Give yourself a boost this season with these Immune system boosting foods! Immune systems need all the help they can get through fall and winter! Tis the season for bacteria and viruses to make their way into our bodies through various (grody) means and make us sick!
During fall and winter, our immune systems are weakened through bad indoor air, polluted outdoor air, less sunshine (and Vitamin D), and exposure to the harsh elements.
Cold, dry winter air is hard on our sinuses and makes it easier for bacteria and viruses to take advantage, bringing on colds and flus.
Also, if you have children in school, they get exposed to several colds and flus very easily with their naïve immune systems and poor handwashing habits!
Immune System Boosting Foods
Me and my family have taken These Elderberry Gummies since last November, and haven’t had so much as a sniffle!
Elderberry has been shown to increase the production of certain cytokines, inhibit viral adhesion and interfere with the viral replication process.
This is my #1 go-to for keeping my immune system strong now!
You can also find Elderberry Syrup for kids 2 and older!
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has numerous health benefits for the body. It helps control weight, assists digestion & detoxification, soothes your throat, supplies enzymes and makes the body alkaline. All these things support a healthy immune system!
When it comes to Apple Cider Vinegar, I prefer Bragg’s simply because it is organic, raw, unfiltered and contains “The Mother” enzyme.
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You can find it on Amazon, or most local grocery, health food, and big chain stores carry it as well.
If drinking strong vinegar isn’t your thing, you can now take your ACV in pill form! This brand of ACV pills is organic and still contains “The Mother” enzyme.
Garlic is my go-to for all things janky in my body. Anytime I feel a stuffy nose, headache, scratchy or sore throat coming on, I immediate start taking more garlic. (I already take it every day to keep Urinary Tract Infections away!)
You can add more garlic to your food, cut up and take the cloves fresh with water, or get some good quality organic garlic pills.
This is the brand of garlic pills I personally use and love. They are organically grown and very affordable!
4. Black Garlic
You may have never heard of black garlic. I first heard of this garlic during meditation to heal a particularly nasty infection and have used it ever since!
It is garlic that is slowly and lowly heated for a long time, which produces new chemical components.
The longer the black garlic is fermented, the higher the Sallycysteine content, which is the super-antioxidant in black garlic.
If you want the king daddy of killing hard to kill bacteria and viruses, take black garlic. Your immune system will thank you!
You can either take black garlic pills, or I personally like to eat them in their raw form! It sounds gross, but they are actually quite good! They are soft, slightly sweet and have a gummy-like texture. Even my 1 and 3-year-old like them!
I like this brand of organic whole black garlic that are already peeled for you!
Curcumin, a compound in turmeric has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Turmeric is a popular bright orange spice used in Indian food and is very affordable. You can find turmeric in most health food stores and of course, online in pill and powdered form.
Make sure you get turmeric with black pepper extract to increase your body’s ability to absorb it.
These are great organic turmeric pills w/black pepper at a great price! But, I get annoyed at taking sooo many pills, so I just buy this turmeric powder from Costco or Amazon. I just take a spoonful and chase with water.
Cinnamon spice is a powerful addition to any healthy immune system boosting arsenal. Besides helping control blood sugar levels, cinnamon fights heart disease and is antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.
7. Transfer Factor
While not an immune system boosting food, I’ve included Transfer Factor on this list simply because it is amazing stuff! Transfer factor’s from colostrum, are nature’s immune wisdom, helping your body recognize, respond to, and remember potential health threats.
I was first introduced to Transfer Factor from 4Life over 20 years ago when I worked for a company making videos for them.
At the time, I had destroyed my immune system with the overuse of antibiotics. Their effectiveness weakens over time due to excessive use. My mom gave them to us at the slightest sign of illness.
Me and my family caught every cold and flu that came our way and were often sick for months at a time! We were all sick pretty much all winter long!
We all started taking transfer factor and our health dramatically improved. And now, more than 20 years later, we still all take it. That says a lot!
You can find Transfer Factor direct from the manufacturer, or usually for the same price on Amazon.
Yogurt is an excellent immune-boosting food. Besides being calcium and protein-packed, yogurt provides essential probiotics in a healthy food source.
Honey is a powerful third-eye opening secret, and is effective against a broad spectrum of bacterial species.
Honey is antibacterial and has been gaining popularity recently for its antiseptic properties. Manuka honey (grown in specific areas in New Zealand), is especially high in antibacterial properties and is used in wound dressings, such as burns.
There have also been studies where honey was mixed with garlic to help heal hard to fight respiratory infections.
Any way you slice it, honey is money for your immune system! When picking a honey, make sure it is raw, organic and unfiltered. I recommend this brand. That way you know you are not getting honey that has had all the antibacterial, antiseptic properties cooked out of it.
10. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is known for its powerful antioxidant properties and is a must-have immune boosting food for many when the cold weather hits.
In fact, it is currently being studied as a food additive to extend the shelf-life of certain foods naturally.
Look for an oregano oil high in carvacrol (from the leaf-flower), as these have the highest antioxidant activity.
I am a huuuge fan of this brand organic oregano oil! They do things the right way and their oregano oil has 60% carvacrol.
11. Lacto-Fermented Vegetables
Lacto-fermented vegetables are vegetables made in a fermentation process where bacteria break down carbohydrates in foods to form lactic acid.
Vegetables that naturally contain lactic acid bacteria are placed in a salt brine solution and left for days. What’s left is essentially a pickled vegetable full of healthy live bacteria cultures.
Examples of lacto-fermented vegetables are kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt and pickles.
You can buy pre-made versions that contain live probiotics in most health food stores (We buy big tubs of sauerkraut at Costco).
Fermented foods are amazing sources of live bacteria cultures that populate your gut with a strong defense against colds & flus. Lacto-fermentation retains food’s nutrients and often times increases them.
Be Sure to Eat a High Fiber Diet
Also, eating a high fiber diet rich in organic whole foods will eliminate toxins and nourish good bacteria in your gut, which supports your immune system.
Plenty of leafy greens like kale, spinach, and chard are great, as well as apples, carrots, and beets! Berries are also particularly high in fiber and low in carbs which makes then perfect for those on a ketogenic or low-carb diet.
Final Thoughts on Immune System Boosting Foods
Your immune system is an ingenious, complicated system that learns and remembers as it is exposed to new pathogens.
With a healthy diet, exercise, plenty of purified water/fiber and the right supplements, it is possible to get through a cold/flu season virtually unscathed.
In my experience (as a doer, mover, and shaker!), whenever I tell myself I need a break, I tend to get sick! As this seems to be the only way I’ll let myself rest!
So, if you are overwhelmed, stressed and fatigued, simply allow yourself time for LOTS of self-care and rest!
Do you have a weak or strong immune system? What foods/supplements do you take to support a healthy immune system? Please share, comment or follow us on social media!
** Medical Disclaimer. … This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. **
*As with any dietary supplements, please consult your healthcare practitioner before taking while pregnant or nursing.*
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