Fight the Winter blues…

Ahhh, flu season. How I did not miss you.

I love this time of year… wonderful crisp weather, fall colors, fall fashions, football, and the feel-good family holidays right around the corner. What I don’t love? The fact that it’s also “cold and flu” season, not to mention that dreadful daylight savings that makes the days crazy short.

Since I was sick pretty much all of last Winter (first year teaching school) I started researching natural remedies. These remedies should be paired washing your hands (a lot), lots of Vitamin D (get out in the sunshine, even though it’s cold!), exercise, and a healthy diet (then you’ve earned a few holiday treats!). You’ll notice that a lot of the immune system boosters I have listed also aid in healthy digestion. This is because your immune system can’t be healthy without a healthy digestive system! Poor overall digestive system health is also associated with illnesses in other parts of the body, including immune system issues. (Surprisingly, your digestive system contains 70% of your body’s immune system… that’s just one clue to the importance it has on your overall health!) We support a healthy digestive system with probiotics (good bacteria) and a healthy diet. Read more about the importance of digestive health here.

Immune system boosters… Natural remedies to boost your immunity!
Benefits: This is an old Indian Ayurvedic remedy. The mixture is primarily made of amla (goose egg) which is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C. It helps to boost the immune system while also promoting mental clarity & healthy metabolism.
Where to buy: You can look at your local Indian Grocer or Natural Foods Store but I had no luck. I order from these websites: The Dabur brand is more spicy, Banyan Botanicals is less spicy.
How to: Take one tablespoon followed by a glass of milk or soy milk (or you can mix it into your milk). It can also be spread onto crackers or bread. This is definitely an acquired taste, but it’s so good for you!
Benefits: This supplement contains a powerful combination of herbs, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals not found in everyday multivitamins. I take this when I start feeling “the crud” coming on and it knocks it right out!
Where to buy: Can be found at any vitamin/supplement store. I get mine at Golden Temple.
How to: Follow instructions on the bottle. You can take it when you start to feel sick, or every day as wellness-maintenance.
Benefits: Recent studies have proven that Apple Cider Vinegar can help lower cholesterol, kill cancer cells, aid in weight-loss, and lower blood pressure. This heart-healthy remedy can also help to reduce sinus infections and sore throat, encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in your body, and promote healthy digestion.
Where to buy: Can be found at any grocery store in the condiment section and/or in the health supplement section. I get mine in the Publix Greenwise section.
How to: Make sure you purchase raw & unfiltered. Follow instructions on bottle: Mix 1-2 tbsp. with 8 oz. of water. Add a tbsp. of organic honey to taste (if desired).
4.  Water with lemon first thing in the morning (I drink mine year round!)
Benefits: Lemons are acidic foods that, once metabolized, become alkaline. Alkalies help the body maintain a healthy pH level. A body with a healthy pH level is better equipped to fight sickness.
Other awesome info: This book, Crazy Sexy Diet is all about foods that balance the body’s pH level and how it can work miracles, even cure cancer! See the other books, Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips & Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor by Kris Carr.
Benefits: A body rich in Vitamin C protects against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. Naturally occurring Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables. (Click here for a vitamin chart of fruits and veggies)
Where to buy: Can be found at any grocery store.
6.  Green smoothies (I just started, but I’m going to drink mine year round!)
Benefits: This drink is packed full of antioxidants that have been proven to fight cancer and heart disease. It promotes healthy digestion and vision, boosts your immune system, is great for weight-loss, and will leave your hair, skin & nails radiant!
7.  Kombucha  
Benefits: Kombucha is a fermented tea that is packed full of naturally-occurring probiotics. Probiotics help to regulate your digestive system & strengthen the immune system.
Where to buy: Can be found at any natural grocery. I get mine at Organic Harvest.
Other awesome info: View Laraine Dave’s story of cancer and how kombucha helped!
Have a happy & healthy winter!
ps. Want more? There’s more at Fight the Winter Blues {part 2}…