As the weather cools down and cold and flus ramp up, we have been on the hunt for how to support your immune system with real food! It estimated that around 80% of your immune system is located in your micro-biome so it stands to reason that by supporting your gut with real food, you will help to promote a strong, robust immune system. Below are our favourite nutrient-rich foods for immune boosting!
Vitamin C Rich Foods- Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and supports numerous pathways in our bodies from skin health, cardiovascular disease and immune system support. Whilst historically everyone has gone straight to the old faithful orange for their vitamin C hit, there are actually loads of other foods that outdo an orange by a long shot! Guava, black current, red capsicum and kiwi fruit all rank higher than an orange on the vitamin C scale.
Remember how your grandma used to make chicken soup if you were sick? Well it wasn't for the chicken, it was for the broth. Properly prepared bone broth is not only rich in calcium and magnesium but it's loaded with collagen. Collagen is known to help heal and seal the gut lining, ensuring our immune system has a safe and robust home. You could also try using a collagen supplement like Great Lakes Collagen or Dr Axe Multi Collagen.
Garlic is one of natures most potent antiviral and anti fungal agents. It contains allicin which helps to boost the disease-fighting response in some types of white blood cells. Crushing or chewing raw garlic helps to increase the allicin level. Another tip is to allow your chopped or crushed garlic to sit for at least 10 minutes prior to cooking. This waiting period can help prevent the loss of medicinal properties often caused by heat during the cooking process. If you're feeling game, we often chop our garlic into 'pill-sized' pieces and swallow them whole for an extra kick when we feel under the weather.
Raw honey is another one of natures best antibacterials. It is critical that you are purchasing RAW honey as highly processed commercial honey doesn't contain the same enzymes and bacteria fighting properties. Honey can also be a great way to soothe a cough or sore throat.
Ginger & Turmeric
Both ginger and turmeric contain potent anti-inflammatory agents. Turmeric is an absolute superhero and has been shown to bind to cells together to help prevent the entry of a virus into the cell. Ginger has been shown to cleanse the lymphatic system, removing bacteria from the bloodstream.
Potent medicinal 'shrooms have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years and can be powerhouses when it comes to hormone balancing, anti-oxidant properties and brain boosters. Reishi can assist to calm the nervous system, promote healing and even fight cancer cells. Chaga is an anti-oxidant powerhouse and is ace at fighting free radicals and inflammation. Turkey Tail contains a compound called polysaccharide-K (PSK) which is so effective at stimulating the immune system that it's an approved anticancer prescription drug in Japan. We love the Shrooms from Four Sigmatic.
Fermented foods are loaded with a variety of natural probiotics that can help support the immune system and kill off bad bacteria and pathogens. Each type of fermented food will contain different strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast to help to establish strong and diverse gut bacteria. Our favourite fermented foods are Yogi Beer Kombucha, Pure N Free Coconut Yoghurt and Kehoe's Kitchen Fermented Veggies & Dips.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV can help aid natural detoxification in the body by cleansing the lymph nodes, promoting lymph drainage and circulation. The healthier your lymphatic system, the more efficient it will be in clearing toxins and pathogens from the blood stream. Make sure the one ACV purchase is raw, unfiltered and contains "the mother" so it is still enzyme-rich. You can also try the product, Fire Tonic for a super immune boost! It's ACV but with loads of additional immune boosting elements.
We hope you found some useful tips in here to keep you well and thriving and keep those colds & flus at bay!
Looking for how to heal your gut and get your body on track?! Click here to check out our Tips & Tricks to Heal Your Gut!