Keeping your immune system strong is extra important around this time of year and turning your attention to the food you eat is the perfect place to start (anyone else swallow cloves of raw garlic? No? Just me?). Of course, if you suspect you have the flu, be sure to seek medical attention. If you’re simply looking for ways to help boost your immunity, we consult naturopath, Jess Blair who shares with us the healthy foods she always keeps in her pantry and other things you can do to help fight off symptoms of cold and flu.
Immune-boosting foods to always keep in your pantry during winter:
Manuka honey (great for sore throats)
Elderberry (well tolerated for children, too)
Vitamins with echinacea
Easy tonics/mixtures you can make at home:
Like the old wives tale, lemon, Manuka honey, and ginger tea is a winner, says Jess, as it’s super easy to make and offers medicinal benefits from staples you usually have at home. “I also add some turmeric to almond milk for my children with some Manuka honey if I feel like they are a little run down! I also do make my own elderberry syrup which is really easy to make, and again very beneficial!”
Lastly, “getting regular blood tests can see where you are at in terms of your immunity,” advises Jess. “Vitamin D is a big one (always seek professional advice before supplementing), zinc is another great one for winter and don’t forget about probiotics!”. Jess Blair is a naturopath, nutritionist and currently studying post-grad in health promotion. She is also a mum of two young boys. Her health philosophy is about educating, and helping as many people as she can. She spends her spare time writing and loves doing public speaking. Follow her on @jessblair_.