Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System
- Written By:Lauren Slayton
While there’s no single food or supplement that can prevent you from getting sick, we can put our bodies in the best place to defend itself. And action always beats anxiety, so focusing a little attention on your wellness is a lot better than freaking out. Here are some powerful, research-backed immune boosters, as well as what we call “immune losers.”
Cinnamon has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Legend has it that during the Spanish flu outbreak, workers at cinnamon factories seemed immune to the virus. Add ¼ to ½ tsp Ceylon cinnamon to smoothies, yogurt or tea. There are two types of cinnamon, Ceylon is “real cinnamon” and the most beneficial, whereas Cassia cinnamon can be toxic, in high amounts.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano is one of the most potent natural remedies. It’s used for many things but its most impressive benefits are immune and respiratory. Animal studies have shown it effective versus norovirus, it’s useful to combat food-borne illness such as salmonella as well as parasitic and yeast infections.
Oil of oregano is not suggested for infants, children or pregnant women. The active ingredient, carvacrol, may help reduce weight. We don’t know about you, but we’re hoping not to pack on any quarantine pounds.
Matcha green tea boosts your immune system due to an antioxidant called EGCG.It improves your production of t-cells, which help fight pathogens. Try what we call the Match Max.
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp fresh grated or ½ tsp Wakaya ginger
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- Oil of oregano
- Hikari Matcha
Combine in a pot, let simmer and cover for 10 minutes. Strain. Dissolve matcha in 1 spoonful hot water. Add dissolved matcha to strained tea, stir to combine. Add NuStevia and two drops oil of oregano.
Many studies suggest that ginger can enhance immune response. Ginger also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. While not on topic, ginger is a natural appetite suppressant. You can use fresh ginger or this organic, delicious, convenient powdered form.
Fermented foods & Probiotics
Think of your GI tract as your bug-fighting army. The more “bugs” in your army taking up space, the less the bad guys can establish a presence. We suggest one probiotic capsule and one tablespoon of kraut or apple cider vinegar daily. Currently loving this Wild Dill kraut. Collagen and bone broth are excellent for healing your gut.
Deficiency in vitamin D makes you more susceptible to infections and viruses. And for every 4 mg/ml you raise your vitamin D levels, you lower the risk of flu by 7%. It’s not coincidental that cold and flu season peaks, when our vitamin D levels are the lowest. We suggest taking one Foodtrainers Double D in the morning with food, because it needs fat for absorption. Avoid taking D at night.
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Sucralose and saccharin (AKA Equal, Splenda and Sweet N Low) and products using them, hello diet soda reduce good bacteria in your gut and makes you less able to respond to threats.
And sugar is no better. Sugar competes with Vitamin C, a key immune nutrient. The more sugar, the harder it is for immune cells to get C resulting in a 40% decrease in immunity for hours after sugar consumption. Sugar weakens white blood cells.
So, in addition to hand washing, sleeping 7 or more hours a night and hydrating. Increase your “boosters” and decrease your “losers.” And whatever you do, don’t panic.