Article Review: Boost Your Immunity by Susan Ince


Well we are clearing out of the fall season and moving fully into winter with this month of January and sometimes our immune system becomes more vulnerable, symptoms appear as a sore throat or a fever has brought you to flu-like symptoms.  It’s helpful to focus on strengthening our immune system to give ourselves a leg up.

In an article in Prevention Magazine December 2015 by Susan Ince entitled “Boost Your Immunity” From the latest research to time-honored remedies, here are the best diet strategies to help you ward off colds and flu this season, Ms. Ince gives 10 tips that can really help prepare you for the season.

I have offered a brief summary of  the first  5  tips Ms. Ince provided followed by my own Gut Commentary for those particularly seeking assistance during the season when the digestive system is in need of such additional support.  I will comment on the remaining 6 through 10 tips of Ms. Ince in the follow-up blog for Jan 31st.

1. Try Probiotics- Suggests bacteria such as Lactobacillus, due to its effectiveness with respiratory and gastrointestinal support.

Gut Commentary: I agree with this idea 100%.  Taking probiotic is a great way to boost your immune system.  It helps to keep the good bacteria in the body and bring your immune system into balance.  Digestive wise, good bacteria is essential to a healthy gastrointestinal system.  We use bacteria to break down foods and it is a huge part of what keeps our intestinal tract functionally optimally.   Taking probiotic on a regular and ongoing basis is the best way to keep the bacteria alive and cultivated.  Be sure that the probiotic you take does not contain any additives that could be irritating such as sugars or milk derivatives.

2. Eat More Garlic– Identifies substance called “allicin” in crushed garlic that is effective with viruses. Suggests the cloves contain less allicin but still effective.

Gut Commentary-Garlic is a wonderful ward to building immunity.  The strength of its potency is measurable to how much you consume but having a little can go a long way.  Incorporating garlic into your cooking is the method of choice I would use.  When we are having digestive sensitivity, we want to eliminate those spices that have the potential to be potent in spicy or very pungent ways.  Garlic being one.  If you choose to use it, I would suggest to cut thin and add to your greens or vegetables in small amounts.

3. Wash (And Dry) Your Hands Often– Suggests cleaning hands often and mentioned it is equally important drying them to prevent germs from clinging to the skin.

Gut Commentary- Washing our hands frequently is a good way to keep ourselves at bay with germs we accumulate throughout our day.  We use our hands to do everything that it is essential we keep them as clean as we can.  Drying them was a new tip for me I didn’t know but makes a whole lot of sense.  I would like to add a cautionary word for using antibacterial soaps.   I understand some people have the need for them, but overuse can also cause imbalances as we overly sanitize.

4. Use Herbs and Spices- Suggests adding herbs such as oregano, thyme and turmeric as ingredients to your cooking practices for winter that boost immunity.

Gut Commentary- Herbs and spices are a wonderful way to get added levels of immunity protection into your body and cooking is a great first line of defense for health.  Using “food as medicine” is what Hippocrates taught and is a proven way to support your body everyday.  Oregano, thyme and turmeric are easy on the gut.  As she suggests you can add these to flavor beans or other foods that you enjoy.  Other herbs you might include are parsley and cilantro which clean the blood and are lovely as a fresh garnish.

5. Add Astragalus- Identifies the root of astralagus as a substance that helps the body defenses to ward off viruses. Suggests cutting it up and adding to soups or taking it in pill form.

Gut Commentary-  Though I have not used it myself in cooking I am familiar with astralagus as a hardy root used to prevent colds.  I have not seen it in the local supermarkets to try it myself but perhaps you may find it where you are.  As for the gut, I would say if you are going to cook with it try using it as the only added “new” ingredient to your dish.  See how your body responds and proceed from there.  Note any adverse reactions.  As for the pill form, I would suggest to consult your nutritionist.

Here are tips 6-10.  I will comment on them with digestive specific suggestions in the Jan 31st blog. Stay tuned!

6. Cut Back on Sweets

7. Drink Enough Water

8. Eat Mushrooms

9. Take What You Trust

10. Eat More Fruit


In health,



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