Anyone who wants a high functioning body without the need for pharmaceutical enhancements will be the first to tell you that eating loads of greens is the ticket to a top-notch temple. Parsley, cilantro, kale, arugula, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, brussel sprouts, micro greens and sprouts are all powerful anti-oxidant immune building choices. And if you want to kick your body into a new state of high functioning, do an inside scrub for a week, with 10-16 oz. of fresh celery juice first thing in the morning.
Herbs to Get you HIGH
Who doesn’t love a natural high? I used to think ‘ganja’ was the only highway to heaven, until my friend Mary Jane informed me that my kidneys had taken a beating with a lifetime use of cannabis abuse—therefore, a new kind of herb is what I now choose. A few amazing herbs to consider to add to your immune boosting arsenal of tricks, include ginseng, echinacea, ginger, turmeric, astragalus, black elderberry, and ashwagandha. And if you want to make a homemade chai mix to enhance the immunity vigor of your morning coffee, add a teaspoon of the following mixed spices (cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, cacao, ginger, cardamon.)
Once becoming sober, I attended an Ojai ‘relaxation retreat,’ and avoided the offered Reishi tea thinking I’d be relapsing. Once I discovered that mushrooms were not a dirty word, I then sought the land of ‘schrooming’ with a whole new lens, minus the hallucinatory visions. Among the many health benefits of mushrooms is building immune health, and my personal favorites are Reishi, Turkey Tail, Chaga, and Lions Mane. I buy them in a powder extract, mix them all together and sprinkle them over salads or add them a cup of tea. I find the natural earthy taste quite pleasing.
‘C’ it to Believe It
One way to get your immune building vitamin C is in a supplement form, a highly accepted option. I prefer to use foods to get my C, and my preferences are found in foods that multi task as nutritional powerhouses. Camu Camu is a sour berry superfood native to the Amazon rainforest and packed with vitamin C. Add a scoop of Camu Camu powder to a breakfast bowl of muesli, or just add to 8 oz of water for a simple way to get your ‘C’ needs met. A second fruit worth adding to your collection of ‘C it to believe it’s,’ is Soursop, a fruit native to the tropical climates of Central and South America. Besides being antioxidant rich, cancer fighting, improving gastrointestinal health and regulating blood sugar, it also boosts immunity with high levels of C. A third way to get an amazing food source C is in the peels of citrus fruits. After scrubbing them well, I enjoy zesting or grating the peels of a lemon and orange and sprinkling it atop a salad, a shrimp taco, coconut yogurt or a cup of tea.
Sugar Free, not Chemical Full
As we know, the word sugar-free is synonymous with a variety of nearly unpronounceable names that make food taste sickeningly sweet, only to result in an immunity disaster within. Undoubtedly, giving up sugar will assist your health, but what can we replace it with and still delight in the pleasures of life? It took me a minute to adapt my tasters to raw, unprocessed stevia, raw unprocessed monk fruit, and earthy Maca, but these are my strategic health choices when topping a cereal, making a smoothie, or sweetening a health tonic, as the calories for stevia and monk fruit are zero, the glycemic index is zero, and the health benefits to a zero-refined-sugar-lifestyle are many.
Feast on Fermented Foods
Since learning that the health of the gut is vital to the immune system working correctly, one of my top priorities for building natural immunity is fermented foods. A Kombucha shot after meals comprises of a half cup of a tasty flavored kombucha and a tablespoon of Organic ginger juice from The Ginger People for digestion. For at least one meal each day, usually a savory one, I’ll include a a quarter cup of Kimchi, which is fermented vegetables often infused with garlic, which also helps build the immune system. On a cool winter day, nothing beats a warm cup of miso soup—a fermented soy or chick pea paste that when combined with hot water makes a savory soup or beverage. A good probiotic is a must if fermented foods are not part of your daily meal plan.
This and That
A few other essentials that are worth depositing into your daily temple bank for creating the environment for immunity gold are Vitamin D, which is especially important during the winter months when the sun is less available; chlorella and spirulina for energy and immunity; goji berries are high in Vitamin C, A, and antioxidant rich; moringa for antioxidants, inflammation, and digestive health; apricot kernels for detoxification, a source of B17 and inflammation; black plum for energy, inflammation and respiratory health; and green tea for fat burning, inflammation and antioxidants.
In addition to the mentioned strategies for boosting your natural immunity, of course there are other elements of importance such as getting regular exercise, staying well hydrated, getting enough sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, and having a relaxation practice that involves quiet reflection, meditation, or prayer. And nothing beats a warm Epson salt bath, with a few drops of lavender and geranium essential oil to bask in for detoxification, inflammation and relaxation.
In love and light,