Have you ever noticed that the “Flu Season” is always around (or right after) the holidays? It is not an accident. Simply put, when we eat sugar, processed foods, excess meats and dairy and drink alcohol, our immune systems get weaker.
According to many sources, including WebMD, sugar in particular can suppress the immune system for days. Combine that with cold weather that requires our bodies to work harder to protect themselves, and we can get a recipe for disaster. In this blog I share my top five immunity-boosting remedies that can help you create a recipe for wellness instead.
Vitamin C is one of the most popular ways to boost immunity and probably one of the tastiest. But did you know that it is not only citrus fruits that are rich in it? Strawberries and red bell peppers have high doses of Vitamin C, too. As for traditional favorites such as oranges, I recommend eating an actual orange instead of drinking juice. Did you know that the heat during the pasteurization process can actually kill Vitamin C, leaving you with mostly sugar water?
- So, if you are feeling under the weather, add fresh oranges and strawberries to your breakfast and include red bell peppers in your lunch and dinner.
An all-time favorite of Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is known to heat up the body, break down toxins and kill bacteria. Additionally, it can help move the lymphatic system, which is known as your body’s sewage. When lymph fluid is moving well, your body is able to get rid of toxins that can accumulate from processed foods, alcohol, pollution, pesticides, etc.
- A great way to include ginger in your diet is by juicing a couple of large roots at a time and adding a few drops of the juice to any regular juice, smoothie or hot water with lemon.
Similar to ginger, garlic is known for its great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and I highly recommend eating garlic with the onset of symptoms. However, garlic can be rough on the stomach, so please use the following tip when eating raw garlic: Always eat garlic with something that has fat and never on an empty stomach.
- My favorite way to eat garlic is to slice it up thin, put it on a piece of gluten-free toast or cracker and top with cashew or almond cheese. If you want, you can put a dollop of pizza sauce on there and voila — you got yourself a lil’ Italian pizza masterpiece!
Reishi mushrooms are part of the medicinal mushroom family that is known to help boost immunity. Medicinal mushroom capsules are perfect on the go or when traveling. I particularly like the Mushroom Optimizer by Jarrow Brand that can be found at Whole Foods Market. This product has a 7-mushroom blend that includes Cordyceps, White Wood Ear, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Maitake, Shiitake and Himematsutake.
- I take 3 capsules each day when I travel as a preventative measure or if I feel I may be catching a cold. I usually feel better within an hour of taking the capsules.
Finally, I recommend always having the Wellness Formula Capsules by Source Naturals on hand. Here are some of my favorite ingredients in this product that are known to boost immunity: zinc, propolis, elderberry fruit extract, astragalus, garlic, ginger and grape seed extract (there are many more). Because this wellness formula has so many ingredients, it is easy to carry just one bottle and take a few capsules at time.
- The reason why I recommend capsules is because they are easier to swallow. If you can only find it in tablets, then simply break them in halves or blend them in a blender with a small amount of juice or smoothie that you can drink in a few sips. Just try not to smell this supplement — the cocktail of the natural ingredients in this product creates a very potent scent.