It’s nearly impossible to “never” get sick, but if you could EASILY and NATURALLY prevent how often you get sick and/or greatly reduce the amount of time you spend actually being sick, wouldn’t you do it? Who wouldn’t?! Well, it turns out, a lot of people. Most of us are missing out on simple and effective things we can do each day to prevent getting sick. And, if you do happen to get sick, you may be able to lessen the symptoms and duration of how long you’re sick by taking these simple daily steps. I’ll share my favorite and easiest tips to staying healthy, especially when everyone else around you may be sneezing all over you.
In most every recipe I make, I try to add at least one of my secret weapon ingredients to make it a disease-fighting feast. Sweet, savory, snacky…it’s all possible to get that extra boost of immune power in! The secret is getting small doses of the immune boosting ingredients over time. Each day, each week, etc., so it adds up and has a huge impact on the way we feel and equip our bodies to fight off illness and disease. This is the opposite of our societal norms, which typically consist of not really paying attention to what we eat, and then quickly (over)reacting to our illness by running to get a prescription or over the counter medication. These impulsive, reactive habits actually can do a world of harm to not only how our bodies react to that illness, but for how we are (un)able to react to future threats to our immune system (let alone mess with our gut and our good bacteria).
There are many natural foods and other remedies that have rich antioxidant properties. Like did you know that eating Kiwi fruit has been tied to a 50% reduction in kids and older adults getting the flu according to two different studies? The power of food is amazing, and most of it is easily accessible in our local grocery stores.
These 7 simple tricks can be added to your daily regimen (in order from my “favorite/most used” in case you felt like you needed to pick just a few):
- Nutritional yeast-Just a small amount of this delicious ingredient can be enough to ward off the cold/flu (or lessen the duration) according to multiple studies. The effect of the beta glucan fiber in nutritional yeast can be experienced by taking only 1/2 a spoonful a day (it’s even been demonstrated to have positive results by ingesting only 1/16 of a teaspoon!) –that’s it! It tastes a little like butter and cheese mixed together, and is delicious sprinkled on salad, blended in soup (you can barely taste it), or added to pasta sauce. You can even just eat it straight out of the container with a spoon. I prefer to use Bragg’s brand Nutritional Yeast. As a bonus, nutritional yeast has Vitamin B and muscle building protein. It’s even been tied to helping prevent cancer!
2. Oregano Vitality oil-Oregano oil has antioxidant powers, and Young Living’s Vitality line of Oregano Oil is indigestible. Anytime one of us feel a little under the weather, we add a drop of this to a glass of water and drink. Warning-it doesn’t taste good–it actually is incredibly strong. I advise using a straw since the oil is so pungent. Do not ingest it straight from the bottle. (You can also add a drop to some olive oil if you are making your own capsules.) *An easy way to use Oregano oil so kids won’t notice is to add a drop or two straight to your pasta sauce and stir. (Let me know if you would like to purchase Oregano oil and I can get it for you.)
3. Thieves Essential Oil-In 15th century France, thieves would rob the deceased in graveyards. The thieves covered themselves with a mixture of clove, botanicals, and rosemary, which is included in the mixture of oils in Thieves. (Thieves also has Cinnamon Bark, and Lemon oil in it.) I dilute this with a carrier oil (such as Jojoba oil) and rub directly to the bottom of my kids’ feet and along their spine. I also diffuse Thieves in our bedrooms overnight when we’re sleeping. I even use it in homemade hand sanitizer spray. The smell is great too! (Let me know if you would like to purchase Thieves Essential oil and I can get it for you.)
4. Elderberry Concentrate-a recent study reports that study participants who took elderberry concentrate while experiencing cold symptoms reported less symptoms within 24 hours, and their symptoms totally ended 4 days earlier than people who were not taking elderberry concentrate. And they only were taking 15 mLs per day! *I mix elderberry concentrate with a bit of apple juice or other liquid for the kids since it makes it less rich.
5. Garlic-I LOVE garlic so usually double it in any recipe I make. I had no idea how healthy it is! However, you get the most benefits in using raw garlic, since when you simmer, boil, or stir fry it, it loses most of its allicin properties that make it such an effective immunity booster.
6. Cut processed foods and sugar out of the diet as much as possible. Sugar actually stops our immune system from working as well. Trying to eat a healthy, whole food diet is very important.
7. Ginger-Fresh ginger (the actual bulb that is quite easy to find in most any grocery store) is the best, and contains phytonutrients that boost your immunity. You can use a potato peeler to peel the outside, then cut about a 1 1/2 inch piece off, and then dice it. You can strain it for tea or I even use a high speed blender or food processor to blend it up (you may have some pulp left, which you can strain and discard). Check out my warming Turmeric Ginger Tea recipe.
Maintaining a healthy diet and getting some form of exercise each day is the key to staying healthy. These are just a few of my favorite cold-busting tips. By adding small amounts of medicinal food to what we’re already eating not only provides us with amazing nutrients, but also helps keep us from getting sick.