Foods to Support Your Immune System

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The best way to support your immune system is to maintain a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. This includes exercise, the right amount of sleep, and of course, all the healthy foods! While eating whole, nutrient rich foods can improve your overall health and therefore, your immune system, there are a few foods in particular that are most important to consume during cold and flu season. These are foods rich in:

  • Vitamin C - tomatoes, citrus fruit, peppers, broccoli, horseradish, thyme, parsley, kale, kiwi, brussels sprouts, strawberries

  • Vitamin E - sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, avocado, and sweet red peppers

  • Vitamin A - carrots, winter squash, cantaloupe, apricots, sweet potatoes, and dark, leafy greens

  • Selenium - brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pinto beans, oats, navy beans, spinach, onion, and garlic

  • Zinc - cashews, chickpeas, oats, almonds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, kidney beans, and cacao powder

  • B Vitamins (particularly B6) - eggs, carrots, spinach, sweet potato, green peas, and banana

  • Magnesium - cacao powder, bananas, almonds, spinach, avocado, ginger, legumes, and seeds

  • and Probiotics - yogurt and fermented foods

If you’re wondering what’s the easiest way to consume all of these on a daily basis then look no further!

Fire Cider

Fire cider is a immunity-boosting health tonic that has been used for decades to prevent sickness during the fall and winter months. It’s super easy to make and a great way to consume the nutrients that are vital for a healthy immune system all at once.

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All it takes is chopping or grating all your ingredients, adding apple cider vinegar, and letting it sit anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks! Just strain and enjoy in a variety of ways. The most common way is to take it as a shot in the morning, but it’s also used in stir fries, salad dressings, and as a tea! I’m currently trying out my first batch of this and I’m so excited for the results! Here is the recipe I followed:

Notes:

  • It’s important to use organic ingredients as you don’t want your health tonic to be fermenting in pesticides and chemicals!

  • Start as soon as possible so you have this in time for flu season!

Ingredients

1/2 cup freshly grated ginger

1/2 cup freshly grated horseradish root

1 medium onion, chopped

10 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, chopped

1 lemon zested and juiced

2 tbs dried rosemary leaves

1 tbs turmeric powder or 2 tablespoons freshly grated turmeric root

1/4 tsp cayenne powder

organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup raw, local honey or to taste

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Directions

  1. combine all ingredients (except for the honey) in a quart-sized glass jar, pouring the apple cider vinegar until all the ingredients are fully covered and the jar is full.

  2. If using a metal lid, cover first with a piece of parchment paper to prevent rusting and then screw the cap on.

  3. Shake the jar and place in a cool dark place for 2-6 weeks. Shake for just a few seconds every day or as often as possible.

  4. After the full time has passed, use a mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain out the ingredients. Pour the tonic into a clean jar.

  5. Add honey and stir.

  6. Store in the refrigerator or in a cool dark place

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