What if, this winter, you discovered a few simple ways to boost your immune system so you won't get sick? Try even a few of these tips to increase your ability to stay balanced, healthy, and happy throughout the season.
1. Let supplements give you a boost! It’s a good idea to tune-up your supplement plan when the seasons change. Quality supplements can be your best defense. Try Vitamin C crystals along with a Green Food Complex, odorless garlic, and EFAs like Cod Liver Oil. Medicinal mushrooms can be immune-boosting powerhouses as well. Try even one of these, and you will be guaranteed to head into the season fortified!
2. Keep the sweetness, reduce the sugar. If you do only one thing to boost your immune system, reduce “the white stuff”. You will see drastic results in your energy levels, weight, mood and immunity when you eat less refined sugar. Keep the sweetness with healthier alternatives such as coconut sugar, stevia, or honey.
3. Fruits and veggies, especially mushrooms! The nutritional content that you receive from raw fruits and veggies is unparalleled. Dark-colored produce (berries, kale, broccoli) tends to have the most immune-boosting nutrients. Also, shiitake and maitake mushrooms increase the body’s production of white blood cells, which are part of the immune system.
4. Get Spicy! Cooking with spices enhances digestion by making nutrients more easily available to the body. Different spices also have specific immune-boosting properties. Turmeric has an immune-modulating effect, because it is detoxifying. Cumin enhances digestion, and black pepper increases vigor by reaching deeper tissues. Try the Immunity Spice Mixture below!
5. Limit caffeine. As enticing as that cup of joe sounds in the morning, caffeine robs your body of minerals and vitamins, while also dehydrating you. If you do drink coffee, make sure you add additional water per cup of coffee. Adequate water will reduce headaches, cravings, and fatigue. If you are hooked on coffee, try Teeccino – an herbal coffee.
6. Connect with Movement. Exercise improves health and happiness by releasing endorphins. Find a movement that inspires you, and you are halfway there.
7. Nurture yourself. Today’s world is frenetic, so make sure you take time for yourself doing whatever recharges you, because this kind of attention feeds you better than any food. Our bodies respond to our emotions. If you're feeling overwhelmed and anxious, it can manifest as a sore throat or a cold. Create a space within yourself and in your living environment for harmony, self-love, and joy. When you're happy, you're far less likely to get sick.
Cool Weather Miso
2½ cups water
½ cup sliced carrot
½ cup sliced kale or watercress
1 green onion, sliced
3 inch strip wakame seaweed
½ cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon barley miso
Cut wakame strip into small pieces. Bring water to boil; add wakame and carrot and simmer 15 minutes. Add kale and mushrooms and cook 5 more minutes. Add green onion and simmer briefly. Turn off heat and dissolve miso into the soup by stirring through a strainer.
Immunity Spice Mix
6 parts turmeric
3 parts ground cumin
3 parts ground coriander
6 parts ground fennel
1 part powdered, dry ginger
1 part ground black pepper
¼ part ground cinnamon
Heat 1 teaspoon spice mixture with 1 tablespoon ghee or butter on medium-high heat, until the mixture releases an aroma. Remove from the heat immediately. Add to cooked brown rice, vegetables, or any other savory food.