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  • Pam Rapp, MS, RD

Food Based Immunity Boosters

Now that fall is upon us so is the time of year where our immune systems are put to the test. There are many dietary changes you can make in order to help your body fight off germs. The most important place to start is with eating a nutrient dense unprocessed diet (meaning shopping the outer edges of the grocery store). Think outside the package so to speak! Fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dried beans soaked and cooked at home; buying organic whenever possible. Below are a few tips/tricks/supplements that my family and I keep up with this time of year especially.


*Cod Liver Oil: provides fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well as EPA and DHA which optimize immune function. @rositarealfoods is one of my favorite brands!




*Elderberry syrup: studies have shown it to reduce the severity of influenza and prevent or shorten the duration of colds, all thanks to it's high antioxidant content. This is my favorite recipe I make myself at home from @thenaturalnurturer. https://thenaturalnurturer.com/instant-pot-elderberry-syrup-stove-top-directions/

*Vitamin C: Foods high in this super nutrient include, citrus fruits especially oranges, broccoli, strawberries, green and red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and tomato juice. I add more when I'm starting to feel sick and it definitely shortens the intensity and duration of illness.

*Build outdoor time into your daily routine even if it's just 30 minutes a day, sunshine and fresh air are the best medicine.

*Bone broth: Promotes gut and digestive health, 70-80% of our immune system function is in our gut. The amino acids in collagen (found in bone broth) help our bodies have a healthy inflammatory response. It also helps with joint mobility, aids in restful sleep and skin hair and nail growth. There are many recipes to make it at home from meat bone scraps, or some of my favorite brands are below.





*Finally good quality sleep is so important, aim for 7-8 hours per night, easier said than done right?! Neither of my kids slept through the night until they were 1, and even now I get woken up by noises nightly. I aim to be asleep by 10 and wakeup between 6 and 7 am since my sleep is still fragmented. Here are some sleep guidelines for the whole family https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times. If you are still struggling with sleep, message me I have lots of resources!


As always this advice is not intended as medical advice, please check with your health care provider before making any changes that could impact your health.


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