Cold and flu season is upon us, unfortunately. If you have kids like me, you know those suckers catch everything, too. This means you, as a parent, are likely to end up catching whatever plague your kiddo brought home just as he or she is ready to hit the ground running. This also means you need to start being proactive about your health (and your kids) as soon as cold and flu season starts. The easiest and most effective way to do that is to boost your immune system so it is ready to defend you from those nasty germs.
I am a very naturally minded mama. I don’t partake in pharmaceuticals unless it’s absolutely necessary. That is not to say that I don’t appreciate modern medicine. I absolutely do. I think there is a time and a place for doctors and medical intervention. But I do not believe that time or place is necessary to treat common ailments such as colds, and even the flu.
Of course, I am not a doctor, so don’t go taking this as medical advice (duh!). But I am a well-educated, research-driven, smart-as-a-whip, lawyer, and mom who prefers to heal myself and my kids the natural way as often as possible. For whatever that’s worth, these are the remedies that have been the most effective for my family at boosting our immune system. Because of these measures, and generally living a healthy lifestyle, my kids and I rarely get sick. And when we do, we turn to these tried-and-true remedies and are back on our feet within days!
9 Effective Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System
Cut out sugar.
Refined sugar is terrible for your body. Among other things, it creates an inflammation response, which prolongs illness. When you’re sick or feel like you’re coming down with something, cut out the sugar. Even better, cut out refined sugar from your diet altogether to keep your body healthier all the time.
Make sleep a priority.
Your body does most of its healing at night when you’re sleeping. Getting good sleep is a very important way to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and if you’re feeling under the weather, honor your body’s request for more sleep.
Start taking elderberry syrup daily.
Elderberry syrup is a powerhouse cold and flu fighter. My kids and I take a tablespoon every day to keep our immune systems ready to rumble. Studies have shown that elderberry syrup is incredibly effective in preventing flu (and lessening the severity if you already caught it).
Eat lots of ginger and garlic.
Ginger is a powerful antioxidant that rids the body of toxins and fights inflammation and infection. Garlic fights infection, boosts the immune response, and wards off many viruses (including cold and flu). Add these to your diet every day, and double the intake if you’re sick.
Sip on bone broth.
Besides being delicious, bone broth is full of minerals and nutrients your body needs to fight inflammation and infection. You can make your own bone broth (try this recipe) or you can now find bone broth pretty easily in most major supermarkets. If you don’t like the idea of sipping it by itself, add it to some soup!
Take Liposomal Vitamin C.
It is pretty common knowledge that Vitamin C is fantastic for boosting immunity and fighting inflammation and illness. What most people don’t know, however, is that Vitamin C cannot be absorbed well by our bodies unless it is delivered in a very specific way. Liposomal Vitamin C is superior to any other form of Vitamin C in this regard because it uses liposomes (tiny microspheres of a fat-like substance) to more effectively deliver the Vitamin C into your system. Using this method, the body absorbs more of the vitamin faster than the other methods (pills).
Take probiotics daily.
Probiotics are live, good bacteria that live and thrive in a healthy intestinal system. 80 percent of your immune system lives in your gut, and when the good bacteria isn’t there, you get sick more often. Make sure your gut is healthy by consuming probiotics every day. You can buy pretty good probiotic pills but they can get pricey. A more affordable, more natural, and more effective way to get all your good bacteria is by eating fermented foods. The most common fermented foods are sauerkraut and kimchi, or you can drink fermented beverages, like kombucha and kefir.
Consume raw honey.
Raw honey, especially local honey, provides a ton of immune-boosting benefits. Local raw honey works wonders to reduce seasonal allergies. It is also a powerful antioxidant superfood that, when taken daily, bolsters immunity and even fights against cancer!
Diffuse essential oils.
Essential oils are beneficial to your immune system topically and by diffusion. There are a great many varieties of oils and blends that help to heal and/or prevent illness.
Are there any natural ways you prevent illness and boost your immune system in your household? I’d love to hear your tried-and-true methods!