“He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.”Chinese Proverb
As a practitioner of Chinese medicine, I look at balancing the body for optimal health and wellness. Through an understanding of the energy and balance in the body, the healing properties of potent natural ingredients, and using a healthy diet as a healing tool to prevent and treat disease we can stimulate energetic movement and restore balance in the body and support the immune system. Our amazing bodies have the innate ability to heal. Utilizing this knowledge we have a better chance of fighting off illness using natural tips to boost immunity, especially as we enter an intense cold and flu season this fall and winter.
Let’s keep it simple. What you eat is just as important as what you don’t eat while trying to maintain a healthy constitution and immune system. The best and easiest way to eat is to consume foods as close to their natural state as possible like fresh organic fruits and nuts; superfoods like cacao, hemp, goji berries, and chia; healthy fats and powerful spices like coconut oil, turmeric, garlic, and ginger; and vibrantly colored vegetables that contain antioxidants that stamp out inflammatory free radicals. Drinking warm water or tea throughout the day to stay hydrated is important.
Avoid These Inflammatory Foods
Certain foods and drinks are highly inflammatory and tend to tax the body instead of nourishing it. Beverages like alcohol, coffee, soft drinks and others containing caffeine all lead to inflammation. Foods such as red meat, cured or processed meat (bacon, sausages, and the like), non-organic animal flesh, white flour products (pasta, bread, cookies, crackers), foods that contain hydrogenated fats and preservatives, refined sugars and all other products containing them, dairy (milk, cheese), fried foods, all genetically modified foods, and canned foods are also highly inflammatory and will negatively affect your body.
Natural Tips to Boost Your Immunity This Flu Season
To help offset and avoid inflammation, especially during this year’s flu season, consider the following natural practices to reduce inflammation and ultimately, boost your immune system.
- Start your day with warm lemon water which contains natural vitamin C. This mix helps to detoxify and support the liver, our master detoxification organ.
- Sleep is a natural immune booster So, getting a sound night’s sleep is one of the best ways we can improve our immunity and defend against viruses.
- Practice stress reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, forest bathing, or acupuncture to bring the nervous system back into a state of balance.
- Practice proper hygiene. This flu season, remember to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use warming spices to promote sweating. Sweating out the illness through the pores works best during the early stages of a cold, before it moves deeper into the body . Teas, soups or foods like green onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, or jalapeno are all good choices.
Helpful Supplements to Prevent and Fight Viruses
Certain supplements are helpful in preventing or fighting viruses. My top picks are below:
Selenium has been shown to act on the genetic material of viruses and inhibits the ability of the virus to multiply. It reduces the ability of the virus to mutate into a more aggressive (virulent) form and increases the chances the virus will stay inactive. 200 mcg daily or you can add brazil nuts to your diet.
Daily and weekly vitamin D supplementation helps keep the immune system balanced during the cold and flu season. If you are lucky enough to live in the sunshine, get 15-30 minute of sun daily without sunscreen.
Elderberry can directly inhibit the virus’s entry and replication in human cells and can help strengthen a person’s immune response to the virus. Take as recommended capsules or syrup.
A popular herb in Chinese medicine, Astragulus is amazing at boosting the immune system. It protects against mental and physical stress. Take as directed.
Vitamin C supports healthy immune function. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants available. You can take high doses until bowel tolerance for best effect.
People often ask me what my favorite Urban Remedy products are. Right now, my go to is the Booster Shot I formulated to support immune health. It is a combination of carrot, orange, turmeric and lemon juices with astragulus, grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil, and colloidal silver.
Sending you off with my super easy yet powerful ginger goji mint tea recipe.
Goji Tea Recipe
This infusion is great for treating red, irritated eyes due to colds and flus. The mint is cooling, and in traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to brighten the eyes and clear wind heat which help with colds. Goji berries, or gou qi zi, contribute to eye health and nourish the yin. Fresh ginger is warming great to get a sweat going if you feel like you feel like you are starting to fight off a cold.
2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) filtered water
1/4 cup (1 oz/30 g) dried goji berries
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh peppermint or spearmint
Liquid stevia or honey, for sweetening
1 slice of fresh ginger
In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove from the heat, add the goji berries, ginger and mint, and let steep for 10 minutes. Pour into a large mug, sweeten with stevia to taste, and enjoy.
Makes 1 serving