Hiya FitVista Friends!
Quick story. Over the weekend I did a full "Marie-Kondo" clean and purge of my closet, jewelry and lotions / potions / medicine cabinet. It felt SO GOOD.
And you know what I realized? I don't own any medicine. NONE.
I have band-aids, a thermometer, and an empty canister of Advil, but that was it. And I came to the shocking realization that --- after everything I've learned the last few years about health, nutrition, natural remedies and the immune system that lies within our digestive tracts --- I don't believe in traditional over-the-counter drugs (DayQuil, NyQuil, Sudafed, Benedryl, Antibiotics etc) for a cold or sore-throat, allergies or the flu. They just cover up the symptoms. Your body has tremendous capacity to heal on it's own. If you give it the support it needs and let yourself rest a bit more, the body heals. Our bodies really just SO COOL.
So I turned to my friend and fellow health coach, Emily Nachazel, who is an expert on all things gut and immunity-related for the best advice on how to naturally support your system and ward off catching the common cold. Now while my traditional medicine cabinet may be empty, my supplement drawer is huge! I'm ALL about appropriate supplementation (Vitamin D, Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, high quality Vitamin C, Magnesium etc.) and eating to support yourself naturally, so read on for tips that you can incorporate in to your life TODAY.
PS: Like me, Emily also transitioned from Finance to Wellness, leaving her high-pressure and highly-sought after job as an Auditor at the Big Four Accounting Firm KPMG and attending Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She also hands-down has one of my favorite Instagram accounts, here at @EmilyNachazel !
You all know that run-down feeling, that itch in your throat and that eventual cold or sore throat or deep fatigue - does it have to turn to full-blown being sick? Not necessarily!
The following words are all by Emily, enjoy!
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:
- Ginger - Ginger 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.
Whew, okay, that's a lot of information for one post! 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.
Next week I will be sharing my favorite immune boosting supplements and essential oils! Stay tuned!
Sign up for Emily's list here and get her Part 2 and Part 3 of her immunity boosting tips series delivered straight to your inbox in the next two weeks! I look forward to her emails every week. In fact, they're one of the very flew blogs I actually receive straight to my inbox, because her emails are informative, smart and FUN. I love sharing what I believe in with my community!
Emily Nachazel is a Holistic Health Coach and Registered Yoga Instructor based in Brooklyn, New York. She works with busy people who want to increase their energy and manage stress through conscious lifestyle choices. She teaches her clients to feel good about their food, feel great about their bodies, and feel EMPOWERED to live their lives to the absolute fullest. Emily has a passion for creating healthy treats. To see what she’s making and eating every day, follow Emily on social media @EmilyNachazel and visit her website www.EmilyNachazel.com.