Boost up your Immune System!
Eat – and Drink – Your Greens
The more dark, leafy greens you can work into your diet, the better. All that good green stuff is filled with fiber, which is exactly what your good gut bacteria love to feast on. And, when our good bacteria are well-fed, they’re armed and fortified to help keep your immunity high. Greens will also supply you with energy-boosting phytonutrients so you can power through the day without a caffeine or sugar drip. Add fresh leafy greens to breakfast, lunch and dinner, and keep a supply of high-quality greens powder in your fridge or at the office so you can stir up a glass of immunity-supporting greens anytime.
Eat the Tastiest Treats
No, not sugar or junk food. I’m talking about delicious whole foods that also have medicinal properties that enable your body to torpedo many of the bug that bring on winter ills. Among my favorite food-as-medicine picks are antimicrobial and antiviral edibles like extra-virgin coconut oil (EVCO), garlic, ginger, and turmeric. For thousands of years they’ve helped make life tastier and fend off colds and flu, no prescription required. Another tip from the ancients? Add a few fermented faves like sauerkraut or kimchi to your plate. They’ll help seed your gut with good bacteria that help repel the microorganisms that can make you sick.
Keep Yourself Well-Watered
Most people don’t pay as much attention to hydration in winter, and that’s a mistake. Keeping yourself well-watered throughout this season is equally important. Drinking up is good for your skin, organs and bodily functions, all of which can suffer once dehydration from cold, dry air and indoor heating settle in. Another reason to drink up? Staying well-hydrated helps thin the mucus in your lungs and sinuses, making it easier for your body to clear the sludgy stuff out of your system — so cozy up to soothing herbal teas, hot water with lemon and hot, healthy beverages until the warmer weather returns.
Get your Vitamin C and D On!
Get lit with sunlight. Granted, you’ll need to bundle up, but take a few minutes every day when the sun is visibly shining to have a brief wintertime sunbath. Drink your Vitamin C by juicing carrots, lemon, ginger and turmeric. I have found this juice is best in the morning or as a afternoon snack.
My Favorite Herbal Supplements
Echinacea- It is flowering plant and a member of the daisy family. More commonly known as purple coneflower. It can help encourage the immune system which may lead to faster recovery from illness. They act by sequestering the attacks of various microbes and allow the body to heal itself.
Uses- Tincture, Teas or Capsules. May find at any health food store.
Goldenseal- The herb's primary value is as an infection fighter for upper respiratory congestion and sinus infections as well as a topical antibiotic in skin infections, cuts and wounds, sore throats, mouth ulcers, and eye infections.
Uses- Tincture and Capsules. May find at any health food store
Elderberry Cough Syrup- Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell.
Ingredients: Elderberry, Raw Honey, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Propolis. May find at any health food store.
Want to make your own elderberry cough syrup? Click here to find out the recipe!