Lopez-Gonzaga: Coping with colds and flu

Ecoviews and Issues

2019-nCoV or not, it certainly feels like everyone is sick right now. From the flu to running colds, to coughs, it feels like nasty viruses are everywhere.

Well, I have been sick myself. For more than two weeks now, I have had to reckon with lingering cough from the flu I had for wrong thinking that I still have the same stamina and strength to "not get sick easily" as when I was in my forties. As much as I do my best to keep myself, and my hubby's immune systems high, sometimes the viruses do hit our home. It started with my helper's careless coughing over what she's cooking, then a late afternoon dip at our spring mineral pool, riding with wet hair in an air-conditioned car. I should have known better, being a health and wellness advocate, but I was careless.

So the last week of January until my birthday I was down with a fever, chills, body aches, headache, and nasty cough. Truth to tell, I have not taken any antibiotic. Instead, I have turned to herbal teas (tamarind, ginger, and calamansi, interspersed with lagundi decoction and guava leaves with vinegar and salt gargle). My healing strategies used to work fast, but being in my late 60s, though I readily overcame my fever, my cough has lingered.

Should we have a special diet when flu or “trangkaso” hits us? What should we eat during this time? What foods will really help?"

The truth is, as one nutritional expert/coach teaches, "the best foods are going to be the ones that give your body a bit of rest from digesting and allow it to work on fighting off those pesky bugs instead."

When you or anyone in your home gets sick, put them on a simple regimen of herbal tea, coconut water, and healing chicken soup.

The less food, the better for recovery from illness. Though when I was young, I used to think that eating special food like Lechon (which my mom would gladly subscribe to, to get me to eat) would help me get better.


Any variety of herbal tea (fresh mint or yerba buena, chamomille, oregano etc.) with 1 tablespoon of raw honey, if you have. Since we're keeping the food light, malunggay powder will provide healing protein, and the raw honey will provide some carbohydrates and the natural healing power of honey (remember, always get honey in its raw form).

Boiled sab-a banana or camote in the morning would be fine too but focus on resting is best.


Chicken soup (Tinola nga manok) and more tea or some coconut water to drink. Coconut water is a great form of potassium (even more so than bananas), which may be depleted during times of illness.

As for the chicken soup, you can check one recipe from my online nutritional coach, Isabel ( ) Chicken Soup with Cauliflower Rice recipe. It's perfect to help build up your immune system because it contains chicken broth, garlic, turmeric, and ginger--naturally healing your body to bring down any inflammation that may be present.

As Isabel cautions, when you make this soup, be sure to use a high-quality bone broth, which is not just great for immunity, but wonderful for digestive health, joint health, and can promote better sleep.

You can make your own homemade bone broth--from beef or chicken bones saved from previous meals. Just boil them over a slow fire for about 30 minutes or more, then freeze the broth until you need it.

Because bone broth has so many wonderful benefits and can help ward off any potential illnesses, you can drink ½ - 1 cup every single day, even when you are not sick. Just heat it up and sip on it , better, add moringa powder and mix well.

Sometimes colds, the flu, and pesky viral infections do need rest and time to work themselves out, but why not help things along, and ward off nCoV as well, with a nice, simple regimen of healing foods that will have you feeling good in no time.


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