This is the time of year to get a jump start on a strong immune system. It seems as though already, I've had many encounters with sick friends and clients. Here are some herbs and foods to add in to your diet sooner rather than later to help build an optimal functioning system:
- Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) best known for its cardiovascular benefits, however studies also show that having a little more than 2 grams a day can reduce the duration of a cold or flu by as much as 61%!
- Astragalus is touted for its antiviral and immune boosting properties. It is shown to stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of the NK cells and T cells. I'm told to take 1/4-1 tsp liquid extract 1-2x a day.
- Elderberry is a potent antiviral antioxidant. It is especially powerful with flu symptoms.
- Iron is an essential mineral that plays a huge roll in immunity. If you are deficient, your system is impaired. Too much Iron can be toxic, just as too little can be harmful, so check with your doctor for the right amount for you.
- Olive leaf has been known since biblical times. It is a natural and strong antioxidant which allows healthy bacteria to thrive. It's especially well known for targeting the ulcer bug!
- Oregano is one many of us are familiar with. Oregano oil can kill Salmonella, E coli and several types of Staphylococcus bug research has shown
- Plant Sterols are well known for regulating cholesterol as well as the immunity functions.
- Lastly, Probiotics strengthen the barrier function of the intestinal wall and boost immunity. They stimulate the body's production of T-cells and tame intestinal inflammation. If you aren't a fan yet...now Greek yogurt looks even better!
There is also significant proof that consistent exercise and eating a lot of healthy rich green foods (like kale, spinach, arugula, green tea, etc) will keep your immune system very strong. Something to keep in mind ALL year long!
As always…check with your doctor first should these interact with any medications you might currently be taking!