Crystal Valley Blog

Recipes to Boost Your Immune System!

POSTED January 7, 2020

If you didn’t get the flu in 2019, let’s make sure you don’t come down with it in 2020! To keep your immune system humming along – strong and mighty enough to beat back the next virus attack, here’s a collection of immune-boosting activities and recipes that can help you ward off everything from the common cold to the big bad flu! 

Ancient Prevention and Dynamite Remedies

When we saw blogger Carla at Adventures of a Nurse post her immune-boosting Elderberry Syrup, we were ready to grab an Instant Pot and begin to brew. Carla was a nurse for 20 years and says this potion takes about 10 minutes to prepare. You’ll need the dried elderberries – available on Amazon and in lots of health food stores — water, ginger, cinnamon and raw honey. 

The syrup will “keep” in the fridge for up to two months and Carla recommends a tablespoon daily, and if you do catch the virus – take it three to four times a day, within 24-to-48 hours of coming down with the flu. (*Do check with your doctor first. While elderberries have been used for centuries to treat wounds and respiratory illnesses, they can trigger side effects when taken with other herbs, supplements and/or medications). 

The Instant Pot Dynamite Cold Tonic from blogger Heidi at 101 Cookbooks – a site which celebrates whole foods and the power of vegetables — is a head-clearing, sniffle-blasting cold tonic that’s like a stick of ginger dynamite and not for the faint of heart. But if you feel the need for a decongesting, immune-boosting, ultra-invigorating explosive virus detonator, this brew with arbol chiles should do the trick!

Soups That Protect and Heal

Sarah, the blogging dietician at Sarah Gold RD, recommends the immune boosting Carrot-Ginger Soup (also for your Instant Pot) that’s full of immune-boosting ingredients like ginger, turmeric, carrots and onions. It’s also comforting to eat when you feel the sniffles coming on, so before during and after – this one’s a soup to get you through winter.

Writing for McDaniel Nutrition Therapy, blogger Mary is a firm believer in the age-old immune boost you get from a cup of chicken soup. For the clinical explanation, McGill Office for Science and Society says chicken soup fights off viruses and decreases the duration and intensity of colds and flu because for one, it is rich in an amino acid called cysteine which helps loosen secretions. This effect is increased by adding spices such as pepper and garlic and vegetables like parsnips!

Mary’s Instant Pot recipe includes one whole three-pound chicken, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, raw ginger and olive oil. Mary uses extra wide egg noodles and says her kids all liked this one-pot meal, not suspecting it was doing a prevention number on them.

For an immune-boosting shot of garlic, ginger, cayenne, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar, go to 40 Aprons. You’ll ] see another 25 more immune-boosting food recipes at Lifehack.org — everything from White Bean Dip and Beet Hummus to Green Smoothies. 

Exercise Your Immune System

Most of the health websites we surveyed recommend regular exercise for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is strengthening your body and your immune system. Medline Plus reports that it’s not known exactly how exercise increases your immunity to certain illnesses, but some of the theories are that physical activity may help:

  Flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, reducing your chances of getting a cold or flu bug; 

  Cause beneficial changes to your antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system warrior cells which fight disease; 

  By raising your body temperature through exercise, you may prevent bacteria from growing AND help your body fight infection (similar to what happens when you have a fever);

  Slow the release of stress hormones which increase your susceptibility to illness.

Studies have shown that a moderately active lifestyle, like daily 20 to 30 minutes walks, bicycling a few times a week, or working out at the gym every other day, can make you feel healthier and more energetic.

For a few tips on what to take on and what to avoid during the flu season, check out The Healthy’s advice about sleep, alcohol and veggies and how all of these interact with and affect your immune system. 

Fit and Healthy in Crystal Valley

It’s easy to stay fit in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley, with amenities like the fitness classes and workout facilities at the gym in the Pinnacle. Take a look at all the architectural options through Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton. The miles of trails through the neighborhoods’ natural surroundings also make living here an attractive fitness option in either a ranch and two-story design, priced from the $300s. 

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