Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” stated 2,500 years ago by Hippocrates, the father of medicine.

All these years later, Hippocrates quote is still relevant, even in today’s modern world of medicine. The prevention of illness and the remedy for disease can often be found in farmers markets and the healthy section of grocery stores.  Superfoods are a super way to make your body resilient to the clod and flue.

The average U.S. adult typically suffers 2-4 colds per year, while children may have up to 12. Keeping yourself resilient through the winter months and avoiding the cold and flu can be as easy as adding some preventative and protective nutrients into your diet.  Eating a few extra immune boosting superfoods can help prevent, curtail, or rebuild the body throughout the cold and flu season and provide all kinds of other health benefits.

Betsy’s 10 Superfoods to Boost Your Immune System

Probiotics: Protects healthy gut bacteria, keeping immune system strong. Found in yogurts, fermented foods, Kombucha, or supplements. Good to take daily throughout the cold and flu season.

Garlic: Stimulates immune system and an anti-inflammatory food. Can be eaten roasted, raw, or in a supplemental form.

Elderberry Syrup: Therapeutic powerhouse for the flu and remedy for respiratory ailments. You can find elderberry syrup in your health food store.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Can prevent and alleviate symptoms of the cold and flu. Also keeps the pH levels on track, preventing the cold and flu from attacking your immune system. Can ward of chest congestion by soaking a piece of brown paper in apple cider vinegar and sprinkle one side of paper with pepper. Place on your chest for 30 min. Just a teaspoon a day is enough to keep the cold away!

Vitamin C: We all know the benefits of vitamin C and the benefits on the immune system, but what you probably didn’t know is that these foods are the richest sources: Camu Camu, chili peppers, bell peppers, strawberries, guava, thyme and parsley, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, papaya, and oranges.

Hydrogen Peroxide in Ears: It is debated that most colds and flu viruses enter the body through the ears. As a preventative measure or treatment of symptoms, add 2-3 drops of 3% peroxide into each ear and hold for 10 min. This has the power to start killing the cold or flu within the first 2-3 min.

Oil of Oregano: Contains phenols that control and stop the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. Also contains anti-oxidants to reduce inflammation, vitamins A & C to strengthen respiratory functions, and minerals to strengthen the immune system. At the first sign of a cold take 3 drops under the tongue or mixed into water. You can also mix the oil of oregano with coconut oil and massage into the skin.

Eucalyptus Oil: Studies show that by inhaling the eucalyptus oil it can strengthen the immune system by strengthening the white blood cells and reducing inflammation. It can also reduce inflammation in the lungs after inhaling and can relieve aches and pains caused by the flu. Can be inhaled, rubbed on the skin, or taken as a supplement.

Peppermint Oil: Can lessen the symptoms of the cold and flu. Rub a few drops on your abdomen to relieve an upset stomach, reduce a fever by rubbing 5 drops on the bottom of your feet, place one drop on your tongue to open your nasal passages, or drop the oil on your temples and forehead and massage to relieve a headache.

Vitamin D: Researchers agree that catching colds and flu may actually be due to a vitamin D deficiency. A lack of vitamin D can weaken your immune system making you more susceptible to the bugs of the winter season. The best sources of vitamin D is the sun, fresh salmon, tuna, milk, eggs, mushrooms, flounder, and ricotta cheese.

Read More About Superfood Nutrition From Registered Dietitian, Betsy Opyt

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