Foods For a Stronger Immune System

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Have you thought of just using food for a stronger immune system??

I am a firm believer that most illnesses and health problems can be prevented through simple dietary and lifestyle changes. This is done by strengthening the miracle inside of us: our immune system.

With all of the advice out there about how to strengthen your immune system, I thought I would add in some natural and simple advice.

Let me tell you about 15 common foods you probably already have that can help you get a stronger immune system.

Top 15 Foods For a Stronger Immune System

  1. Citrus fruits- Are full of Vitamin C.
  2. Red bell peppers- Contain even more Vitamin C and help with Vitamin A production.
  3. Broccoli- Is packed with Vitamins A, C, and E and contains fiber and antioxidants. The most benefit comes when it is lightly cooked or steamed. 
  4. Garlic- Is used to fight infection around the world because of it’s immune-boosting properties
  5. Ginger- Ginger can alleviate many symptoms, fight inflammation, and boost your immune system.
  6. Spinach- Has lots of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and helps with Vitamin A production. Spinach also confers the greatest benefit after being slightly cooked or steamed.
  7. Yogurt- Can provide Vitamin D and raw strains also provide helpful probiotics for your microbiome. 
  8. Almonds- Provides the fat-soluble Vitamin E. 
  9. Sunflower Seeds- Contain Vitamins B-6 and E along with several important minerals like phosphorous, magnesium, and selenium.
  10. Turmeric- Can promote health in many ways and is the key to many herbal remedies. Enjoy the recipes below with Turmeric in them.
  11. Green Tea- Has different antioxidants and amino acids that boost immune functions. 
  12. Papaya- Is loaded with Vitamin C and contains other important minerals. 
  13. Kiwi- Naturally contains folate, potassium, and Vitamin K and C.
  14. Poultry- Contains helpful Vitamin B-6. 
  15. Shellfish- Can be a great source of Zinc, healthy fats, and other key nutrients for immune function.

 

This is just a small snapshot of the benefits of many of the above foods. The information was adapted from this article if you want to learn more. 

Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the foods for a stronger immune system. In fact, I believe that almost all whole foods play an important part in strengthening our immune system! 

That means you don’t have to focus on that expensive supplement or those superfoods from the rainforest, and you can focus on eating whole foods grown locally to provide yourself with all of the key vitamins and minerals you need.

That lifestyle is cheaper and more sustainable.

You probably know that I am big on preparedness and self-reliance, so learning how to find health through simple and sustainable means is my goal for you!

I hope you enjoy my recipes below, then I hope you do your own research, find other amazing foods local to you, and come up with some new amazing recipes!

Then just make sure you share them with me so I can enjoy them too. 

Recipes for a Stonger Immune System

Many people have problems eating dairy, so the first two recipes provide great alternatives or healthier forms of traditional dairy that most anyone can enjoy. 

Sugar and Preservative Free Almond Milk

This homemade almond milk is easy, tastes great, and uses just three simple ingredient.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Drinks
Keyword: Almond, Milk, Natural
Author: Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

Ingredients

Ingredients to Soak

  • 2/3 Cup Raw Almonds
  • 3 Cups Filtered Water

Ingredients to Make Milk

  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • A Pinch of Salt

Instructions

  • Cover the almonds with the 3 C water and soak 8 hours or overnight.
  • Rinse the almonds after soaking. Place the rinsed almonds with 4 C water and the pinch of salt into a high power blender.
  • Blend on high speed for 1 minute or until very little almond pulp remains.
  • Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag, Tea towel, or cotton t-shirt placed over a bowl.
  • Squeeze the milk out of the pulp. Continue squeezing until no liquid remains in the bag.
  • Pour the milk into a container for storing in the refrigerator.
  • Put the almond pulp into your compost container, or make almond crackers out of the pulp.

Notes

You can store this in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
Stir before using - the almond matter will settle when sitting. 
Can be used in nearly every use for dairy milk. No sugar and no preservatives.
Click here to buy the nut milk bag I use.

