We all know what supplements, from Vitamin C to Vitamin D, help boost our immune system during cold and flu season. Now, let’s dive deeper into using food as medicine during this season.
The cold and flu season coincides with cooler winter temperatures. To naturally stay in balance, you can eat foods that are warming and drink lots of warm liquids like broths and teas to balance the cool seasonal elements. If you do get sick and develop chills with body aches, add ginger and cinnamon to your teas, and green onion and garlic to your foods and soups. If you have a fever and sore throat with aversion to heat, drink peppermint tea and eat cooling fruits, like oranges and other citrus fruits, like in the Urban Remedy Cold Crusher. Stay cozy and rest. Wear your warmest jammies and keep your skin and nose protected from the wind. This will help the body to sweat—the primary way that the body releases the pathogens. Rest. Sleep. Let the body use most of its energy to fight the pathogen.
Powerful Foods to Support Your Immune System
Along with warming foods and cooling fruits, you can also add these tasty and powerful foods to boost your immune system:
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. It is easy to incorporate into salad dressings, soups, stews, and other cooked food items.
Ginger a powerful antihistamine and decongestant. It offers a great solution against cold symptoms. You can use fresh ginger root as a tea by steeping the root in hot water for 10 minutes and sweeten with local or Manuka honey as an extra immune boost.
Known for its antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties, used to heal sore throats and externally on cuts and wounds to assist with the healing process. Try my Neka Loves pick, Activist Raw Mannuka Honey.
These beautiful flowers have antimicrobial properties and can help to clear pathogenic heat. It is used to treat headaches, sore, throats and ulcers. You can drink chrysthamum tea and add mannuka honey for sweetness.
Mushrooms have always been revered by the Chinese for their flavor and curative properties. Reishi mushrooms were considered an “elixir of life” and used in soups, teas, and extracts. My top picks for immune are reishi, turkey tail, shitake, maitake and chaga. Try these medicinal mushrooms in my Neka Loves pick, Superfood Chocolate.
Zinc rich foods
Zinc helps boost white blood cells, which support our immune system against viruses. Sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, oysters, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils.