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Improve Your Immune System With These Super Foods During The Cold and Flu Season
As I write this, I have a box of tissues to my left, and on my right, a paper basket packed with used tissues. Ewww. My immune system is down the drain, my nose clogged and my head hurts. There are so many things you can do to boost your immune system and strengthen yourself to prevent getting ill.
Had I only taken the advice and tips I am about to give you today, I may not have found myself so weak. If mom is sick, she can’t take care of her little ones, right? The last thing you need is a cold creeping up on you and disrupting your week.
You know that feeling when you are getting sick? That tingle at the back of your throat, tossing and turning, the feeling of exhaustion…..you know you are coming down with a cold. It sucks.
At the moment, it is about -14 degrees Celcius here in Austria. Freezing! By the time I realized I was getting sic, it was too late to keep it away.
Did you know that about 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system?
I personally don’t believe in filling my body with all kinds of medication unless it is an absolute must. There are lots of things you have in your home right at this moment that will help you build the healthy cells you need to feel better.
Sleep and exercise can do a lot for your health, eating the right food is just as important, if not more.
I can’t control everything in my life, but I can control what I put in my body.
What Can You Do To Boost Your Immune System?
Your immune system is exactly that. A system, not a single entity. In order for it to work well, it requires a good balance.
The purpose of your body’s immune system is to defend against attack and help start repair.
The better it does it, the healthier we are.
You don’t want to spend more time each year nursing a sore throat, fever, and runny nose than you do on vacation. Getting sick multiple times per year is not necessary and is unavoidable.
Even if you do come into contact with bacteria and viruses, to be completely knocked out by them is not something that has to happen. There are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that have immunity-boosting properties that will do wonders for your body.
'don't focus on how much you eat, focus on what you eat.'Click To Tweet
Here Are 7 Fruits & Vegetables That Will Boost Your Immune System
Foods that are rich in colour are also high in immunity-boosting antioxidants. Be on the lookout for yellow, red, blue, orange, and purple, fruits and vegetables. Immune system booster foods can change the way your body handles germs.
1. Berries, All Kinds Of Berries!
Although we love to eat strawberries in late Spring or in the Summer, strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C during the cold and flu season. Strawberries, not only oranges, are known to help your body fight infection.
2. Carrots Are Great For Helping You Ward Off Seasonal Colds and Flu
Carrots are full of beta-carotene. Vitamin A found in carrots acts as an immune enhancer.
Stick to eating raw carrots. Other sources of Vitamin A include broccoli, squash, kale, cantaloupe, apricots, and fish. So if you are lacking, try introducing some of these into your daily diet.
I love setting the table, even if it is just for breakfast. These are some of my favourite fruit bowls.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes also have a great amount of Vitamin A and beta-carotene just like carrots do. This is an essential nutrient for helping you fight against a cold.
Did you know that your skin is one of the most important parts of your immune system?
It is the first barrier to prevent disease. If germs can’t get through, no flu for you.“Health is a relationship between you and your body” ~Terri GuillemetsClick To Tweet
4. Garlic – Doesn’t Smell Great, But Works Wonders
Even though I don’t like it, I must admit garlic works. Garlic contains more than 100 biologically-useful chemicals which do everything from lower cholesterol to fight off viruses. It has been used for centuries for its antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Garlic works so well to boost your immune system by increasing the rate at which your natural killer cells are made with allicin. Eating a clove or two of garlic on an empty stomach every day will help boost your immune system if you and those around you can handle it.
As much as I can’t stand the stench, garlic can regulate blood sugar levels, and get you back to being healthy.
5. Mushrooms Have Powerful Immune-Boosting Effects
It is no surprise that some mushrooms have great potential for battling cancer. Mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells. They become more aggressive when fighting bacteria.It’s important to eat ONLY organically grown mushrooms.
Shiitake is a popular culinary mushroom used in dishes around the world and contains a number of health-stimulating agents.
6. Chinese Gooseberry a.k.a Kiwi
Kiwis are high in vitamin C, and vitamin E. Eating a couple of kiwi fruits thrice a week, can go a long way in improving your immune system. kiwis are great to add to fruit bowls, salads and smoothies.
Having two kiwi fruits one hour before bedtime can help immensely in inducing sleep.
You can take a few slices of kiwi and apply them on your skin, the vitamins act as an antioxidant.
Kiwi rejuvenates our skin, helps keep skin firm, fights acne, and prevents sun damage.
Is there anything this fruit can’t do? It is recognized as the national fruit of China, not New Zealand.
'In my food world, there is no fear or guilt, only joy and balance.' - Ellie KriegerClick To Tweet
7. Spinach Has Many Important Roles To Play In Maintaining A Healthy Body
Spinach is loaded with vitamin, A, C, E and K. It is low in fat and even lower in cholesterol.
They also increase our body’s ability to heal wounds and provide a boost to our entire metabolism.
Spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. It also helps enhance your body’s ability to rejuvenate itself.
