Top 5 Immune Boosting Foods
The cooler weather is approaching, and so are the viruses, colds and flu’s. Getting your immune system in optimal shape will prepare you for all the sneezes and sniffles coming your way. Check out some of the ways to keep you healthy and combat some of those germs that are lurking.
1. Garlic – This herb is a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Garlic contains Allicin, which is a compound that gives garlic many of its medicinal benefits. What’s the best way to use garlic? Cut a raw garlic clove into a few pieces and swallow with some water. You can also crush it onto a spoon and take it with a little raw honey. Pro tip – start slow, with a half a clove at a time as some people can find it a little hard on the stomach. Other ways to use garlic: make it part of your regular routine adding it to roasted vegetables, meats, marinades, soups and salad dressing.
2. Ginger – If you or members of your family are prone to the stomach flu, you need to have a fresh piece of ginger on hand. Ginger has been used for centuries to relieve nausea, loss of appetite, help fight the flu and common cold. Ways to use ginger: make a tea – slice off and peel a piece of fresh ginger. Add it to a pot of boiling water and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Pour it into a cup and add some raw honey to sweeten a little and drink up. Other ways to use Ginger – add it to stir fry’s, soups and salad dressings. Check out this delicious Butternut Squash Ginger soup.
3. Cinnamon – This herb has a long history dating way back when it was used for medicinal use to treat nausea, flu, and the common cold. Why? Because it has natural anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. As soon as the fall hits start sprinkling cinnamon over roasted vegetables and warm cereals like oatmeal. It’s also a delicious addition to coffee!
4. Squash – Butternut, Acorn, and Pumpkin (also sweet potato, although not a squash) are all super high in Vitamin C and Carotenoids. Your body turns carotenoids into Vitamin A. Vitamin C and these carotenoids help strengthen and boost the immune system fighting off the common cold.
5. Vitamin D – while Vitamin D isn’t a food (you can only get very small amounts from fatty fish like salmon, egg yolk and fortified milk) it’s definitely worthy of an immune boosting mention. Vitamin D is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies. Your body makes Vit D from the sun, so unless you are getting daily exposure (without being lathered sunscreen) this is one vitamin I would highly suggest supplementing with. Vitamin D helps boost immune cells, and those taking a supplement are less likely to get the common cold or flu.