“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” - Hippocrates
Did you know that 70% of your immune system is located in your gut? This is why it is extremely important to boost your digestive system through natural, whole foods with no added sugars. Check out these all natural immune boosting hacks from Elena Maganto Ph.D. Integrative Nutrition Health Coach to boost your immunity during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Immune boosting foods
- Lemons & Limes - Lemons and limes are rich in Vitamin C, alkalize your body, and cleanse your liver.
- Ginger & Turmeric - These ingredients help to reduce inflammation and improve digestion. Use this seasoning in your meals or try adding them to hot beverages such as teas or soups. You can even try Elena’s golden milk recipe for a great way to incorporate these ingredients into your diet! Tip: adding a pinch of black pepper to your turmeric magnifies the spice’s effects!
- Garlic - Garlic is one of the best natural antibiotics, rich in allicin, which offers antioxidant benefits
- Bone Broth - Drink 1 cup of bone broth a day to help with any gastrointestinal inflammation. Bone broth is rich in proline and glycol, which are amino acids for keeping a strong gut, boosting immunity, and healing your gut lining. Tip: 1 scoop of collagen powder makes a great alternative to bone broth! (Look for a multi-collagen powder for best results)
- Fermented Foods (ex. Pickled kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.) - Fermented foods are a powerful and natural way to incorporate probiotics! The microbiome in your gut needs to be very diverse to strengthen your immune system. Check out a few of Elena’s simple recipes to make at home! https://elenamaganto.com/resourcers. Tip: Try taking 1tbsp of coconut water kefir once a day
- Veggies - Veggies should make up 50-75% of your plate at every meal; the greener the better! Veggies are full of antioxidants to help flight inflammation. In our gut we have microbes that ferment fiber. Fermentation produces short chain fatty acids, which are great for feeding the gut lining and strengthening your immunity!
Natural Antimicrobials & Antivirals
Why are natural antibiotics effective for viruses vs. regular antibiotics? Regular antibiotics are diluted in water. When we are fighting a bacteria, the bacteria lives outside of the cell vs. a virus that lives inside of the cell. The outside of our cell membrane is made of lipids (fat). Regular antibiotics, that are diluted in water, cannot go through the cell membrane as fat and water repel from one another. Check out these natural antibiotics:
- Oregano oil - take 2 drops of this oil per day OR 1 drop 3x per day in 4oz of water
- Garlic extract - rich in allicin
- Olive leaf - rich in phenolic acids
Immune boosting Supplements
The difference between supplements and food is that the concentration in supplements is much higher. Try these immune boosting supplements (be sure to read labels looking for no added sugars!).
- Vitamin C - 500-1000mg while fasting in the morning 1x/day
- Vitamin D - 2000 units controls thousands of gene expressions, including immunity
- Omega 3 fish oil - 1000mg EPA-DHA to decrease systemic inflammation
- Elderberry syrup - 2 teaspoons 2-3 times/day when feeling under the weather and want to fight something off
- Probiotic - including 30billion bacteria (the more diverse the better!)
- Echinacea and licorice spray - for scratchy throat
Immune Boosting Lifestyle Routines
- Fasting (perk! saves you time and $$) - Ideally you should fast for 17 hours between your last and first meal of the day and avoid eating late. During your fasting cycle, a significant portion of white blood cells are broken down. This depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. Fasting gives your digestive system a rest, allowing it to repopulate your diversity of gut bacteria. It also gives your liver a rest, which is working hard at night between 1:00am-3:00am (reason why you should avoid eating late at night!)
- Sleep - Sleep produces melatonin, which counteracts inflammation. Melatonin depletes the free radicals in your body, avoiding free radical tissue damage cause by inflammation. Sleep also decreases your cortisol which suppresses your body.
- Destress - Stress causes cortisol, which you just learned surppresses your body. Try the following to depress a bit:
- Put away electronics
- Don’t constantly watch the news
- Take an epsom salt bath
- Do breathing exercises
Here are a couple of sanitizers made from house hold ingredients that you can disinfect with:
- Bleach solution - 25ml bleach + 1liter of water
- Pure alcohol - 70-90%
All in all when it comes down to it, there are PLENTY of easy, natural ways to boost your immunity! Make it a goal to implement a few of these hacks into your routine! For more tips, recipes, and nutrition guidance check out Elena’s Health On Demand program! https://elenamaganto.com/health-on-demand