With the hustle of the holidays, we often neglect our health without even realizing it. Our meals are a bit more spread out on the weekends and sometimes lead to over-indulging on our plate. We get fewer hours of sleep while spending late nights with loved ones. Alcohol may be more present than usual throughout these festivities. Not to mention the endless sweets—I can’t wait for my first bite of homemade pie.
What if this year, you set yourself up for a healthier season rather than waiting for your annual cold? It’s never too late to start boosting your immune system — and it doesn’t require much, either.
Here are 3 nutritional ways to boost your immune health now:
1. Increase healthy fats
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are an essential part of our diet, as they are long-chain compounds that our bodies do not produce naturally. The Standard American Diet (ironically known as SAD), is typically higher in omega-6 and lacking in omega-3, which is an imbalance known to promote inflammation.
Excellent sources of omega-3’s include salmon, tuna, free-range eggs, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds. Another easy solution is to incorporate a high-quality fish oil supplement into your daily routine, doubling the daily serving size (2-4g daily for increased support). My favorite brand is Nordic Naturals, which includes a natural lemon flavor for sensitive tastebuds. Learn more about the power of fish oil here.
2. Drink bone broth
Organic bone broth is a hidden superfood. Loaded with micronutrients, protein and natural collagen, this soothing broth is an effective dietary staple for boosting immunity.
Consume a cup after lunch and dinner for a warming digestive support, or enjoy it as an afternoon pick-me-up in lieu of that soda or espresso shot. You can also substitute bone broth for water when boiling pasta, grains or rice — adding in another layer of gut-healing benefits to your daily diet.
Quality, nutrients and flavor vary from brand to brand; view varieties here.
3. Add in turmeric
Turmeric has been a staple in holistic medicine for nearly 4,000 years. It is clinically proven to impact multiple inflammatory conditions, including arthritis and anxiety while boosting liver function and decreasing muscle soreness.
For maximum absorbency, the active compounds of turmeric (curcumin) must be digested with piperine — a major active compound in black pepper. Pairing these two spices together will increase bioavailability by 2000%, even if ingested in small amounts.
When a recipe calls for black pepper (which is almost always), throw in some turmeric at a 1:4 ratio (1/4 tsp. of pepper = 1 tsp. turmeric). Not only will this provide a beautiful color to your dish, but it will also actively begin boosting your body’s antioxidant levels.
PS- Here is an easy recipe to get you started!