Boosting Immunity {Real Health}

I just wanted to share a few ways we are boosting our family’s immunity.  Some of this we do year round simply because it’s always a good idea (for overall health), and some we do concentrated in the cold and flu season for boosted immunity.  This is not everything possible you could do, but it’s the things our family is focusing on!  I do not believe it is necessary to feel like we have to rely on doctors and laboratory made medicines to get through sickness.  It is good for our bodies to fight through things – it strengthens the immune system every time.  Fevers are good, and giving the body things to fight sickness with is key!  So let’s give these things to our bodies even before they get sick, and then increase these things when sickness sets in. 

This is kind of long, but hopefully it will read quickly and give you some ideas of things to implement or use when sick and maybe a few things you might want to look into!  

Boosting Immunity:  
1.  Food 

  • Coconut Oil
    • A great short article to explain some of the great properties of this amazing oil.  Here’s an excerpt from it: 
      • Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. and author of The Coconut Oil Miracle shares, “Laboratory tests have shown that the MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) found in coconut oil are effective in destroying viruses that cause influenza, measles, herpes, mononucleosis hepatitis C, and AIDS; bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, throat infections, pneumonia, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, and toxic shock syndrome; fungi and yeast that lead to ringworm, candida, and thrush; and parasites that can cause intestinal infections such as giardiasis.” Sounds like a powerhouse to me.

        The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of coconut oil are directly attributed to the medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in the oil, including capric acid and caprylic acid, and the powerful lauric acid. These fatty acids are concentrated in coconut oil; they make up over 60 percent of all that’s in the oil.

        Medium chain fatty acids are unique and found in only a few places in nature. Interestingly, another place medium-chain fatty acids are found is in mother’s milk. In mother’s milk, these medium-chain fatty acids are what protects the infant as his/her immune system is developing. And the more the mom has in her body, the more protection the infant will receive.

    • A short video 
    • We cook with this as often as possible, but I think raw is best – we will mix it with elderberry syrup (see below under ‘medicines’) and take some every day.  I will put some in warm (not hot) tea (chamomile, ginger-lemon-honey tea, other teas).  If you can stomach it, eat it straight off a spoon.  You can also mix with honey to eat it, and I think adding cinnamon would help with the taste as well. 
  • Broth 
    • I will be focusing on making more and more soups during this season – for GAPS reasons (digestion and skin problems flare up when soups aren’t as present in our diet as they should be) and for immunity.  We have eaten soup for every single dinner and almost every lunch this week and we have enjoyed them all!  
    • Here is a fantastic article explaining why it is so good for you!!
    • Everyone knows you should eat soup when you get sick.  (MAKE YOUR OWN!!)  Try eating it on a consistent basis, especially when it’s cooler outside, to prevent sickness, strengthen your gut and immune system, and to help you recover more quickly when you do get sick.  
    • If you need some ideas, look at my recipes tab for any of the soups.  Add extra garlic to your bowl right before eating it! 🙂 
  • Foods containing Vitamin D and C
  •  Juicing
    • We have noticed a great help to our immune systems in how we fight sickness and how fast we recover while we’ve been juicing.  My assumption is it is all the extra minerals and enzymes.  We’ve had sicknesses with juice and without, and we’ve done SO much better when we’ve had juice.  Keep in mind this is homemade fresh juice with a variety of vegetables, so you cannot compare that to store bought apple or orange juice.  We only use apples in our juice to make it palatable for everyone in the family (no other fruits yet).  We use many carrots, cucumbers, spinach, celery, cabbage, beetroot, and kale.  
  •  Garlic
    • Great resource about garlic. 
    • I use this liberally in our soups – best added crushed in at the end, right before you eat.  Add the garlic, turn the heat off the soup, cover with a lid, and let sit for about 10 minutes.  It tastes amazing and is so helpful! 
    • Another way to use garlic is to crush a few cloves and put in a small bowl with a little olive oil.  Let that sit for 30 minutes or so and then you can rub the oil onto the bottoms of your feet and put socks on.  
  • Ginger

2.  Supplements

  • FCLO – countless great things about this stuff, but the Vitamin A and D content is what shines.  This is a superfood and there is only one brand that makes it traditionally without processing that harms the nutrients.  And you can get capsules!
  • Probiotics – there are countless probiotics out there, but I have heard great things about BioKult, Custom, and some others.  Make sure it is a high quality (this is something you don’t want to skimp on) and that the ingredients are all good – especially anything added.  We have used BioKult (they also make a baby formula for children under 2 since their guts are populated differently than adults).

3.  Lifestyle

  • No compromises of sugar or grains as they are taxing on the gut and therefore the immune system.  Okay, who am I kidding…it was just Christmas.  But we’re going back to no compromises.  Fo’ Real y’all.  🙂  I am doing this
  • Spending time out in the sun for vitamin D as often as possible, for as long as possible between 11 and 1, with as much skin exposes as possible (and appropriate if we’re at a park or something haha!).  
  • Rest – consistent naps and bedtimes, as much as possible, even during this time of year when things are usually busier. 
  • This one is funny to me – less baths for the kiddos.  And when we do baths, only use soap if absolutely necessary (like if little one smeared butter all in his hair!).  Over-cleanliness and lack of bacteria on us can actually lead to weaker immune systems.  Also, only use soap if necessary for us as well!  This is fascinating – not just about bacteria but also about vitamin d!!
  • We try to never use soaps with antibacterial stuff in them because a) i don’t want my kids having antibiotics on their skin and therefore in their blood because of the harm they do to them and b) the overuse of antibiotics and stuff leads to stronger and more resistant bugs in our world and I hate that. 

4.  Medicines

  • Elderberry syrup at first signs of sickness, taken with coconut oil for those who can tolerate that :-).  Here’s a great short video to show you how simple it is to make it!
  • Thieves essential oil – used as soon as sickness appears and can be used in household cleaning after having lots of people at your house.  I have also used Melrose blend effectively against a bad ear infection and my son healed from that without antibiotics.  And it was a nasty ear infection.  🙂
  • Homeopathic remedies – as soon as sickness starts to show! 
    • I have been astounded at the result of using homeopathic remedies in a few sicknesses over the past few months.  I feel like I hardly know anything about this, but I am trying to learn.  We got this kid’s kit and it has helped a lot!  I have seen a major fast healing from a high fever in the night and fast recovery from that virus from using the right remedy.  Can’t wait to learn more and hopefully find a homeopath in our area.  

I know that was a lot, but hopefully it was encouraging or helpful to someone!   I know there are countless other ways to boost our immune systems and help through sickness, and I look forward to constantly learning these!  I am interested in learning about herbs that are helpful as well as essential oils and homeopathic remedies. 

Please share any information you have about how you boost immunity and fight sicknesses!!  I am so indebted to the online blogging community for everything I have learned about food and health.  It is the main way I have been exposed to this stuff!! 

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