The immune system is a very complex, biological structure that functions to defend your body against disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or prions. However, it fails if its weakened or compromised. Ultimately, anytime your body is put under any type of stress or strain it sends a message to the immune system and it responds accordingly. In order to protect your body from infections or disease, it's important to protect ourselves with the necessary nutrients and lifestyle activities to bring it back to balance and harmony.
Turmeric is a common spice in Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern dishes. It has also been used as medicine in Southeast Asia for centuries to treat ailments such as breathing problems, acne, ease depression, and most recently cancer. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties.
- coconut milk (or any plant based milk)
- black pepper
Pour coconut milk in a pot, add 1 tsp of turmeric, cinnamon, honey, and nutmeg, add a dash of black paper. Turn on heat and whisk ingredients until it comes to a boil. Enjoy.
Traditionally, Native Americans used elderberry to treat infections and heal burns.
In folk medicine, the dried berries or juice are used to treat influenza, infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain, heart pain and nerve pain, as well as a laxative and diuretic. Today, people are using elderberry as a supplement to treat the common cold or flu.
Elderberry-based supplements — syrups, gummies, lozenges, pills and teas — are believed to work by supplying the body with antioxidants and boosting its natural immune response.
Ginger is a very healthy and delicious spice. It has been used in various forms of traditional medicine such as reducing nausea, helping with digestion, and fighting the flu and common cold to name a few.
Ginger Mint Tea
- ginger root
- mint leaves
- green or black tea
Vitamins C and E contain antioxidants that help destroy free radicals that contribute to sickness. Foods that are high in Vitamin C are oranges, red peppers, strawberries, lemons, and other fruits and vegetables. Sources of Vitamin E include nuts, seeds, spinach, and broccoli. Zinc is a mineral that promote the production of white blood cells which fight invaders. Sources of zinc include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils.
To increase your vitamin intake, you can drink fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Berry Smoothie Recipe
kale or spinach
plant based milk or water
Blend all the smoothie ingredients in a blender (MagicBullet)
with ice cubes. Pour in a cup and enjoy!
It’s important for our bodies to get enough rest to decrease our risks of developing health problems such as heart disease, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease. If you have difficulty sleeping, try using an essential oil such as lavender before bed and sprinkle on your pillow. Avoid screen time from your phone or TV an hour before and try listening to soothing, meditative music to fall asleep.
Chronic stress raises the levels of hormones such as cortisol that acts on the immune system and decreases its ability to function at optimal levels. This produces a counterproductive action to lead you to being more susceptible to illnesses. Combat stress with deep breathing, exercising, spending time in nature, using essential oils to heighten your mood, meditation, journaling, reading, and relaxation.
Exercising will help to combat many diseases. Being physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week is essential to your well-being. The idea is to increase your heart rate. A few common types of exercises include walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, or HIIT workout.
Limit the use of substances and alcohol.
The standard drinking limit
for men are no more than two drinks per day and for women are no more than one drink per day. Alcohol and substances suppress your immune system causing you to be at a higher risk of illnesses.
Consult your personal health care provider if you feel you or someone you know has a drinking problem. Other resources include the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service, available at 1-800-662-HELP. This service can provide you with information about treatment programs in your local community and allow you to speak with someone about alcohol problems.
*If you have a medical condition or take any medications, consult with your healthcare provider before trying anything.