How we Boost our Immune System in the Sadler Household
Here’s the thing: man colds exist but mama colds do not. Let’s face it even if our lovers help out when you’re sick it’s just not the same. We’re still tending to the littles, the house, trying to make a grocery list SO detailed that our husbands think we’re crazy, or at least mine does.
All jokes aside this is really why we just do it ourselves, even if we’re sick. This is why we deep clean the house when we’re sick, go to the grocer, etc.
In all reality we don’t have time to get sick. If you have more than one child you had better be boosting your immune system triple the amount every day because if you get the slightest sniffle it’s game over for like, a couple of months.
So what’s the secret to not getting sick? It’s really a no-brainer and literally so easy.
You have to eat well. This is a must. Immune-boosting foods 24/7. You are what you eat and if all you’re eating is junk then chances are you’re going to feel like junk, too.
Your gut is the foundation of your immune system as it digests foods, absorbs nutrients, and filters out harmful toxins and invaders. It’s also known as your second brain and plays a vital role in your mental state, mood, and emotional well-being. Keeping your gut and digestive system running smoothly by eating correctly will have powerful impacts on your overall health.
Most people deal with some form of inflammation and by healing your gut you will be significantly lowering inflammation throughout the rest of your body. What does this have to do with being sick, you ask? Well, the root cause of most illnesses is, in fact, inflammation [*].
Spinach – Spinach is a powerhouse of a food and super nutrient-dense. It contains carotenoids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and a plethora of antioxidants, like vitamin A (beta carotene) and C, which protects the body against harmful bacteria and toxins. Since spinach contains vitamins A (beta carotene) and K, and folate, it has extremely powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is one of the most nutrient dense plants available [*][*][*][*].
Wild blueberries – Leo loves to eat frozen, wild blueberries. I swear he would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we let him. Wild blueberries are jam-packed with antioxidants, specifically phenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, which help fight free radicals and lower oxidative stress throughout the body. The end result? Lowered inflammation throughout the body and reduced risk of illness [*][*][*][*][*][*].
Bone broth – Bone broth has been shown to significantly strengthen your gut lining, which in-turn helps reduce intestinal inflammation and complications [*][*][*]. Its high amounts of collagen/gelatin repair the lining of your gut which will in-turn increase your ability to properly digest and absorb nutrients [*]. This is especially helpful if you suffer from leaky gut. It also contains are chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine which have been shown to primarily reduce inflammation in the joints, as well as glycine, which is a powerful antioxidant. Basically, you should think of bone broth as magic sauce for your digestive system [*].
Foods rich in vitamin C – Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and if you’re deficient, your health will not be in good shape and you’ll be more susceptible to illness. Some fruits and vegetables heavy in vitamin c are: kiwis, oranges, pineapple, black currants, strawberries, grapefruit, papaya, lemons, tomatoes, mangos, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, and green and red peppers just to name a few. Foods rich in vitamin C contain antioxidants that fight the war against free radicals, lowering overall inflammation and boosting your immune system [*].
Green Tea – Green tea is another favorite in our home. Sometimes I go on coffee strikes because it makes me feel crazy and green tea is my go-to. Green tea is full of antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress by fighting free radicals. This lowers inflammation, leaving you happy and feeling healthier with each sip [*].
Turmeric – Turmeric is loaded with antioxidants that help lower inflammation. Curcumin is actually the active compound in turmeric that makes it such a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory [*]. Fun fact, curcumin is activated by black pepper.
Ginger – Oh ginger, I literally cannot get enough of you. When I was pregnant with Leo I made ginger tea like it was going out of style. If any of you are reading this and used to work with me at Espresso Royale or live in the Champaign/Urbana area… the Ginger Dragon tea saved so many times [*]. Ginger contains antioxidants (free radical fighting ninjas) and anti-inflammatory properties like gingerol, shogaol, paradol and zingerone [*].
Garlic – If you’re familiar with or have watched It’s Alive with Brad Leone, then you don’t need me to tell you why garlic is so great. If you’ve never watched it, then please stop reading this article and go watch this. But seriously, have you ever noticed that when you crush garlic it lets off that pungent smell? Well, that’s garlics defense mechanism called allicin. It makes sense that consuming crushed garlic, will help fight off cold or flu symptoms, keeping your immune system functioning at its best [*].
Broccoli – Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, contains magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which helps lower inflammation and fights the good fight on reducing free radical damage within the body [*]. These are also electrolytes that help keep the body hydrated. Hydrated body = less inflamed. It’s also high in antioxidants and fiber, among other things [*].
Wild caught salmon – Rich in healthy fats and protein, wild caught salmon also contains DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids [*]. These fatty acids help lower inflammation, aid in the prevention of other illnesses like cardiovascular disease, all while boosting your brain health. Any pregnant or nursing mamas out there? Have you been taking a prenatal with DHA or a separate DHA supplement? You could always try to incorporate more wild-caught salmon into your diet.
Dark chocolate and Cacao (can I get an amen!?) – Dark chocolate contains flavonoids and a solid dose of polyphenols, which help improve your digestive system and overall gut health. These essential properties have also been linked to aiding in the alleviation of diarrhea [*][*].
Elderberry – Yep. The hype is real. Elderberry is legit and you should maybe look into finding out where you can get your hands on some or learn how to make it yourself. For years elderberry has been used to treat colds, flu, allergies, fever… and much more [*]. They contain flavonoids that bind to the H1N1 human influenza virus as well as the H5N1 avian influenza virus, and studies have shown that consumption of elderberry mitigates flu-like symptoms soooooo, go ahead and hop on that train [*][*].
I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about this brand but they always seem to be out of stock, so I advise you to do some research, check your local co-op and see what they have to offer. You can also batch make elderberry syrup and save tons of money. Here is a great recipe.
WATER WATER WATER WATER – You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces per day. If you weight 160 pounds, you should be drinking 80 ounces of water per day (at least).
There are a lot of other things we do, like shots… of apple cider vinegar; however, these are some of our favorites.
I’d love to hear what you do in the comments 🙂
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!