We tend to pay more attention to our immune system during cold and flu season. However, it’s important to focus on routines that support, strengthen, and boost immunity throughout the year.
Here are some tips on how to prevent colds and recover faster.
Part 1: Immunity-enhancing foods
Onions and garlic
Both contain a special compound called allicin that helps to protect against viral and bacterial infections. Because this compound is destroyed during the cooking process, the best way to eat these foods is to chop finely and sprinkle over cooked meals.
Try this: Eat at least two cloves of fresh garlic daily. You might be surprised to hear that garlic is also a good source of Vitamin C.
A variety of mushrooms is considered immune-modulating, meaning they can ramp up the immune system when needed or calm down an overactive immune system. Mushrooms need to be cooked in water for maximum benefits.
Try this: Make a mushroom broth. Boil three tablespoons of water, add sliced mushrooms, cover, and cook for seven minutes. Our favorite mushrooms include shiitake, cremini, portobello, oyster, and chanterelle.
Part 2: Lifestyle Tips
To get the immune benefits of sleep, adults need to sleep 7.5 hours per night and children/teens need 9-11 hours per night.
Prolonged stress not only leaves us vulnerable to infections, but may also impact our ability to fight infections. Even relaxing 10 minutes a day can give your immune system a boost.
Relaxation. Try a meditation app like Headspace, the website doasone.com, listen to music or nature sounds, or take a yoga class.
Laugh. Laughter has been shown to increase natural killer cells, increase antibodies and decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are essential in preventing and fighting infections.
Our favorite supplements
Basic Immune Support
-Probiotic. Take 1-2 capsules daily.
-Vitamin C. Take 1,000 mg, 2-3 times a day.
Basic Immune Support for kids
-Probiotics. Take 1-2 chewables or powder daily.
-Vitamin C. Take 500 mg, twice a day.
-Sambucus syrup. Take 50 mg, three times a day.