Immune boosting foods + spices [recipes inside!]

In this three part series I'm going to be teaching you my top immunity tips and recipes so that you don't get sick this season. Because who has time for not feeling good, especially around the holidays? Not this girl ;)

Today we will dive into the specific foods you'll want to eat to naturally boost your immune system. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these foods and spices will give you the most bang for your nutritional buck. 


Alright! Let's get down to business. 

Eating these foods will naturally boost your immune system:
- Mushrooms - "Studies show that mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive. This is a good thing when you have an infection," says Douglas Schar, DipPhyt, MCPP, MNIMH, director of the Institute of Herbal Medicine. Best picks for immunity are the shiitake, maitake, and reishi varieties.
- Onions - Onions contain a high concentration of selenium which helps stimulate immune function.
- Lemons - Oranges are best known for containing vitamin C, but did you know lemons do too? Plus, lemon juice is detoxifying and helps your body flush out any yucky germs or toxins. 
- Bone broth - The collagen that breaks down from the connective tissue of bones simmered to make broth helps heal the lining of the gut - this creates a happier home for healthy bacteria and a much healthier YOU (especially through cold and flu season).
- Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha tea, kimchi, kefir, etc) - Like bone broth, these foods feed the good bacteria in your gut. Healthy gut bacteria = healthy you. 

Using these spices will naturally boost your immune system: 
- GingerGinger is rich in phytonutrients called gingerols, which are both antibacterial AND antiviral. Plus, ginger is great for your digestion (and like I mentioned above, a healthy gut is key to a healthy you). 
- Turmeric - The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, and its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power has been shown to protect and heal virtually every organ in the human body.
- Cayenne Pepper - High in capsaicin and vitamin A, cayenne pepper is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power house. I like to imagine the fiery spice burning off any bad stuff in my system. 
- Garlic - Garlic contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. Okay, but really how effective is it?? British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or a garlic extract for 12 weeks; the garlic takers were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.

And because I wouldn't leave you hanging without some recipes, here are a few that are full of the foods and spices noted above:

- Fire Up Ginger Tea
Greens with Garlic Infused Olive Oil
- Tempeh with Mushrooms, Onions + Tomato Sauce
- Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth
- Golden Turmeric Milk

Whew, okay, that's a lot of information for one email! Your homework for this week is to have at least TWO of these foods every single day. You may already be doing it without realizing it, and if that's the case, I encourage you to try something new. Always cook with garlic? Swap in ginger. Avid kombucha drinker? Try another fermented beverage like kefir or beet kvass

Hungry for more? Next week I will be sharing my favorite immune boosting supplements and essential oils! Make sure you are signed up for my newsletter list and I'll send the info straight to your inbox! Sign up here: