Cold and Flu Season – Time to boost your immune system!
Let’s look at some things your can do to boost your immune system this season.
1. Vitamin C – the obvious and easy to incorporate into your daily diet. These are some of the top fruits or vegetables that contain vitamin C.
#1 Yellow peppers – Surprised? In just one large yellow pepper holds 569% of your daily value of vitamin C! Amazing! And how easy is it to cut up a yellow pepper and add it to your lunch or eat it as a snack alongside of some hummus. Yum!
#2 Oranges. – The obvious. One orange contains 116% of your daily value of vitamin C. Easy enough to eat at some point in the day or add to your morning smoothie or juice. I actually have a great immune boosting drink from a book a client gave me. It is called is ‘Oh she glows” by Angela Liddon – you take two navel oranges, two tablespoons of lemon juice, two teaspoons of maple syrup, and some fresh ginger. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and enjoy!
#3 Kiwi. – One cup of sliced kiwi contains 278% of your daily value of vitamin C. A nice little mid-day snack 🙂
#4 Kale – Packed with nutritional value! Everything from calcium, vitamin C and everything in between! 100grams of kale contains 200% of your daily value of vitamin C. Not fond of kale? Throw it in the blender with your favourite smoothie or protein drink. It blends up perfectly. Other then the color of your drink you won’t even know it is there!
#5 Strawberries – Who doesn’t love strawberries?? One cup of sliced strawberries contains 163% of your daily value of vitamin C. Add the strawberries to your kiwi for your mid-day snack if you want.
#6 Guavas – Not typically on my grocery list but I have add this a few times to my juices or smoothie. Just one guava has 209% of your daily value of vitamin C. Who knew?
#7 Broccoli – Raw, not cooked….I know not everyone loves to have those little green bits of raw broccoli suck between their teeth at work. A couple of options – add it you’re your salad at dinner or if you love juicing, like I do, throw it in the juicer. Juicing is an easy way to get all of your daily nutrients. Here are the nutritional facts on broccoli. Just 100 grams (probably just over a cup) has 149% of your daily value of vitamin C. Not to mention it also contains vitamin A, calcium, and iron.
#8 Papaya – I am not a fan of papaya but I have put it in my smoothies to help out with some stomach problems I was having. The flavor was not overpowering (I actually find bananas to be more overpowering in smoothies then papayas), and in general the smoothies were good. The facts on papaya(other than containing digestive enzymes) – one small papaya contains 159% of your daily value of vitamin C.
#9 and #10 – Tomato and Pea. I am putting these two together because they contain about the same vitamin C, at 100 grams per serving, and can be easily added to your lunch or dinner.
2. Garlic – Whenever I am sick I usually add lots of garlic to homemade soups or broth. But in looking up why garlic is good for you when you are sick this is what I found. http://thechalkboardmag.com/would-you-wouldnt-you-gnaw-raw-garlic-for-cold-flu-season
Great information, not sure if I am willing to eat a whole garlic clove though… Someone has to try this and let me know the results.
3. Ginger- I love adding ginger to my hot water and lemon in the morning. Although ginger can help prevent a cold from taking hold in the first place, here are some other benefits; http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/10-healing-benefits-of-ginger
4. Spinach – Packed with antioxidants and beta-carotene, which increases the infection fighting cells of your immune system. I put a couple of handfuls into my blender with my protein shakes. Or have a spinach salad for lunch or dinner – so many possibilities with spinach salad!
5. Yogurt – Yogurt contains friendly bacteria known as probiotics. Strains of this good bacteria are naturally present in your digestive system. Research has shown that strains of these good bacteria can help boost your immune system and promote a healthy digestive track. If you are like me, and have a dairy allergy, yogurt is out of the question. Although there are some lactose/dairy free yogurts on the market, I like to take daily probiotic supplements to help with my immune system and digestive track.
6. Vitamin E – Sometimes overlooked, but it actually aids in preventing and fighting off colds. An easy way to get vitamin E is to add half a cup of almonds to your diet. In just half a cup will give you 100% of your daily recommended amount.
7. Turmeric – Turmeric has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties, but also contains strong cold and flu fighting properties. I add turmeric to my stir fries, salad dressings and to my home-made teas when fighting a cold.
8. Vitamin D – There are many benefits to vitamin D! And most of us do not get enough of it daily. Here is a link to the benefits of vitamin D; http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-vitamin-d#Overview1
9. Green Tea – Green tea is packed with a powerful antioxidant and an amino acid which aids in production of germ-fighting compounds in your t-cells.
10. And finally…. I encourage everyone to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Start cleaning your system out so it can function better for you.
The above statements are my thoughts and opinions on natural ways to increase your immune system function.
Please consult your Naturopathic Dr or GP for any medical and nutritional advice before starting any new diet or exercise.