kids the best chance for a speedy recovery.

 *Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*