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How to Boost Your Immunity Naturally

My recent article on the Flu Vaccine has created a great debate here on Food Babe and on my Facebook Wall. I absolutely love this!

Did I tell you I was Policy Debate State Champion three years in a row in high school? I spent all my high school summer months up in places like Dartmouth College researching all the facts and collecting evidence for the topic each year. One year the topic was health care – so I learned a lot about the industry that year.

I’d like to share some everyday habits & eats that build immunity.

This was my day today. Notice I didn’t eat any fast food like Chick-fil-A. That stuff will will give more than just the flu.

Morning – Started my day out as usual – A big glass of hot water with lemon and cayenne.

Lemons are anti-bacterial, have been proven to prevent viruses like cholera and provide a load of vitamin C boosting the immune system.  Cayenne helps clean the blood and stimulates your entire body, thus allowing your hormones to work naturally to boost your immune system.

I then took a scoop of Vitamineral Green Powder + 1 of my 15 Billion Adult Formula Probiotics.

Probiotics are crucial for a strong immune system.  When your body is filled with billions of strains of bifidobacteria and lactobacillus cultures it prevents pathogens from entering your digestive system because essentially there is no room for the bad bacteria to survive. Pretty cool, eh?  I need to dedicate a post just to probiotics.  EVERYONE should be taking them. And EVERYDAY.  Probiotics are a HUGE immune booster.

Another immunity building ingredient in the powder is Wheatgrass and a whole load of other flu preventing ingredients – I could go on and on forever.

And then I either have some Larry’s Beans Fair Trade Organic Coffee or some green tea– One cup a day is all you need to get the antioxidant boost that helps prevent sickness and disease. More than one cup of coffee is questionable, because it make the body acidic.  This same basic principle works for alcohol too.

To continue with my morning ritual – I headed to the gym for some exercise.

Moderate exercise has been shown to reduce the time a person experiences the cold and flu and helps you to naturally prevent contracting viruses in the first place. Exercise stimulates the production of macrophagus, the cells that fight bacteria. Additionally many of your organs are made up of muscles, exercise helps them to function properly preventing disease.  This is a great reason to exercise everyday.

There are always caveats – for you marathon runners and exercise-o-holics – there is a blog post in the NY times that talks about a study conducted last year comparing mice who ran moderately vs. mice who ran for a longer distances or for a longer period of time. The mice who exerted more energy on a regular basis died when infected by the flu vaccine and the mice who moderately exercise survived at a higher rate. You can read about it here and judge it yourself.After working out – I spun up some fresh kale, celery, cilantro, ginger, lemon and garlic Juice.  The ingredient I want to highlight here is garlic.  Garlic has sulfur-containing compounds, allicin and sulfides that produce antibodies naturally in your bloodstream preventing viruses. My breath wasn’t excited but I could tell my body thoroughly enjoyed it.

At work I finished my breakfast up with some Chia Seeds and Garden of Life Raw Protein. Chia Seeds are a superfood and a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acids – They produce phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bad bacteria.  They also create a strong respiratory system  which is key to preventing complications like pneumonia from colds or the flu.

Afternoon  – At my desk I devoured a huge salad with arugula, my beet sweetened hummus, avocado, red onion, and blueberries.  Lots of immunity fighters here.  The beets and the carrots in the hummus provide a ton of carotenoids. Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural fighter cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant preventing disease from forming in your body. Beta carotene is also converted into Vitamin A – a natural immune boosting vitamin. Beets also cleanse the blood and are great for the liver – your main detoxing organ!

After my salad – I wanted to have something delicious with a cup of tea.  I had some of this 90% Raw Cacao Bar with Goji Berries.  Raw cacao is the number one source of antioxidants in the world.  Cacao is jam packed with potent immune system boosting substances called epicatechins.  The gogis just top off the benefits with a ton of Vitamin C and polysaccharides – the compounds that help your body resist disease.  I never thought a snack like this could be so powerful in your diet… They aren’t called superfoods for nothing.Later in the day, I had Parfait Porridge topped with blueberries and pineapple and mixed raw vegetables for my pre-Yoga snack (with at least 2 hours to digest).

Oat Groats, the main ingredient for Parfait Porridge has a modifier called beta glucan that helps your cells find disease more quickly and eliminate them from your body. Pretty freakin’ cool – if you ask me. After work, I rushed over to Yoga One to enjoy a nice hot sweaty session with one my favorite teachers – Johnna Smith.

The overall benefits of Yoga are so amazing for your immunity that I could yell them from every roof top. But one particular pose – Wheel pose stimulates a acupressure point in the spine that is directly related to your immunity.  The “Sea of Vitality” point is said to govern the immune system – especially helping with colds and flus.  Being cold and flu season, I stayed in this pose the maximum time today 🙂

Obviously I didn’t fly to Tokyo and do this wheel pose and come back today – I tried to sneak some Yoga One pictures in but they didn’t turn out that good.  So here’s one from high above Tokyo….

At Night – I had my Mom’s delicious black chickpeas, indian split lentil soup and lots of steamed broccoli.  The beans were cooked with lots of ginger, garlic and cumin – which prevents cough formation when your body comes in contact with respiratory infections… The broccoli has a special compound called sulforaphane which activates certain antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells that can battle colds and the flu.

Dessert – Ginger tea and a few prunes and Wild Incan Golden Berries – All of these ingredients boost the immune system – especially the ginger.  I ran out of fresh ginger (because I used it in my juice earlier), but luckily I had this Yogi Tea on hand.  Ginger has a serious laundry list when it comes to protecting and building your immunity – It’s antimicrobial, antibacterial, it has two natural anti-biotics, prevents disease from entering your body, inhibits pain receptors, stimulates circulation, eliminates congestion and sore throats, and more and more and more.  Lesson here – Get some ginger – I had it three different times today!

