Natural ways to boost your immune system during cold and flu season

October is here!

The kids are adjusted into their school routine and the weather is getting cooler.

Fall has officially arrived, which also means – cold and flu season!  With so many germs going around at school and work, your immune system is going to need some extra TLC.

 

Eating a clean, healthy diet is so important when it comes to naturally supporting our immune system.

 

Here are some key foods to consider during cold and flu season.

Incorporate greens.

an assortment of green vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding tons of green, leafy vegetables into your diet is a great way to boost your antioxidant intake – an essential step in supporting your immune system.  Farmers markets are filled with delicious harvest vegetables such as kale, bok choy, green beans, swiss chard, spinach, brussels sprouts, rapini and broccoli. Try to incorporate greens at every meal.

Add some kale into your morning smoothies, throw some spinach into an omelette or frittata, make a green salad for lunch and try roasting up greens for dinner.  Soups, chili and stews are another great way to get in some extra greens and vegetables and make a great fall meal.

 

Add fresh ginger or garlic to your meals.

hands holding a hot cup of lemon water

 

The anti-viral and immune boosting properties of fresh ginger and garlic make them a fall staple. Make a cup of ginger tea with a fresh ginger root and hot lemon water.

You can also try adding garlic to some your fall meals or roasting it up to snack on throughout the day.

 

Eliminate refined sugar from your diet.

"sugar" written into a pile of white sugar

Sugar has been shown to impair our immune function.  Studies have indicated that 100 grams of sugar can reduce the white blood cells ability to kill germs in the body by 40%.

Eliminate all white, refined sugars and swap for limited amounts of natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or stevia.

 

Try bone broth.

bowl of bone broth with vegetables

Bone broth is a great way to boost your immune system during cold and flu season. The amino acids found in bone broths boost the immune system and support our gut health. When making a bone broth at home, we recommend using grass-fed, organic bones to maximize the benefits and increase the nutrients. Click here for a great bone broth recipe.

 

Eat vitamin C rich foods.

woman cutting lemons and limes

Incorporate foods that are high in vitamin C, such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli.

 

Although ideal, it is not always possible to get all of our essential nutrients through our diets, in which case supplements can be helpful. 

Here are some recommended supplements to keep on hand during cold and flu season to help further support your immune system.

 

St. Francis Deep immune This immune tonic was formulated based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and is an excellent immune enhancer. It is available in both capsule and liquid form. Take 2 capsules 3 times a day or take 2.5-3 ml (75-90 drops) 2 times daily in a little water on an empty stomach.

 

Emergen-C vitamin C packets Give your immune system an extra boost with 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily. It is a great antioxidant and is essential for overall good health. These convenient packs are great to take with you on the go and dissolve easily in water. 

 

Boiron Oscillococcinum – This homeopathic remedy is a must-try for its immune boosting, flu-fighting properties. Take at the first sign of flu-like symptoms (aches, chills, fevers and headaches). Empty the contents of one vial under your tongue, letting it fully dissolve. Then take the other two vials the same way throughout the day, approximately 4-6 hours apart. The formula works naturally with your body, making it free of any side effects and drug interactions. It is also non-drowsy so can be taken any time in the day.

 

Probiotic – Ensure a healthy gut and support your immunity with a daily dose of “good” bacteria which is found in probiotics. Click here and here for two of our favourite probiotic brands. If you are interested in incorporating probiotic rich foods in your diet, try including fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, and miso.

 

Manuka honey – Be sure to have Manuka honey on hand this season. It offers anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits…an all-star during cold and flu season! For an excellent manuka honey product to take with you on the go, click here.

 

In addition to getting all of our required nutrients, it is also important to focus on environmental aspects.

Here are some good daily routines to implement this season to help protect you against the cold and flu.

 

 

  • Wash your hands regularly using a good, natural soap that won’t dry out your skin.

 

  • Dry brushing is an excellent way to boost the lymphatic system, which is a major part of our immune system. Try dry brushing 2-3 times a week, before your shower, on dry skin. Start at your feet and work your way up to your chest, brushing in long strokes towards your heart. Brush in a circular, clockwise motion on your chest and stomach.

 

  • Drink lots of water to keep hydrated and help reduce and eliminate toxins in your body. Lemon water and herbal teas are the best, most effective way to hydrate your system.

 

  • Manage stress. High levels of stress can impair and weaken the immune system, so work on managing your stress levels by incorporating stress management techniques.  Techniques can include planning your schedule ahead of time, batch cooking, signing up for a hot yoga class, scheduling a daily walk or listening to music or a podcast.

 

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