Homemade Yogurt

Making yogurt may seem like a daunting task, but with modern appliances, it can be super simple! I will summarize the basics in this recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Keyword: Homemade, Probiotics
Author: Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

Ingredients

  • 2 Quarts Whole Milk
  • Starter Yogurt (either from a previous batch or store bought)

Instructions

  • The way to make yogurt is by heating the milk to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you add the starter yogurt and let it incubate at 110 degrees for 6-12 hours.
  • There are a variety of methods of doing this and other optional steps. See the notes section for the explanations.

Notes

Method #1 - Heat the milk in the inside pot of the thermal cooker.  When 110 add the starter and close inside the thermal cooker. 
Method #2– Put inside your dehydrator set at 110 degrees or a warm oven with just the oven light on.
Method #3: Put the yogurt mixture into glass bottles and close the lids.  Put inside a cooler.  Heat 1 gallon of water to 120 degrees and pour it into the cooler around the jars.
Whichever method seems the easiest to you I would look up a detailed recipe online. Most recipes will also include steps like initially boiling the milk and how to strain it once the incubation period is over. 
The thermal cooker (instant pot) method is probably the easiest, but figure out what's best for you and make it a habit. 
Pro Tip: Spend a little extra on your starter yogurt. Buy a greek yogurt with a variety of probiotics like Siggi's. Then all you will have to do is buy milk in the future, and use some leftover yogurt from your last batch as the new starter. The initial investment is worth it to have high-quality yogurt for as long as you want. 

This next recipe is my go-to anytime someone has a cold or flu. It makes you feel much better and recover very quickly. It is also just a tasty drink for a cold day.

Ginger Tea

This tea is for anyone sick or for anyone wanting a tasty hot drink!
Prep Time10 mins
Author: Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root peeled and minced
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 1 t Raw Honey

Instructions

  • Bring the ginger and water to boil and boil for 5 minutes. 
  • Add lemon and honey and let cool enough to drink.

The Golden Milk recipe below is definitely a family favorite! For years my family drank a green smoothie every morning, but we have found that they just aren’t enjoyable and don’t make us feel good during the cold winter months.

So, I have learned that other cultures use hot drinks in the mornings with just as many benefits as any green smoothie you could find. 

Enjoy this traditional Ayurvedic drink: Golden Milk.

Golden Milk

A perfect morning drink for the cold winter months. This is my family's take on the traditional ayurvedic Golden Milk.
Course: Breakfast, Drinks
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Ayurveda, Golden Milk
Author: Jorgensen Family

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 Cups Filtered Water
  • 2 1/2 in. Pieces Whole Turmeric fresh or frozen
  • 2 1/2 in. Pieces Whole Ginger fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 t Allspice
  • A dash of Pepper

Instructions

  • Heat the water until boiling.
  • Add boiling water and the rest of the ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

We buy large amounts of fresh ginger and turmeric, then wash them, chop them into 1/2 inch pieces, and put them in a bag in the freezer. Then we just add a couple of pieces each morning to the drink.
You could also substitute ginger powder and turmeric spice if you don't have fresh ginger or turmeric. 

When I am craving a cold treat, this is definitely my go-to!

Fresh Orange Julius

This orange julius tastes great and is so easy to make. It's packed full of Vitamin C and is sure to be a family favorite! Try it out.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Immune Boosting, Orange
Servings: 4 People
Author: Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Almond or Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1 t Sweetener of Choice
  • 1 Cup Ice Cubes

Instructions

  • Blend all together and serve while frothy.

I hope you use this advice and these recipes. Right now we all have too many things to worry about, so use these foods for a stronger immune system to help alleviate that worry!

My goal with this article isn’t to teach you every food that can strengthen your immune system.

It is to help you realize that there are simple, natural, and self-reliant things you can do daily to prepare your immune system for anything that comes your way!

And, I barely scratched the surface on all of the easy and natural ways to boost immunity– If you want to learn more, schedule an appointment with our experts here at Total Care Dental and Wellness to take your health to the next level!

To a stronger immune sytem,

Dr. Michelle

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