BY SUSAN SCHABACKER
Boosting your immune system can help you avoid getting sick, in addition to combatting an illness you might already have. The stronger your immune system, the better your overall health. Here are some tips and tidbits to improve your immune system so you will be more resistant and less susceptible to illnesses, viruses, and diseases.
AVOID THE “YUCKIES” – A key to avoiding the “yuckies” is prevention. Careful handwashing, keeping everything clean and sanitary with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and wearing a mask to avoid the spread of airborne bacteria are important healthy habits we’ve heard a lot about recently.
DAILY DEFENSIVE DIET – How much quality nutritional value are you getting in your daily diet? Aiming to eat a healthy variety of fresh, organic vegetables and fruits as well as fatty fish and sources of protein is vital to staying healthy.
SUPERFOODS FOR SUPERNUTRITION – What’s the food of choice for superheroes? Why, superfoods, of course. They may not allow you to scale up walls like a spider, fly like a bird, or use time travel, but they can make you feel like a super healthy superhuman. So what superfoods should you go for? Try adding turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, goji berries, chia seeds, garlic, and parsley to your dishes.
SIP AND SAVOR – Rev up your gut health and get that microbiome in tip-top shape with fermented beverages like kombucha and kefir. Get those trillions of good bacteria ready to halt any invaders in their tracks! What else should you sip? Matcha and green tea are healthy choices rich in antioxidants and other benefits. Also, don’t miss out on the health benefits of fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies. Try adding some flax, hemp, and chia seeds to your bodacious beverages that do a body (and mind) good.
GET FIT AND STAY HEALTHY – In addition to amping up your nutrition, staying physically active will also help boost your immune system. Be as consistent as possible. Commit to that daily walk or run and wind down at the end of the day with a yoga class or simple stretching and deep breathing.
STRESS BE-GONE! Destress as much as possible. Avoid arguing, declutter a messy environment, and laugh your way through life. Stress can be detrimental physically and mentally to your health and happiness. It raises your level of cortisol, which can cause inflammation and wreak havoc on your immune system. Studies have shown that the less stressed we are, the better we function, and the less prone we are to developing illnesses, viruses, and diseases.
SWEET SLUMBER – Not overdoing your caffeine content can assist you in achieving a better night’s sleep, and getting enough sleep can help your immune system stay strong, as well as recover. Research has shown that those who are sleep deprived – not getting enough shut-eye – are more vulnerable to getting sick than those who are better rested.
PACK-A-PUNCH POWERHOUSE IMMUNE BOOSTER SHOT
1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoon raw organic apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
¼ teaspoon turmeric
A few dashes of ground black pepper
A dash of cayenne pepper
Instructions: Boil water, pour ingredients into a mug, stir well, sip and savor!
Recipe adapted from 40aprons.com/immune-booster-shot-recipe/.
GORGEOUS GOLDEN MILK (ICED OR HOT) – Anti-inflammatory, caffeine-free, vegan, paleo, healing, soothing – and delicious.
2 cups milk (organic whole, almond, cashew, macadamia or coconut)
1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch black pepper
¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or substitute stevia or honey to taste)
Instructions: Add milk to a saucepan and heat at medium-high heat. Don’t overheat. If the milk is bubbling, turn temperature down. Add other ingredients. Taste test and make adjustments as needed. Pour hot into a mug or let cool and add ice. Sip and savor!
Recipe adapted from 40aprons.com/golden-milk/.