September 6th, 2020
It’s that time of year to boost your immune system!
I think of the immune system as an internal army. Their job is to take care of us. Keep us healthy. Fight for us. In order to keep us healthy, these immune cells need to prepare for battle against foreign invaders. Your army is made up of your healthy immune fighting cells. When your soldiers are healthy and strong, your collective army is even stronger.
We strengthen our army by giving them more of what they need to survive and thrive.
While I was writing this post, the 2009 Joe Budden rap song, “Pump it Up” kept coming to mind. He raps about pump, pump, pumping it up. His song isn’t about pumping up your immune system, but it’s certainly fitting.
Let’s get into pumping up and boosting your immune system!
In this video and post, I give you four ways to get started.
1. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
Ditch the packaged, processed, pre-made convenient foods for fresh fruits and vegetables. Your body wants what is grown from the earth. Foods that will primarily boost your immune system are located in the produce section of your grocery store. These foods contain disease fighting vitamins and minerals in their natural form.
The produce section foods I’m referring to are dark leafy green, apples, bananas, oranges, lemons, limes, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, mushrooms, and potatoes.
In Chinese Medicine, there are two elements that are associated with your immune system. The first is the metal element, which includes your lungs, your first line of defense. The second is the earth element, which includes your spleen, the epicenter of your immune system. The spleen is where healthy new cells are made and old cells go to waste. When we take really good care of these two organ systems, we have an immune system that is ready to take down any foreign invaders.
To strengthen the metal element and the lungs, focus on eating foods like spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, spring onions, radishes, cabbage, oats, pears, apples, oranges, grapefruit, cherries, and warming spices like horseradish, cayenne, chili peppers, rosemary, onions, and garlic. Drink mint tea too.
When we consider the earth element and the Spleen, we want to eat foods that are sweet in flavor and grounding. This includes such foods such as carrots, sweet and regular potatoes, squashes, apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, pears, berries, honey, and maple syrup.
2. Incorporate fresh herbs and spices
Herbs and spices have long been used for health and healing. Their immune boosting properties can be used in fresh, frozen, and dried forms.
A few of my favorites are fresh cilantro, parsley, and ginger, and dried rosemary, fennel, cinnamon, and oregano. Add more than you normally would to your morning, afternoon and evening meal or beverage for an extra immune boost.
Cinnamon is wonderful for keeping the body warm and decreasing low back pain. Learn more about cinnamon in my video There’s an Herb for that: Cinnamon.
Mint is another personal favorite. It keeps the lungs and chest open. When our lungs and chest are open, we can breathe more freely. More free flowing air means more oxygen, which is the primary need of our cells! Watch my video, Two Benefits of Mint that Alleviate Common Symptoms to learn more about how to use mint!
3. Select a few and eat them all the time
When we use food as medicine, we want to treat it as medicine. To do this and boost the immune system, select one to three foods listed above and consume them all the time. When I say all the time, I mean three to six times a day for at least a week to three weeks.
Think about when you take any type of western medication, prescription, over-the-counter or even supplements, you’re taking them as directed which usually equates to several times a day. This same school of thought can be applied to the foods that we eat.
For example, several weeks ago I was hooked on fresh squeezed orange juice. I drank 64oz of fresh squeezed orange juice within three days. That’s a lot of orange juice in a short period of time! I was drinking at least eight ounces first in the morning, before lunch, mid-day afternoon, and at bedtime. When I finished that 64ozs, my body wanted more! So, I went and bought more. I continued drinking the fresh squeezed orange juice at the dose mentioned above for about another six days.
I’m still drinking freshly squeezed orange juice every day. I drink about eight ounces one to two times a day. Freshly squeezed orange juice super charged my system! I could fell it. I felt so good! My body was craving the Vitamin C and hundreds of other immune boosting healing vitamins and minerals it contains.
A similar situation happened with organic white Yukon potatoes. I slowly started to eat them throughout the week then noticed I was wanting them with every meal. This went on for about two weeks. I looked forward to eating them and loved them every time I had them. Each time I prepared the potatoes, I would use different herbs and spices to add variety and further immune boosting properties.
Choose your immune boosting food and treat it like medicine. Eat it several times a day for at least 10-14 days, if not more!
Remember the army/soldier example I gave above? Imagine if you ran your army ragged to the point where they were stressed out and exhausted. Guess what? They wouldn’t be able to perform nor win a battle! That’s how your body feels after hours and days of stimulation and work without rest.
When we’re in a constant state of go, go, do, do, think, think, move, move, the first system to bear that burden is our immune system.
Rest is what repairs, protects, and helps our body to become stronger.
If you get sick this season, and have followed these suggestions, please stray from whining and complaining about it. Your immune boosting army is at work. It’s doing its job and when it does its job it gets stronger.
Honor your body and your internal army by taking 5-30 minute breaks throughout your day where you simply rest, relax, breath, stretch, walk, or stare into the clouds. For more on this watch my video, 30-Second Exercise to Calm and Reduce Stress.
Start building your strong internal immune boosting army today by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, incorporating herbs and spices into your meals, eating specific foods regularly, and by resting.
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.