Super Charge your Immunity with these 5 Foods
Tis the cold and flu season. Runny noses, nausea, cold sweats, and headaches. Whether you’re somebody that easily picks up sickness, or you are able to prevent getting sick, the cold and flu season is upon us. There is good news – colds and flus are preventable. Along with the obvious, staying hydrated, eating a well balanced diet, getting good quality sleep and plenty of rest, maintaining a healthy immune system is important so it's ready to fight those nasty flu-bugs and viruses. While there are many things you can do to prevent illness, it’s important to acknowledge that a weakened immune system is linked to high stress, poor sleep and poor digestion.
There are many foods, herbs, and tonics that are available to you to help strengthen your immune system, and recover faster if you are already stuck in bed with sickness. A lot of the things you can use to boost your immune system, and fight your flu, can probably already be found in your pantry or fridge. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and my homemade tonic (read on to get the information and recipe), are chalked full of natural immune boosters. I always like to resort to food first whenever I can. Certified organic produce is the best choice you can make for your health, with fruits and vegetables providing the nutrients your body needs to battle illness.
Okay, let’s dive in.
As you probably already know, citrus foods provide the body with high levels of Vitamin C – even Vitamin A. Let’s not forget that Vitamin C is the POWERHOUSE when it comes to immunity. Citrus fruits – like lemon, orange and grapefruit are virtually low in sugar, and are packed with Vitamin C, which is essential for fighting off the flu and boosting white blood cells. It’s important to stock up on vitamin C foods because our bodies don’t produce Vitamin C and its key to prevention and stimulating your immunity.
Garlic is among the few foods that have many powerful anti-viral properties. Garlic is also known to warn off the flu by almost 60 percent. You can either take garlic extract, eat garlic whole, or just add to your tonic and let ferment for 24 hours or more. While raw garlic is always a tough one to chew, it’s always a healthier option. Furthermore, fermented foods are rich in enzymes, aid in gut healing, and provide various digestive properties. Since 80 percent of our immunity lies in our gut lining, fermented foods are key for providing healthy good bacteria. This not only enhances immunity, but also provide probiotics for improved digestion, and further help to restore conditions such as leaky gut.
Let’s talk ginger! Commonly used in Asian cuisine, ginger is known to have pungent flavor, but is another powerhouse to warn off illness. First and foremost, ginger is excellent to take for nausea. Ginger can be used for sickness, motion sickness and is commonly used in pregnancy. What has worked for me the most, is making one of my favorite homemade teas occasionally to help warn off the deadly bug and help keep me hydrated. You need to boil 1-1/2 cups of filtered water, once water is boiled add two lemon slices (squeezed), 4 slices of chopped ginger, and dark buckwheat honey in raw form. Steep for 10-15 minutes, remove or keep the ingredients and enjoy.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar has some phenomenal benefits while fighting viruses. Here’s something that might come to a surprise to you – how can something so acidic have such an alkalizing effect on the body? Colds and viruses increase acidity within the body, but by taking 1-2 tablespoons of ACV daily, you can actually can reduce the acetic acid that induces sickness, specifically viruses. How you ask? During digestion, acid breaks apart and potassium and magnesium ions form alkalinity within the body. Speaking about digestion, ACV is fermented – great for gut health – and contains beneficial prebiotics and probiotics which does wonders for the immune system.
Let’s put all the bitter foods aside for a moment and talk about the golden goodness of raw honey. I love a good quality local honey. Raw honey is a staple in my household, not only for medicinal use, but I love to bake with honey. Raw honey is most commonly used when one of my family members has a sore throat, and need to relieve the itchy, scratchiness that usually comes with a sore throat. Phytonutrients in raw honey have powerful anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties which can help enhance your immune system and fight off sickness. Raw honey has so many health benefits such as antioxidants with help to fight off bad cholesterol, and free radicals in the body. Got a cut or burn? Because of its natural antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, applying honey to a cut, or burn will help heal the wounds naturally.
Immune Booster + Flu Fighter Tonic
1 lemons squeezed
2 whole garlic cloves
2 tablespoons raw honey
6 slices of ginger
2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup of boiled hot water
Mix all ingredients in a mason jar and let ferment for 24 hours or more. Drink 1 cup per day or 2-1/2 cups per day.
When I feel something coming on I immediately run to the supplement cabinet, and load up on the essential immune supplements – zinc, vitamin C and EFA’s. Additionally, I make this immune booster flu fighting fermented tonic. It incorporates everything you’ve just read up on, and works best if taken first thing in the morning before eating. If you want more information about how to fight colds, flus and other viruses email me, I’d love to chat. I also offer consulting services that will help you change your lifestyle as a whole, so you can live a healthier life while preventing sickness.
In health and happiness,