God, Hope & Helping Others
November 19, 2013
by Kristen – Rethink Simple
Flu season is around the corner, so what better time to ensure that everyone in your family has a strong immune system. While I have my personal opinion on the flu shot itself, I am going to throw that aside for this post and share 6 at-home “flu shots” that will boost your immune system naturally.
These six shots are made up of real food ingredients that boost your body’s immune system to naturally ward off colds and flus. Some of the below are made with a juicer (I own this one) although if you want to boost your immune system and do not have a juicer or do not wish to invest in one, you can increase the amount of the particular food you consume in your diet.
Photo: Rethink Simple
Apple cider vinegar is just that, a type of vinegar made from apple cider. This ‘Slammer’ contains beta-carotene, which according to the Mayo Clinic possesses antioxidant properties that counteract the damage done by free radicals and in return helps boost your immune system [source]. Find organic, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar for maximum health benefits.
Shot Recipe: Shoot back a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a two tablespoons of filtered water. Can’t stomach it? I personally suggest mixing a tablespoon with a tall 8oz glass of cold water to dilute it. I also add a touch of raw honey to sweeten it. This source suggests drinking this apple cider daily.
Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and parsley provide a significant amount of nutrients including but not limited to, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6. These crucial nutrients play an important role in optimal immune health.
Shot Recipe: Toss together a selection of leafy greens in your juicer and enjoy. If you can’t swallow the taste of only vegetables in your juice, throw an apple through the juicer for some natural sweetness.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil is a raw, traditionally fermented food. It contains more Vitamin A per unit weight than any other common food and is a great source of the ever important Omega-3 Fatty Acids. This powerhouse real food helps regulate and improve overall function of your immune system [source]. Read more about Fermented Cod Liver Oil here and here.
Shot Recipe: Fermented Cod Liver Oil comes in two forms. You can source it in its liquid form and take it daily as a shot, or you can choose to purchase it in capsule form. I buy these capsules from a trusted company. Check out the recommended dosage here.
Blueberries are very high in antioxidants compared to other fruits and vegetables and contain powerful phytochemicals which give the fruit their deep blue color. A recent study done by the University of Oregon shared that the pterostilbene found in blueberries, when combined with vitamin D, could boost the body’s ability to fend off illness.
Shot Recipe: Juice a handful of blueberries and enjoy this sweet and sour drink. You can also simply increase your intake of blueberries if you do not own a juicer or wish to juice them.
Carrots are an great source of beta carotene. One of beta carotene’s main roles is to support the body’s mucus membrane, which lines the respiratory and intestinal tracts. A strong lining makes it more difficult for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause you trouble [source].
Shot Recipe: Juice a handful of carrots and enjoy. Don’t have a juicer? Do your best to incorporate carrots into the upcoming weeks menus!
Lemon and Ginger are a powerhouse duo. This couple not only supports a strong immune system by the lemon’s Vitamin C content, but together they help fight off an oncoming illness. Lemon juice’s anti-inflammatory qualities soothe sore throats and irritated membranes while the ginger helps cleanse your system.
Shot Recipe: Add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to 3 tablespoons of water. Grate or juice a pinch of ginger and enjoy. Instead of taking this as a shooter you can also enjoy a glass of homemade lemonade and simply add ginger.
If it’s already too late and you are dealing with a cold and a sore throat, check out this post with 22 ways to naturally soothe a sore throat!
*Dosage: I personally take Cod Liver Oil daily, and rotate between these other “flu-shots” throughout the week. As the shots are made up of real food and I do not have any allergies or food aversions, I take them freely!
**Please remember that these are just some ways to boost your immune system naturally and are not recommended as the only way to stay healthy this winter season.
***These “flu-shots” are a fun play on words. While the sources will give you more information on each “shot” and how they help your immune system, they are not a natural version of the influenza vaccine and do not contain the influenza virus. Please consult with your health practitioner with any questions. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.