Most of us know at this point that if we take care of our digestive system, then we are in turn going to be taking care of our immune system. I put together a short list of a few foods that will help to boost your immune system and ward off those nasty colds that always like to visit us around this time of year.
Bone broth is a powerhouse when it comes to health benefits. It has been considered a great healer in many countries around the world because it packs so many nutrients that the body needs to heal. It contains gelatin, which helps heal the lining of the gut, and collagen, which is great for the skin and joints. It also has a high concentration of minerals, and the bone marrow can help strengthen the immune system. Make chicken or vegetable soup, cook your grains in it instead of water, or even just drink it straight from a mug.
Fermented foods have done wonders for my digestive and immune system. Examples of fermented foods would be kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, beet kvass and yogurt. All of these foods provide you with probiotics, which are the good bacteria that you want to have in your gut, they help kill off the bad bacteria that make you sick. You could always consider taking a probiotic supplement for a while to give yourself a little extra boost.
Sweet potatoes contain a high amount of beta-carotene (which your body turns into vitamin A), and this is great for the skin. And of course we all know that the skin is the barrier for all germs and bacteria that can make us sick, so the healthier our skin is, the better our immune system will function. You can roast them, puree them, or make a breakfast skillet with them.
Garlic has antibacterial properties and can fight infection and kill parasites in the body. It is best to eat it raw because cooking kills some of the enzymes, but you still get the benefits if eaten cooked.
Mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, which is great when you are sick. They can help fight off bacteria and infections. Make a mushroom stock by simmering dehydrated shiitake mushrooms in water, throw them in a stir-fry, roast them or stuff them.