We live in an era of fast foods – fast to cook and to eat. And that's bad for your soul, body, and immune system. Because food is actually something to enjoy, share and love.
The more you give attention to food, the more you will feel its nourishing and healing properties. No wonder why food lovingly and caringly prepared tastes better.
The right food has healing properties too… Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” In addition, there is a famous Ayurvedic quote that says:
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use – When diet is correct, medicine is of no need”.
In this article, I present some foods to boost your immune system along with some solid lifestyle suggestions. If you add them to your routine, it will be less likely that you, or someone in your family, will get sick…and if they do, they will most likely recover much sooner.
Good immunity depends on good digestion
Your immune system, as the name suggests, is a system, not a single entity. Therefore, to function well, it also needs all other body systems and parts to be healthy. You can't just work on your immune system and overlook the rest; your digestive system, in particular, is very important.
While there's no single anything, you can do or take to boost your immune system…With the right combination of diet, herbs, and lifestyle, you can feed the immune system the right fuel to avoid colds, viruses, and disease throughout the year.
The best medicine for colds, flu, and other diseases is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Here are things you can do to keep yourself and your family less susceptible to illness. The best part is they are free of side effects, and they can save you money and trips to the doctor.
Let's begin with the foods you eat because when it comes to immunity, eating good food and digesting it well is extremely important. The gut is the immune system's HQ.
Foods to boost the immune system
Eat seasonal local organic, non-GMO foods whenever possible. Support your local farmer's market. It's best to eat food grown close to home.
Buying and eating organic foods free of harmful chemicals has higher nutritional value, better taste, and is better for the planet.
Skip all food devoid of nutritional value, like deep-fried anything, fast food, or chemical-laden processed foods.
Decrease the amount of fatty-high protein foods. The better the fuel, the better you'll feel.
Eat more fresh foods Eat fewer flesh foods
These foods contribute to digestive health and overall immunity:
- Many types of beans, including black, mung, and fava
- Fresh Yogurt (not fruit yogurt cups)
- Ghee, sesame & coconut oil
- Organic raw honey
- Sesame and sunflower seeds
- Cashews, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin & macadamia nuts
- Sweet potato & yams
- Organic milk (warmed and spiced with cardamon)
- Bone broths
- Coconut meat or flakes
- Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, goji berries
- Steel-cut oatmeal (not quick-cooking)
- Brown rice
- Cauliflower & Broccoli
- Jerusalem artichokes
Spices to boost your immunity
Spices are essential for strengthing digestive fire. Healthy digestion leads to healthy immunity. Most commercial spices have been irradiated, which means that their life force has been mostly destroyed. Buy your spices in small quantities and change them a few times a year because they lose the healing properties within six months or so.
Immunity Building Herbs
- Aloe vera
- Wild Yam
- Chavyanprash – A rejuvenating jam made from ghee, honey, and tonic herbs
Lifestyle tips to increase your immunity
Without healthy digestion, you cannot make good body tissue necessary for healthy immune function. To maintain healthy digestion:
- Use spices that promote digestion in your cooking: Ginger, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, fennel
- Sip hot water throughout the day
- Drink a cup of ginger tea before meals
- Sit to eat (as opposed to standing, driving, or any other activity)
- Eat your main meal at noon (your digestive fire is strongest mid-day)
- Chew your food well. Digestion begins in the mouth, so chew your food thoroughly. Digestion begins in the mouth.
- Don't eat if you're upset
- Avoid ice water or any iced drinks
Undigested foods, toxic thoughts, and emotions, GMOs, pesticides, household cleaners, heavy metals, even the chemicals in shampoos and shower gels make it necessary to detox two times a year. Toxins are the primary reason diseases develop. When too many toxins are stored inside us, parasites feed and begin to settle into the weak places within the body. Detoxing your liver every spring and fall will keep your immunity strong throughout the year.
Daily self-massage is called abhyanga (abby-unga). The effects of self-massage benefit immunity greatly.
- Place high-grade oil in a squeeze bottle. (sesame in cooler months, coconut in warmer months) Warm the oil to comfortable temp on a stove or under hot water. (Do not microwave)
- Find a warm, draft-free place and undress.
- Apply a small amount of oil to hand and start massaging the oil into your scalp with fingertips. If you don't want oil in your hair, start with your head, but don't use oil.
- Using your palm apply long strokes to long bones and circular strokes around joints.
- Cover your entire body and allow the oil to penetrate for 10-20 minutes.
- Take a warm bath or shower and use a mild soap or no soap at all. (Soap is drying and ruins the protective power of the oil.
The ability to let go of thoughts and emotions is a powerful way to boost the immune system. The easiest way to begin meditating is by focusing on the breath and letting go of random thoughts. When the mind wanders, bring it back to the breath. Aim for 20 minutes in the morning and again before bed.
Regular gentle exercise for half-hour five days per week can facilitate immunity. Gentle yoga, walking, hiking are all great choices
Take a seat in the morning and take ten deep breaths focusing on the inhale and exhale. Do this again in the evening if possible or even throughout your day…especially when you're feeling stressed. Or try alternate nostril breathing to calm your mind and purify your emotions. It improves brain function better than any nootropic.
Mental and physical relaxation
If you don't already have something in place that allows you to relax and let go…try Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that enables you to reach a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping.
It feels like your body is sleeping, but your mind is fully awake. Twenty minutes of Yoga Nidra is the equivalent of 3 hours of sleep. It's been researched at well-recognized universities and medical centers as a viable means of reversing numerous ailments.
Yoga Nidra can strengthen the immune system, help regulate high blood pressure, assist the endocrine system, and improve sleep and aid insomnia.
Sleep is a time when the body restores itself. Observe nature and learn from animals who naturally follow natural rhythms. The body restores itself at night. Aim to fall asleep by 10 pm. The most beneficial sleep occurs in the first half of the night. Your immune system will be weakened unless you know how to get a good night of sleep.
Spend Time in Nature Every Day
Spend time in nature regularly to restore harmony to the elements of your body. Nature is a rich source of immunity building qualities, so take a walk in the forest or along the lakeshore.
Think of it as a prescription with no negative side-effects that are also free of charge.
When you utilize the above list of foods to boost immune system combined with the immunity-boosting lifestyle tips, you have a better chance of fighting off colds, infections, and stay healthy throughout the year.
Please promise me you won't hesitate to ask me questions in the comment area below. I'm here to help you live the healthiest and happiest version of yourself possible.
Let me know if you need anything and I will be sure to get back within “hours” most of the time.
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The information presented here is in no way meant to serve as medical advice. If you are experiencing symptoms of any kind, please consult with your physician.