Healthy Dish

Winter Superfood Spread

Step aside, chicken soup. This simple paste, made with garlic and spirulina, may soon be your new go-to immune tonic.

If your immune system is compromised, your health is basically toast. Your immune system is made up of an intricate network of cells, organs, and tissues that work together to accomplish one basic task: guarding your body from harmful
influences. It does this by neutralizing foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, as well as by fighting against the body’s own cells that may have changed due to an illness (cancer cells, for example).

A big part of the immune system is the liver, which is basically ground zero for detoxification. The liver processes everything that comes into your body-food, environmental toxins, medicines (prescription or recreational), or anything else. It performs this detoxification dance with an intricate series of enzymes known as the cytochrome P450 enzymes, and it does it in two phases-aptly named Phase One and Phase Two-both of which are dependent on nutrients.

So support your liver with this spread, which is like a power pack for that vital organ. Fermented raw miso teems with probiotics for digestive and immune health, and spirulina has long been used as a detoxifier. Nutritional yeast adds a creamy texture with a zippy flavor that has been described as somewhere
between nutty and cheesy. -Dr. Jonny

This pungent spread will last for weeks. I usually make a double batch and keep it all winter long. Because of its warming qualities and the antibacterial nature of raw garlic and cayenne pepper, it acts like a kind of winter tonic. I use it at the first sign of any cold-weather bug.

The flavor is very strong, so it should be used sparingly. Spread it thinly over whole grain crackers or toast; stir it into hot veggies or grains; or use as a dip with crudités. You can alter the ingredient amounts according to your personal taste preferences. Keep the miso/tahini base consistent and customize the rest for yourself.

View Pungent Tahini Miso Spread Recipe

Featured Nutrient:

Garlic is one of the oldest medicinal foods on the planet. It lowers blood pressure, fights off bad bacteria, and boosts immunity, stimulating white blood cell production and making antibodies more efficient.

One of the foremost garlic researchers on the planet is Dr. Matthew Budoff, a cardiologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Budoff’s team has done a significant amount of research on aged garlic extract, which has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve oxidative stress, and enhance circulation. Budoff’s most recent research showed that aged garlic extract can actually halt or reverse the progression of atherosclerosis. The brand I recommend-and the one most studied by Budoff-is Kyloic Aged Garlic Extract.