Most people only think about their immune system when they get sick. Rather than waiting until the cold or flu bug hits, we should all be constantly priming our immune systems to help reduce and prevent getting sick in the first place. It’s not always possible, however, to avoid every cold or virus that’s going around, but when you do feel you’re starting to catch a cold or flu, these are the top 5 immune boosting foods to help you recover fast.
Ginger is known for its sharp spicy flavour. Because of this, it’s widely used for its warming and heating qualities. This spicy kick is exactly what’s needed for most cold’s and flu’s. Ginger is powerfully anti microbial and anti bacterial, so can fight against a variety of infections. Ginger also has direct effects on boosting a variety of immune cells to help destroy infections in a short time. Drinking ginger tea, tincture, cutting a thumb nail size of fresh ginger root and adding it to your morning smoothie, shaving ginger root into other foods, or juicing ginger and drinking it fresh will ultimately do the job.
Garlic, similar to ginger, is pungent in taste. This hearty immune supportive food provides a heavy hitting dose of wide spectrum anti microbial, anti bacterial, and anti viral qualities. Garlic provides white blood cell production support (strengthens the immune system) by enhancing a vast number of immune cells. If you’re coming down with a cold, cutting, crushing or dicing garlic into tiny pieces and eating them raw or cooking with 2-3 garlic bulbs per day will provide the anti infective and the immune boosting support your body will need.
Not so much a food per se, but more so an herb, echinacea has a long history as an immunostimulant, anti microbial, anti viral, and anti bacterial. It’s best utilized upon the first signs of an active infection, and is specific for colds, influenza, and upper respiratory tract infections. Drinking echinacea tea or tincture multiple times throughout the day will provide the best opportunity against being sick.
Honey is powerfully anti microbial, so has the potential to kill a huge array of infections, viruses and bacteria. As well, unknown to many, honey directly stimulates the immune system, to the point where it is able to help create antibodies against active infection. It is also extremely nutrient dense, and often used as an electrolyte in those who are sick and can’t maintain proper hydration. In people over one year of age, mix unpasteurized raw honey in tea or consume tsp doses throughout the day.
This family of fungi is extensive. Many mushrooms offer a variety and multitude of activities based on your reason for eating them. What all mushrooms share is their affinity to support, modulate and boost the immune system. Specifically when you’re sick, try to consume reishi, turkeytail, shiitake or maitake mushrooms. These mushrooms are not always easy to find, so if you can’t find them fresh, then find them dried and decoct (low boil) in water for several hours. Otherwise, they also come in powder tea form, or highly concentrated mushrooms supplements as a powerful option as well.