In Part 1 of this series, we touched upon alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables and plant-based sources of key vitamins and minerals that can help you build immunity. While there is no denying that vitamins and minerals play a key role in disease prevention, here are some additional tips to help you achieve immunity during the cold season (or year long!):
Green superfoods are some of the most complete and balanced, nutritionally-rich food you can find that are packed with vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and phytonutrients. Superfoods such as spirulina, chlorella, and wheat grass can help in strengthening the body against disease and in healing from them as well. They can be taken in capsule or tablet form and are also available in powder form, making it easy to add to fresh fruit smoothies and juices.
Coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. A tablespoon of this wonderful oil every day will enhance your immune system and improve your over-all health in so many ways, such as lowering bad cholesterol and regulating your blood sugar. It doesn’t hurt either that coconut oil will keep your metabolism from going slow, preventing weight gain while helping your body stay warm during the winter season.
Avoid refined sweets such as white sugar, soda, candy, chocolate bars, ice cream, cakes, pastries, canned, sweetened fruits, sugar-loaded cereals, cookies, and canned or bottled juices. They depress the immune system and feed unfriendly bacteria and viruses. Dairy will do the same thing to your body and therefore, following a vegan diet is beneficial for good health and immunity.
Deep-fried foods are no help either. Prolonged frying with high temperature oxidizes oil, which causes free radical damage to cells and tissues. Opt for steamed or lightly sauteed veggies or a bowl of warm vegetable soup instead, if you are craving warm foods.
Fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables are always your immune system’s best bet. If you think you can’t eat them raw all the time, do not overcook your vegetables. Steam or stir-fry them at low heat for a maximum three minutes to preserve maximum nutrients. The lesser time vegetables are subjected to heat, the more they’ll be able to nourish you.
Probiotics are very important in that they populate your intestinal immune army by billions. Plain unsweetened soy, casein-free yogurt and vegan (plant-based) acidophilus powder contain friendly microorganisms that will help your body kick bad bacteria butt.
Drink plenty of clean water, as dehydration has been known to greatly impair immune function.
Onion, ginger, oregano, turmeric, and cayenne pepper do not just add a chock-full of good flavor to any dish. They have also been shown to enhance immune system activity, so don’t think twice about adding them to your food.
Garlic is one famous bulb due to its antiviral, antibiotic, and anti-fungal compounds. The legendary black plague thieves didn’t contract the deadly disease even with their frequent contact with infected victims because they ate several cloves of garlic regularly. It is best to consume fresh, unheated garlic. Can’t eat your garlic raw? Buy a bottle of raw, aged garlic capsules.
With proper understanding and self-education you will realize that you don’t have to depend on drugs for health. Eating the right kinds of food and following a healthy lifestyle can be enough to keep the coughs and sniffles at bay. Remember, you may not enjoy the weather, but you can definitely enjoy good health!