10 Natural Immune Boosters

Especially during winter time we need to strengthen our immune system as we are not so active and rarely outdoors.

I would like to draw attention on 10 of my preferred natural immune boosters to help protect us against infections and colds.

Most people have low Vitamin D levels especially during winter.
Vitamin D is produced through the sun, so don´t forget to have regularly a little sunbath at lunchtime!

Good sleep, moderate stress, regularly easy exercises p.ex. yoga together with a wholesome diet  full of organic grains, fruits, vegetables and omega-3-rich foods built the base for a healthy lifestyle.

It is very important to drink plenty of warm water or infusions. Staying well hydrated will keep the throat and mucous membrane moist, supporting its action as a good barrier to all microbes. 
Be aware of caffeine intake during your meal cause it reduces absorption of non-heme iron, which plays an important role in immune function. A diet low in iron can lead to anaemia and a weak immune system.

Let´s start with some powerful immune boosters.

1.Probiotics

Your gut bacteria is your second brain and a robust gut micro biome for the key part of  our immune system.

Our resident bacteria keep harmful pathogens such as yeasts, toxic substances and gastroenteritis bacteria from entering your body via your digestive tract.

Consume regularly fermented foods like unpasteurized Kombucha, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Pickles, Miso, Yogurt, Sourdoughbread, Tempeh,…Many of these foods are rich in lactobacilli – a type of bacteria that can benefit your health.

On the other hand for example, antibiotics, pesticides, a high sugar and high fat diet negatively influences the gut bacteria and can lead to several illnesses.

Once you regularly feed the wrong bacteria, they’re able to grow faster and colonize more easily, without as many helpful bacteria to prevent them from doing so.

I collected for you here some recipes for cleansing infusions you may drink every morning on an empty stomach to keep your gut and immune system in a happy mood.


2.Prebiotics

Prebiotics are types of dietary fibre that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut.

These substances come from types of carbs (mostly fibre) that humans can’t digest.

They help the gut bacteria to produce nutrients for your colon cells and leads to a healthier digestive system.

Some foods that are high in prebiotic fibre:
Legumes, beans, peas, oats, bananas, berries, jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, garlic, leek, onions,…


3.Vitamin C

Vitamin C may help prevent infections or shorten their stay.
Citrus fruits are a standout, but did you know there are other good sources?

Did you know that acerola berry, stinging nettle, sea buckthorn berry, parsley, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, papaya, cauliflower, strawberrys are containing more Vitamin C than citrus fruits?

Beside of Vitamin C, berries are rich in phytochemicals, which reduce the risk of viral and bacterial infections. 
Acerola berries as an example are containing 34 times and raw red bell pepper 3 times more Vitamin C than lemon!

Be aware: Vitamin C is water soluble and very fragile to heat and light!
Best is to consume Vitamin C rich vegetables raw or only lightly steamed. See Broccoli.

Our body cannot produce or store Vitamin C, so we need daily: 95 mg (w) 110 mg (m).


4.Citrus Fruits

A daily consumption of Vitamin C  increases the production of white blood cells, is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and helps remove accumulated toxins.
Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. You can add easily a squeeze of grapefruit, oranges, clementines, tangerines, lemons, limes to any meal.

5.Ginger

Ginger is a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial root. It decreases inflammation and chronic pain. It can ease the symptoms of colds and flu, headaches, nausea and can lower medication intake in cases of osteoarthritis.

Start your day with a ginger shot, brew a ginger tea or mix into your breakfast porridge.
You can add it finely chopped or grated to soups, curries or just as a topping for marinades or salad dressings.

Always use organic ginger, because the peel contains a big amount of it´s beneficial components.
Best to peel: run a spoon along the ginger and scrape off the skin.


8.Broccoli

Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamin A, C, and E, as well as fiber, many antioxidants and anti-inflammatories (ITC:Sulforaphan) – broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate.

The key to keep its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.
If you cook it, leave it 40 Min. after cutting for a beneficial reaction of the Glucosinolate-Myrosinase System.