Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Boosting Your Immune System to Avoid Winter Illness

Boosting the immune system becomes very important as winter colds and flu looms. There are natural things you can do to boost your immune system and stay healthy.

Immune Boosting Food

One simple and inexpensive way to boost the immune system is to add certain foods and drinks to your diet such as:
  • Green Tea - packed with antioxidants. Drink 4 cups daily, hot or cold, to boost your immune system.
  • Fresh Garlic - Garlic is an antibiotic and anitviral but it must be fresh, not heated or cooked. Place a clove of garlic in a plastic zip lock bag, crush it, and add to a piece of toast, some salsa or your salad dressing.
  • Cayennne Pepper - According to Chinese Medicine, to avoid colds you need to heat up the body. Add some spice to your life!
  • Berries boost the immune system, especially blueberries - Add berries to your morning smoothie, your cereal, yogurt or any other dishes you already eat.
  • Ginger - Ginger in all forms boost the immune system and is a great anti-inflammatory. Drink ginger tea, eat candied ginger or sprinkle ginger powder onto cereal or yogurt daily.
  • Honey is also antiviral and boosts the immune system. Add to your tea instead of sugar.

Remedies to Boost the Immune System

If you've been exposed to someone who is ill or you feel that first tickle of a sore throat, try these remedies:

  • Echinacea herbal extract - I prefer extracts as they hold potency better than pills which can sit on shelves for some time. Echinacea should only be taken about one week at a time or it lose its effectiveness.
  • Elderberry extract - or elderberry juice is antiviral and helps to kill the virus before it takes hold. When taking elderberry extract, be sure to eat something with it as it can upset the stomach.
  • Try the fresh garlic on toast.
  • Add Cayenne pepper to some salsa and make it as hot as you can and eat some. This helps to burn the germs out of your body.

Here's one of my favorite recipes to boost the immune system:

Warm lemonade

Boil one cup of water, squeeze in the juice of two lemons. Add honey to taste, plus 2 dashes of cayenne pepper. Drink this several times a day until your cold is gone or you have averted it.

Other Natural Immune Boosters:

  • Get plenty of rest. If you're tired, your immune system can't protect you as well.
  • Drink lots of water - This keeps the germs and toxins flushed from your body.
  • Exercise - Keep your body in shape for peak immunity.

Boosting the immune system should be a way of life. Your immune system protects you from not only colds and flu, but more serious illness and disease, as well as common ailments like allergies. A healthy immune system means you have more time to enjoy life and isn't that what we all want most?

More immune boosting recipes

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