1. Elderberry Syrup
Elderberries are known for their high nutrient content and immune-strengthening properties. They’re rich in B vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, minerals and beneficial phytochemicals! Zayum! Elderberry supplementation has been clinically shown to reduce the duration and potency of cold and flu symptoms (1). I love the elderberry syrup pictured below by Cassie Green. I purchase mine at People’s Pharmacy or you can check out her site to locate a dealer near you. You can find other great options of elderberry syrup at most pharmacies or grocery stores.
2. Vitamin C
In addition to these four essential supplements, add plenty of vitamin C to the list. This includes your citrus fruits like strawberries or oranges but also plenty of veggies. Many people don’t realize that vegetables can be an excellent source of vitamin C. Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and zucchini are all great sources. Watch out for store-bought fruit juices as many have lots of added sugar. Opt for 100% pure, cold-pressed juice when possible. Avoiding excess sugar can also help out your immune system, so go for a lower sugar option with a mix of greens and citrus fruit. You can also consider a supplement if you’re feeling under the weather to give your body that extra boost it may be needing.
3. The Immunity Trio: Garlic, Turmeric & Ginger
This counts as one, right? Incorporate these as much as you can into your diet! Check out my veggie bone broth soup recipe here which includes all three. Add a minced garlic clove to your avocado toast. Try out a golden milk recipe or simply roast some veggies with all three.
4. Be Mindful of Your Gut
Recently, one of my assignments in grad school was to discuss whether the gut is part of the digestive system or the immune system. My answer – both :). Your gut is the foundation of your immune system so maximizing its healthy function can be a game-changer for your immunity.
- Take a probiotic. Read more about why here plus specific probiotic supplements I recommend.
- Drink bone broth – most grocery stores sell this in the frozen section nowadays or you can make your own!
- Eat fermented foods daily (if they agree with you) like kimchi, low-sugar kombucha or clean-ingredient yogurt (dairy or non). I love Culina coconut yogurt (which also doubles as a great face mask).
- Avoid added sugar. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut leading to dysbiosis.
- Eat plenty of prebiotic fiber and healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds and grass-fed ghee or butter. Prebiotic fiber feeds good gut bacteria and healthy fats can help heal and restore the gut lining, strengthening immunity.
5. Be Diligent With Self Care
Prioritizing self-care can make a huge difference for your immune system. Stress, lack of sleep and dehydration can all lead to a depressed immune system. To maximize all three be sure you’re-
- getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night (or however many hours you need to feel your best)
- consuming at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day (or more if you feel something coming on)
- managing your stress, whatever that looks like for you! Meditation, yoga, exercise, a day off, a girls night, Netflix-binging, golf, hiking. You do you.
Some of my other favorite immune-boosting products: