Back to School is within a month and then not much longer after that, the weather will start to get colder and drier. It is also a time of the year that we tend to move and be more indoors and if that is not enough to shift our health…we then start the cycle of the sugar season, holidays from October through April! All of these components can have a compounding affect on our and our children’s bodies and immune systems. Let’s look at some very simple and inexpensive ways that you can include for you and your family to support a stronger immune system.

  1. Have Lemons on hand. Lemon’s are one of the most inexpensive fruits while also being full of a lot of antioxidants, have cancer prevention properties, include vitamin C and much more. Antioxidants and Vitamin C are essential to fighting off germs and supporting a healthy immune system.  Easy ways to include lemon juice (from lemons not concentrate) in:
    1. Homemade Salad Dressings
    2. Warm drinks like water, honey and lemon
    3. A morning drink of lemon water
    4. Green drinks. One of my favorite Recipes is:
      • Green Drink – 1/4 head of romaine, 1 apple, 1 pear, 1/2 lemon (peeled), handful of spinach, 1/2 cucumber, frozen banana, splash of coconut water, ice, and water (amount measurable to the thickness you desire). Blend and enjoy!
  2. Reach for the Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is full of lauric acid, which is a natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. Eat it raw daily (many people will consume 2 T per day) or swap it in as a cooking oil in your recipes or with morning scrambled eggs! I also love to make Coconut Fudge as a treat! Recipe is:
    • 1 cup coconut oil, 1 cup raw cacao powder, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, raw honey (or other natural sweetener like maple syrup or stevia) to taste preference, pinch of sea salt. Place in glass container or fun individual silicone molds (great to entice kids), freeze and then enjoy!
  3. Gobble 1/4 cup of Aronia Berries daily! Now, I am really not going to recommend you eat them raw or standalone as there is a definite reason they have the nickname of “chokeberries!” They are really dry and bitter, but they sure do pack the nutritional punch! Aronia berries are the most antioxidant dense berry, so I recommend consuming them like this:
    1. Throwing a handful in a smoothie with other berries like blueberries, blackberries and/or strawberries to sweeten them up
    2. Making Aronia Berry Syrup and sipping on it daily or using that syrup to make a healthy version of a gummy

 

Looking for other healthy recipe ideas for these types of foods/drinks? Check out my Facebook Food4Thought Page for regular recipe ideas or check back periodically for new recipes on my website!

 

Melanie Schmidt is a Certified Health Coach (from IIN and AAP) and mom of 3 small children that is passionate about supporting and empowering women in achieving a healthy lifestyle that fosters joy, presence, energy and optimal physical and emotional health. Melanie believes that incorporating more whole foods, physical activity, practicing simple mindfulness techniques and doing what gives us joy can be foundational to our health and wellbeing.  As a mom of 3 small children, Melanie understands the demands of family life, career, making regular healthy meals, weaving in self care, along with the daily challenge to create life balance. These reasons and challenges are why Melanie is passionate about supporting and partnering with women at any life stage to support them in meeting personal and family wellness lifestyle goals.

 Food 4 Thought does not intend to dispense medical advice and should not be considered medical advice or counsel. If you have a question about your health or the health of your child please consult your physician. The stories and information here are anecdotal and of personal opinion only and should not be used as a substitute for medical help.

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