Cold Season: Keeping Your Immune System Healthy Posted November 29, 2018 It’s that time of the year when we hear sniffling and coughing all around us. Our immune system is constantly working to keep us healthy and alive, and when it falters, we tend to get sick. Sickness occurs when the body out of balance. Because there is no perfect state of balance or health, at every moment our body is adjusting to: Its internal environment – through digestion and elimination Stress – life events, physical and psychological trauma, daily stressors and dangers The external environment – air pollution, toxins in food, water, and soil (arsenic, heavy metals, fluoride), viruses, bacteria, fungi, allergens So, what can we do to keep our immune systems healthy when colds and viruses seem to be everywhere? While there are many factors that play into how our immune systems work, including genetics, how we handle stress, our eating and exercise habits, and the environment around us, here are some healthy habits to keep in mind for when your immune system seems underrun. Eliminate inflammatory fats: artificial trans-fats, polyunsaturated fatty acids Eat more anti-inflammatory fats (Omega-3s): fish oil, oily fish, flax, nuts, pastured eggs/dairy, coconut oil (rich in anti-inflammatory lauric and capryllic acid) Eat less sugar and refined carbohydrates of all kinds: sugar is immune suppressive (eat more sweet root vegetables, fruit) Eat more vegetables of all variety and color: rich in immune-boosting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals Increase consumption of raw garlic (active ingredient: allicin): anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral (smash it and infuse overnight in citrus, vinegar, oil) Sip on this golden turmeric milk drink when you start feeling rundown. The ginger, turmeric, and almonds are great sources of anti-inflammatory properties, the curcumin in turmeric provides antioxidants, the black pepper increases the curcumin effects, and the ginger and cinnamon are warming. GOLDEN TURMERIC MILK Ingredients: 4 cups blanched almonds 4 ounces fresh turmeric 2-ounce fresh ginger 10 cups water ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste Procedure: Puree almonds, turmeric, and ginger with water in Vitamix until smooth. Strain milk through fine chinois. Transfer milk to 1-gallon pot. Bring milk mixture to simmer over medium flame (to infuse flavors). Turn off heat and add pepper, cinnamon, and maple syrup to taste.