5 Plants that Can Strengthen Your Immunity and How To Use Them

People often ask me how seasonal foods and medicinal plants can be an ally to increase their defenses. According to the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) the vitamins and other micronutrients contained in certain foods can contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system.

Other studies show that malnourished people are more exposed to infections and diseases due to the lack of nutrients.

Despite the fact that a person who follows a healthy life will hardly have a lack of vitamins or mineral salts, it is possible that, at times, their immune defenses may be more exposed to attacks by viruses and bacteria.

The change of seasons are usually key moments for our immune system. In addition, stress and bad habits like smoking poor sleep and excessive alcohol intake are other factors that can affect the functioning of your defenses and weaken our immune system.

That’s where some of the amazing botanicals I love the most come to play! These are plants that, when used in combination with a whole foods plant-based diet, exercising and resting correctly are amazing tools that could make a difference in your ability to stave off disease. Check them out here:

1. Echinacea. It is probably one of the most used plants in natural preparations against flu and colds. Echinacea root extracts have been shown to have immunomodulatory effects (stimulate or depress the immune system) in in vitro and in vivo experiments.

2. Thyme. It is rich in flavonoids and tannins, substances that help to strengthen the defenses, and essential oils with bactericidal properties. Using thyme in the kitchen is a very good idea not only to strengthen our defenses, but to improve digestion.

3. Rose Hip. It contains above all vitamin C and flavonoids, important antioxidants that strengthen our defenses and help prevent colds and flu.

4. Garlic. It is a great ally of health and should not be missing in our kitchens. It is renowned for its protective properties of the circulatory system and for being an antioxidant. In addition, garlic extracts have shown antiviral activity, among others.

5. Sea buckthorn. The fruit of this plant has traditionally been used as a topical healing and anti-inflammatory.

Three Medicinal Mushrooms You Should Know About | The Power of Mushrooms

Three medicinal mushrooms you should know about – the Power of Mushrooms

I’ve been learning about and becoming obsessed with mushrooms for the last couple of years. I’m truly in love with these powerful products and wanted to share at least 3 that you should consider trying and adding to your healthy foods arsenal.

First of, it’s important to know that mushrooms (or fungi) are neither part of the vegetable world nor part of the animal world. They are their own kingdom, the fungi kingdom! There are tens of thousands of mushroom types out there, with a few dozen considered edible and beneficial to our health. We still don’t know all of them so chances are we may learn about a new mushroom or two and its benefits in the very near future.

For now, let’s look at 3 that are among the most popular and with the strongest known health benefits.

  1. Reishi

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using reishi for hundreds of years. It is considered the “longevity” mushroom in many parts of the world.

There is strong evidence that reishi can help:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Have anti-cancer properties
  • Fight fatigue
  • Protect your heart
  • Can help control blood sugar levels
  • Provide antioxidant protection

It is mostly used in powder form (capsules or loose powder) but can also be found in tea and tincture form

  1. Chaga

This mushroom has been used for centuries in Siberia, Scandinavia and parts of Northern Canada to help improve overall health. It is so powerful indeed that a single cup of chaga tea can provide almost all of the antioxidants you need in a day.

In addition to antioxidants, evidence shows that chaga mushrooms can help you:

  • Prevent cancer
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Lower cholesterol
  1. Shiitake 

This is a yummy edible mushroom. I’m particularly obsessed with them because they have a smoky flavor when oven roasted and are incredibly tasty in soups, stews, salads other dishes.

There is strong scientific data showing how shiitake can help:

  • Boost health
  • Protect against cancer
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase circulation

Now, have you tried or are ready to try these magical ‘shrooms? Have you tried others that you love? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

About Jovanka

Jovanka Ciares is a former entertainment executive turned Wellness expert, detox specialist, nutrition educator and author. She is the creator of the Wellness Smackdown™, a proprietary detox and weight loss program for natural weight loss which was featured on the first season of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours”...

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