How to Boost your Immunity this Coming Winter

Ah – the dreaded cold and flu season aka winter, is almost upon us, so we are all looking for ways to keep ourselves healthy and boost that immunity– despite the coughing and sniffling that many around us will be doing.

Fortunately, the best and easiest way to keep our immune system running at its optimal level is by eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as healing spices. It is also important that we make sure we stay well hydrated and get enough sleep.

First, a little about why we are more likely to get sick in the winter…

There are numerous theories, and scientists are still discovering more and more all the time, but the simplest explanation seems to be that viruses (like seasonal colds and the flu) thrive in cold, dry weather. Not only do these viruses last longer than when they are exposed to a warm, humid environment, but they also seem to be more easily transferred from person to person in the winter.

An additional theory is that, because of fewer hours of sunlight, a depletion of vitamin D and melatonin can also lower our immunity and make us more susceptible to catching a virus.

However, regardless of why and how, I think we can all agree that they are at best, a nuisance, and at worst, dangerous to those with a compromised immune system.

How to arm ourselves with the best line of defense this winter

  1. Increase your consumption of dark, leafy vegetables and fruits high in vitamins C, D, and B.
  2. Add a variety of healing spices to your dishes (for example – a nob of ginger to your smoothie, fresh garlic to your favourite soup or veggie pasta, etc).
  3. Aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
  4. Drink warm fluids throughout the day (lemon water, turmeric tea, ginger tea, etc).

In addition, and according to the ancient principles of Ayurveda, the addition of many warming and healing spices can be beneficial in the prevention of colds and influenza.

No surprise here, but turmeric (at its most potent when blended into a tea or tonic) has many immune-boosting properties. It is our number one, go-to for virus prevention in the fall and winter.

Elderberry has been used to boost the immune system for thousands of years.

Most frequently found as a powdered root or in capsule form, elderberry is packed with vitamins A, B, and C. It is also known as a potent anti-bacterial and anti-viral ingredient.

Astralagus (also known as Milkvetch) is a powerful root that is known for its ability to fight viral and bacterial infections. Practitioners of Ayurveda believe that supplementing your diet with Astralagus is particularly beneficial during the winter.

Earlier, we mentioned drinking hot water, this is thought to be one of the most effective ways to prevent and/or combat a cold for these reasons:

  • Flushes out immunity-compromising toxins from your body
  • Is more easily absorbed than cold liquids
  • Hydrates the mucous membranes
  • Pacifies the cold, dry Vata dosha with its healing properties

If the thought of plain hot water is unappealing to you, try adding any of these herbs and spices to jazz things up a bit.

These ingredients all have healing agents as well:

  • Mix 1 tsp. each ground ginger, turmeric, and black pepper together and add ½ tsp. of this mixture to hot water with ½ tsp, honey
  • Mix ½ Tbsp. each ginger, black pepper, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, and turmeric. Add 3 tsp. raw sugar. Mix ½ tsp. with hot water.
  • Crush 1/4 tsp. fresh ginger root with 8 fresh basil leaves, 2 peppercorns, 2 cardamom pods, 1 cup of water, ½ tsp. turmeric powder, 2 cloves, and 5 mint leaves. Boil, filter, and add 1 tsp. honey. Drink 3 times a day.

Now, we can certainly admit that the above concoctions don’t sound like the most appetizing of beverages.  

However, they work!

And, when your body is suffering, warm drinks, lightly sweetened with honey, taste better than you would imagine. Plus, these all-natural remedies are so much better for your body than harsh cold medications.

To avoid (or relieve) congestion, try adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a diffuser or cold-air humidifier. Additionally, avoid wheat and dairy products when fighting a cold, as they are known to increase mucous production.

Hopefully today’s post finds you well (and not suffering with a cold or flu). But, if you are struggling with a viral infection, we send you healing thoughts and a large mug of (virtual) turmeric tea.

Lastly, thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

And be sure to check out why you should order your family’s next meal courtesy of Ki’s Kitchen  
winter immunity

From our kitchen to yours,

Love + Peace


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  1. Fatema on January 14, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Your posts are always helpful and easy to understand, thank you for everything you do.