Be happy, healthy and free of the flu!


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36 responses to “How to Boost Your Immunity Naturally

  1. Love this post! This advice I can learn from and incorporate into my daily routine. Thanks for the info Babe 🙂

  2. My flu shot was over in about two seconds when I had my yearly check-up with my doctor. I do this as the National Institute of Health states that people who have yearly check-ups have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer. The flu shot also protects against H1N1 which is a potentially deadly form of the flu. I am not sure there is any nutritional supplement or food which has been identified as being able to help with immunity to this sort of flu virus. But hey who am I to judge. Oh, yeah, and I can eat whatever I want.



  3. @ed,yep you can eat whatever you want..but as my mom always said “you are what you eat”
    I am 55 yrs old and use to take the flu and pneumonmia shot and ate whatever i wanted, i have since been diagnosed with diabetes and all kinds of other things…but since diagnosed i started eating healthy/organic and have just about reversed the diabetes, lost 29lbs and feel better than I ever have in all my life..i dont eat fast food anymore and have not had pneumonia n 8 yrs and not had flu n 4yrs..

  4. Great tips! These are all things I already love to eat, so what good news that they’re such great immune boosters!

  5. Hi! I found your post because i was looking for a probiotic and thought i’d look to see if you had any thoughts … i appreciate you explaining the importance! do you have any recommendations? the selection at whole foods is a bit overwhelming!!! ha!

    i tried the coconut kefir … i would like a capsule. i didn’t like the flavors of the liquid kefir … do you have a favorite?

    1. Shakeology has all these things and more in one delicious shake.
      Shakeology the healthiest meal of the day. Nutrition simplified.

  6. Thank you for ALL that you do to motivate and inspire others on our own journey to put the best foods and drinks in our bodies. Its not just about “eating whatever you want”…its about making conscious choices that are good for yourself, others, and the entire planet. It and we are all connected. FYI…no wonder you feel good…your food choices for the day were amazing!

  7. I eat lots of fermented foods, which are a natural source of probiotics and have other health benefits. Real, plain yogurt, raw milk kefir, and kombucha are all great (kombucha is probably my favorite!). Most vitamins, supplements, and powders, are not even close effective as real, whole foods. You must get the absolute best available on the market, which is very cost prohibitive. Also, you’re not going to be able to walk into your Whole Foods and pick them up – the best you can only get online. Fermented cod liver oil is one example, which is the absolute only “vitamin” I take. Everything else is in whole food form.
    I also use a variety of spices (organic, of course) because many are antiviral, antibacterial, and/or antifungal plus have many other benefits!

    1. Have you tried eliminating certain foods? Dairy and/or gluten is a HUGE culprit in acid reflux. Going gluten free totally eliminated my acid reflux. Also, taking something like Vitamineral Greens like she suggests help alkalize the body to help with acid reflux. I take Vitamineral Greens and have several friends who do as well. And it has helped them with acid reflux.

  8. If you can’t get organic do you go without?
    Blueberries are no longer in season and the latest available ones have not been organic at our stores. I was just wondering if you you skip in that case(since blueberries are on the dirty dozen list if not organic).
    Love reading your blog.

    1. Tasha, you can get frozen organic blueberries, they are great in oatmeal or smoothies, a great alternative while not in season. I get a great, creditable brand at costco!

  9. I love your article on your morning ritual….question? your product about megavitamins and others, are they gluten free? I have celiac. I love the ritual and want to apply it. Thanking you in advance.

  10. I am soooo happy to see that you recommend Vitamineral Greens! I’ve been taking them for about 6 months now and LOVE them! Question for you: what brand of probiotics do you take. I’ve been taking Standard Process but they are only a 4 billion count.

    — Kristy @ Wine Logic

    1. Shakeology has all these things and more in one delicious shake.
      Shakeology the healthiest meal of the day. Nutrition simplified.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing the specifics of what you eat. I can actually find many of these products. You inspire me!

  12. I’m big on Garden of Life – Primal Defense Ultra Probiotics (1 when I get up in the morning) and Nature’s Plus Vibra-Gest plant enzymes (immediately after each meal).

    What probiotic do you like?

    (This is Ritch, Mary’s brother)

  13. Sigh . . . Cholera is a bacterial disease, not a virus. I only wish children suffering from this in under developed countries could use lemon juice as “cure.”

  14. Here’s just another reason why I’m frustrated today…I read that if I don’t get the flu vaccine at work, I will have to wear a mask everyday I’m there through all of flu season, so November through April. I work in an ICU at Children’s Hospital of WI. I finally decided this year that I was not going to blindly get it as I have in years past, and go without. Now, I don’t feel like I’m given an option. Wearing a mask will not be feasible. This may have nothing to do with the flu vaccines, but since I’ve been working here in 2008, I’ve gotten the flu vaccine every season and H1N1 and I developed a growth on my left deltoid that is kind of my new normal. These maybe have nothing to do with each other, but it makes me wonder. Oh well I guess.

  15. I have not had Lemon with Cayenne. I usually have Lemon with Ginger and also will drink a cup of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (2 tbs) with hot water.

  16. Did you ever write a post about probiotics? My husband and I were humanitarian workers in Southern India for 2 years. With the amount of times we got sick over there (because we weren’t super-careful…we really couldn’t be!) and that amount of times we were both on anti-biotics, our immune systems are basically wrecked. Thanks for this post. Would be great to know of the best recommended probiotics to take.

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