During this scary time of uncertainty, we are all aware that staying healthy is a top priority. I wrote this post before the Coronavirus outbreak for general flu season but the same measures can be taken now. Nonetheless, wintery months throw in a few challenges for our bodies. In the cold weather, your body requires more energy to maintain the same internal body temperature, causing you to eat more. In turn, less attention is given to your immune system, making you more prone to sickness. I put together a list of ingredients and products that get me through each New York City winter and products I am doubling up on during this social distancing period, healthily and happily! They include delicious immune supporting recipes because who said preventing germs has to be boring? We are all in this together! Please stay home and healthy so we can all get out of this as soon as possible. xx
If you’re wondering, colidial silver is made from very small flakes of actual silver. It works as a natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral. By easing sinus infections and allergies, it enhances recovery from a cold or flu. While buying it, make sure to buy a high quality one with Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol like this one.
Don’t worry, Cat’s claw is just a herb. It boosts the immune system by increasing levels of key immune cells like T helper and B cells and the activity of granulocytes. These enhance your body’s natural defence mechanism to fight off germs before they can make you sick! I prefer this brand of vegetarian capsules that are available easily on Amazon.
Oregano Oil is one of the most potent oils for its antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Just a few drops daily can protect you against viruses and infections and prevent you from catching colds. Choose one that retains oregano’s natural compounds – I like this brand.
L-lysine is an essential amino acid as your body cannot make it. It has been proven to reduce the duration of a cold sore by blocking Arginine, which promotes the same. Lysine also helps with calcium absorption and converting fat to energy, supporting the function of our immune system. Here is one I always pick as it’s fast-absorbing.
Wellness formula vitamins
This Wellness Formula Herbal Defense Complex (also available at WholeFoods) contains trace minerals such as Selenium, Vitamins and herbs such as Garlic and Ginger which support optimal immune function. Most of our Vitamin D comes through sunshine, so a supplement daily simply keeps the possibility of any such nutritional deficiencies at bay!
High factor Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is my favorite – I have it straight out of the jar! Not only does it taste delicious, but it also works wonders for a sore throat by inhibiting Strep bacteria. It is a super potent antibacterial and works best when poured in a hot tea. I love adding a spoon of a High factor honey such as this one to my Dandelion tea.
Just ONE lemon has 98% of your daily Vitamin C requirement, which is essential for your immune system to function. Lemons are also incredibly alkaline, balancing your body’s pH to support optimal health. I love spicing up a warm dish by adding lemon. Try out my Spanish Octopus with Potatoes or Vegan tomato Gazpacho for a cozy winter meal!
Mushrooms contain high levels of beta-glucans, which activate macrophages and other cells that defend your body against viruses. While all varieties are beneficial, Shitake and Reishi varieties are the most effective against colds. Try out my Carb-free Mushroom Risotto or Spaghetti Squash in Mushroom Sauce to feast your way to a stronger immunity!
There is a direct link between your digestive health and immune system. Turmeric optimizes digestion, which enhances your immune system’s ability to keep illnesses and disease at bay. While adding a tsp of Turmeric to your tea is great, I love using it to spice up dishes like my Steamed Halibut and even this Carrot-Ginger Hummus!
Fermented foods such as Sauerkraut, Kimchi or Tempeh contain probiotics that support gut health. Yes, a healthy gut flora is ideal for optimal digestion, but the gut is where 70% of your immune system thrives! Try my Poached Eggs with Greek Yogurt or Greek Yogurt Bowl for a delicious gut friendly breakfast!