A healthy immune system can defeat invading pathogens! Choosing a healthy lifestyle is your first line of defense against disease causing microorganisms.
Ways to naturally boost your immune system...
- Don't smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
- Get enough sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently.
- Try to minimize stress.
Let's not forget FOOD IS MEDICINE!
Try adding these immune boosting foods to your diet...
- Citrus Fruits
- Red Peppers
All are rich in Vitamin C! Because your body can not produce or even store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With all this variety, it's easy to "squeeze" these into your meals. Adding lemon to a dish boosts "zesty" flavors! Add it at the end of your cooking process for best taste and nutritional value.
If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C, think again! Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They're also a rich source of beta carotene.
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its power (along with most other vegetables) is to lightly cook it, or not at all.
Garlic's immune-boosting properties come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin. Early civilizations used garlic to fight infections and known as a "cure all." You may get "garlic breath" but it cancels out when everyone is eating the same dish! Add raw garlic to dips and sauces to punch up the flavor.
Spinach is not only high in vitamin C, it is also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
When it comes preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a back seat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It's a fat soluble vitamin meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin E.
And now we come to Ginger! Ginger is an ingredient many turn to after getting sick. It is one of our favorites and we prefer to used ginger as a preventative line of defense to help boost the immune system. Ginger helps decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and many other inflammatory illnesses.
Try making our go to recipe for a healthy Immune Boosting Tea, our Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Tea. This recipe includes just 4 simple ingredients, and we recommend making a large batch at a time, as the prepared tea will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge!
Conscious Cooks Anti-Inflammatory
Ginger Tea Recipe
1 Large piece of ginger root (approx. the size of your hand)
1-2 Juice from large lemons
2-4 tbsp Local Honey (we prefer wildflower, can use a vegan sweetener as well)
8 cups filtered water
Fill a medium sized pot with 8 cups of filtered water.
Slice ginger root into thin strips, and place in the pot of water (no need to peel ginger, just clean before slicing).
Bring the mixture to a boil then turn temperature down, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Keep the pot covered and remove from the heat, set aside to cool properly.
Once the tea is cooled, strain to remove ginger pieces.
Add lemon and honey to taste. Stir until honey is fully dissolved.
If the tea seems too strong/bold for you, you can dilute it a bit by simply adding more filtered water.
Your tea is ready to enjoy at this point!
Store tea in a tightly sealed jar, in the fridge for up to 14 days.