Feel a cold coming on? Nature has the solution! Our body contains thousands of bacteria collectively known as our microbiome. When it comes to the cold and flu season, maintaining a happy microbiome is key! That’s because this bacteria controls our immune system and helps our body fight infection. Certain foods can boost our immune system and support our microbiome. The good news is that most of those foods and ingredients are already found in our kitchens and sometimes even used daily!
Foods to help fight infections
- GARLIC has antibacterial properties and can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar. If you can’t handle it raw, try a supplemental version from our dispensary.
- MANUKA HONEY: a potent antibacterial made from bees in New Zealand. Best consumed raw. Look for high MGO content (methylglyoxal is the antibacterial compound)
- CINNAMON: helpful for lowering blood sugar levels and has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Try boiling it alone or combine it with chamomile, greek mountain tea or any other loose tea.
- GINGER: anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea and diaphoretic (helps break a fever) Put the powder in a bath to induce sweating (drink lots of water to rehydrate), and juice fresh or boil to make tea. Combine with lemon and honey to soothe a sore throat and sinus congestion. If pregnant, consume in moderation.
- APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: can help with digestion, fights sore throat and has antibiotic properties which help to fight cold and flu. Combine with warm water and honey or take straight.
- TURMERIC: anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Juice it, cook with it, and boil it into tea. Curcumin (the active ingredient) is available as a supplement in our dispensary.
- OREGANO: one of the best natural antibiotics. Cook with it or use oregano oil (available in our dispensary) for acute infection. It is potent, so do not take it for extended periods (it can create dysbiosis).
- CITRUS FRUITS: full of vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which help to build the immune system and fight infection by increasing white blood cells. Eat fresh, squeeze onto salads or juice them with greens!
- BROCCOLI: full of vitamins A, C and E and antioxidants, which can help to boost your immune system. Light steam will provide the best nutrient bioavailability. SPINACH: full of vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene (precursor of Vitamin A), which help to fight infections and boost immunity.
- SPINACH: full of vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene (precursor of Vitamin A), which help to fight infections and boost immunity. Light cooking makes it easier to absorb vitamin A and allows nutrients to be released.
- YOGURT: Contains live and active cultures, which can boost and stimulate the immune system. Choose plain yogurts rather than flavoured ones to avoid immune-suppressing sugars. Instead, add fruits, maple syrup or honey to sweeten. Dairy can increase mucus production, so be mindful of consuming it if you have congestion.
- CHICKEN: good source of B6, which helps with the formation of healthy red blood cells. Use bones to make broth. Read more about the amazing benefits of bone broth here.
- Leaf Source Cold Formula
- St Francis Deep Immune
- St Francis Virafect
- Living Alchemy Defense
- Botanica Cold Damp Lung
- Boiron Oscillococcinum
- Boiron influenzimum