8. Yoghurt And Healthy Bacteria
Probiotics, found in yoghurt, are healthy bacteria that keep the gut germs that cause disease. Friendly bacteria have a powerful, beneficial effect on your body. Yoghurt is delicious and helps make you feel fuller. Instead of reaching for chips or chocolate, trade those in for healthy yoghurt that your body will thank you for.
What Foods Should You Cut Back On?
The best types of foods to cut back on ( even though it is so hard) are refined carbs like white flour, white rice, sugar, and saturated fats found in butter and other animal fats, such as chicken skin.
Processed meats, fried food, soda, and baked treats are no good either. I cannot cut ALL these out of my diet. I am just too weak. If you cannot cut them out either, have them in moderation.
Eating too much of these will suppress your immune system.
In order to boost your immune system and maintain a healthy body, be mindful of what you eat.'A healthy outside starts from the inside.' -Robert UrichClick To Tweet
Inspire Yourself To Cook and Eat Consciously
Cook with onions, garlic, ginger, black peppercorn, cayenne pepper, allspice, curry, and turmeric. They all contain components that will help to boost your immune system. When you cook consciously, you will develop a better relationship with food, and how you feel about yourself after eating it. You will be able to enjoy the process while savouring all the many different tastes, textures, and flavours of food.
Who says you can’t look cute when making a deliscious meal?
I love these 4-piece sets that all go for $25 or under. My favourite goes for only $12!
One thing I truly suck at is remembering to drink enough water every day.
I will drink coffee, tea, soda, and juice, but never drink the recommended daily intake of water.
Working on doing better this week, month, year, I have to constantly remind myself and be reminded.
Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. To make tap water not taste so boring, add a squeeze of lemon, or lime (or both). Lemon helps rehydrate the system and promotes digestion. Drinking water will help boost your immune system ensures that your eyes and mouth will remain as moist as they need to be.
'You don't have to eat less, you just have to eat right.'Click To Tweet
Fill a large jug with water, sliced fruit (try citrus, berries or melon) and ice; refrigerate overnight. I love to tear up some fresh mint leaves and leave to steep in water before drinking. In summer, it’s just heavenly!
A colleague of mine who noticed I hardly drank any water said to me, “Sheri, you use water to wash your hands, mop the floor, and do the dishes, to get all these things clean, so why wouldn’t you use water to cleanse and remove toxins from your body?” Here question was so straightforward, logical and on-point. I had no answer, she was right.
Thanks, Susan! 🙂
Hot water (not boiling) with lemon, ginger, and organic honey will help with your cold and flu.
Here’s How To Flu-Proof Your Home
I have spent the past few days constantly washing my hands, using Purell like crazy, sneezing into my elbow, and avoiding kissing my toddler too much. Right before Christmas, I had tonsillitis, three weeks ago the hubby had bronchitis. Here’s what we have been doing to ensure our little one does not catch any of our icky germs.
Maintain Good Coughing and Sneezing Habits
Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and put the tissue in the trash right away.
Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow NOT your hand.
Fewer germs on your hands mean you are less likely to spread germs from touching.
Wash Your Hands Often
Washing your hands is one of the best ways to keep from catching a cold.
Wash your hand with soap, antibacterial if possible. Scrub a little more than you usually would, and do not touch your face with dirty hands.
Keep Surfaces Clean
Your family members can easily catch a cold by touching contaminated objects and then putting their fingers near their mouth and eyes. My little one is almost three, so his hands are on his face and in his mouth all the time! He is always reaching for my laptop, iPad and cell phone. At this time I need to be particularly cautious.
Colds and flu are spread mostly by direct contact. Despite your best efforts to prevent catching a cold, you might still get hit with a bug. You have the power to stop the illness from spreading once you’ve caught it.
Did you know that when a sick person coughs or sneezes, their virus droplets can travel 6 feet or more???
That’s an insane distance for yucky germs, but they love to travel and they travel fast!
Keep your germs to yourself and stop them from spreading!
Improve Circulation in Your Home by Opening Windows
Indoor air can be up to five times as polluted as outdoor air, so even when it’s cold outside, air out your home for 10 minutes daily. Houseplants help clean air too. Plants help to increase oxygen levels, and our bodies appreciate that.
The Top 10 plants for removing indoor pollutants are:
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
- Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aures)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
- Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
- Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
- Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)
- Red-Edge Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Having a bulletproof immune system won’t happen if you only follow these tips for a few days a week.
You have to be mindful of them all year round. Exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, get enough sleep, and try to minimize stress.
If you can’t see any of these tips helping you out, get a hazmat suit. 🙂
Everyone gets sick around this time of the year, so it is important to remember the foods that will help you get back on your feet. Rounding out your diet with plenty of vegetables and drinking water will keep your immunity running smoothly. A little effort will go a long way!
Finding the right foods to eat and stay healthy can be easy if you adopt the motto, “if it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”
You don’t need to go vegetarian, vegan, or even go on a Keto diet. You can do things daily to naturally strengthen and boost your immune system.
Never underestimate the power of food and water to help heal your body.
What do you do to combat colds and boost your immunity? Tips, advice and suggestions are welcome, you never know who is feeling a little under the weather…or is about to.
Share them with me in the comments section below!