There are many ways to support immunity. If you’re feeling run down, hanging out with sick people, or want to take natural preventative measures, here are some easy ideas.
Support your gut bacteria. The digestive system is lined with a huge number of immune cells. Because we’re always putting foreign objects in our mouths (i.e. food) we are constantly exposing ourselves to bacteria and microbes. Some bacteria are helpful – like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium from miso, tempeh, yogurt and cultured vegetables like sauerkraut – and others are not. The good news is, the more beneficial bacteria we have, the less likely we are to be colonized by something that is pathogenic. Studies have also shown that good bacteria help with maturation, activation and mobilizing of our immune cells – cells that fight both bacteria and viri.
· Sauerkraut or other cultured vegetables
· Yogurt, kefir
· Tempeh, miso
Address adrenal health. The adrenals are small hat-shaped organs that sit on top of the kidneys. They produce the stress hormone cortisol, which was useful when we had to run from predatory animals back in the day because it helps direct energy to immediate action, but now can impair immune function and digestion because those functions are not necessary in an emergency so cortisol shuts them down.
· De-stress with meditation, yoga or gentle exercise
· Reduce caffeine, sugar and refine carbs
· Eat enough protein
· Use adrenal supportive herbs like rhodiola, astragalus, ashwaganda, schizandra, holy basil and ginseng
Take immune boosting herbs and nutrients.
· Vitamins A, C, D
· Magnesium and Zinc
· Mushrooms: maitake, shitake, reishi, turkey tail, cordyceps
· Immune supportive herbs: cayenne, myrrh, echinacea, turmeric, ginger
· Anti-microbial herbs: garlic, grapefruit seed extract, osha, thyme, oregano
Golden Milk Recipe
This is a delicious, warming, calming, immune supportive beverage perfect for fall and winter evenings. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, heat gently without boiling and whisk until foamy. Enjoy!
2 cups organic milk, almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk etc
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp ginger powder
Dash of clove powder
Few grinds of black pepper, few shakes of salt
Honey to taste
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