Eat This and Stay Healthy: 6 Foods for Boosting the Immune System


Nov 23, 2023

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Feed a cold, starve a fever.” Here’s a better idea: eat to prevent colds and the flu by supplementing your diet with foods that have natural antibiotic properties. Not only will this improve your overall health, but it will also help strengthen your immune system, balance good and bad gut bacteria, and give you a better chance of warding off bugs.
Using food as medicine, even as a preventive measure, is a much smarter idea than using antibiotics. Not only does taking unnecessary antibiotics contribute to the epidemic of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but it also doesn’t kill viruses – it only treats bacterial infections. Therefore, taking antibiotics for viral illnesses (such as the common cold and the flu) is unnecessary and harmful to your future health. Instead, focus on foods or ingredients that boost the immune system and herbs and spices that reduce the need for medications.
Here are a few delicious ideas:
1. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Tasty, antibacterial, and antifungal extra virgin coconut oil contains the powerful lauric acid. The body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which helps fight against certain types of viruses and bacteria that cause illnesses. Try adding coconut oil to smoothies for a tropical flavor. It’s also excellent for brain health. When cooking with coconut oil, use moderate heat (up to the smoke point of around 350 degrees) and always buy organic, unrefined versions to avoid chemical solvents, preservatives, and additives.
2. Garlic
Freshly crushed or chopped raw garlic is a potent, pungent remedy with well-known antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties that have been helping mankind battle flu and cold viruses for thousands of years. Crush a few cloves and let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes before use to release their health-enhancing chemicals.
3. Turmeric
It has well-known anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties. In other words, turmeric fights for health on multiple levels. This brightly yellow spice improves mitochondrial health (mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells) by reducing the amount of free radicals produced by aging or dying mitochondria.
4. Honey
Another antiviral food, honey has been used in medicine for centuries. Roman soldiers applied honey to wounds after battles to prevent infection. It’s believed to have been used as both food and medicine as far back as the Stone Age. Honey is known for its ability to combat around 60 types of bacteria, as well as various fungi and viruses. Plus, it’s loaded with health-boosting antioxidants.
5. Ginger
Fresh, raw ginger is another healthy food with antibiotic effects against foodborne pathogens. While not a cure-all, consuming fresh ginger before meals can provide added protection against illnesses like salmonella and listeria. Ginger also aids in digestion.
6. Fermented Foods
While fermented foods are not antibiotics themselves, they provide a positive health shield that can help you become more resilient and better equipped to deal with viral and bacterial pathogens. When you eat fermented foods, you strengthen your gut with probiotics, good bacteria that promote gut health by protecting it from harmful organisms. Fermented foods help balance gut bacteria and stomach acid, release enzymes that aid and improve digestion, and make it easier for your body to extract and absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat.

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