Boosting Your Immune System Naturally

With temperatures dropping and the beginning of cold and flu season, fall is a great time to boost your immune system!
Turn to medicinal mushrooms, herbs and functional foods for immune support. Products like oregano oil can not only prevent you from catching a bug, they help reduce the length and severity of any seasonal illnesses. Also be sure to maintain good levels of vitamin D by taking a supplement regularly from October to May. Vitamin D is integral to immune function and in Canada, we tend to miss out on this important vitamin during the fall and winter.
Focus on adding as many antioxidants as possible to your daily diet. Antioxidants are nutrients found in fruits and vegetables and are known for helping your immune system run optimally. Greens and berries are readily available any time of the year and are all excellent sources of antioxidants. Don’t be afraid to eat frozen too; frozen berries are perfect for smoothies and are a great topping for oatmeal or plain yogurt. Sprouted greens are another great source of immune-supporting nutrients and are easy to add to lunch and/or dinner.
Just like antioxidants, minerals are vital for maintaining your health and keeping your immune system strong. Bone broth is a nourishing mineral-rich food to add to your meal plan. Packed with minerals like calcium and magnesium, bone broth helps strengthen your immune system and is an excellent source of collagen which helps reduce inflammation and supports your bones, joints and digestive system.

You can drink this broth straight or use it as a base for soups, stews or in any recipe that calls for broth. Thanks to Andrea Potter from Rooted Nutrition for the recipe. We also carry the Bone Broth Bar’s organic and pastured broths at our PoCo and Davie St. locations.

Chicken Bone Broth Recipe
1 chicken carcass from roasting
1 small package of chicken wings or feet (8 wings or 4 feet)
1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) cooking oil
2 onions
2 carrots
1 leek (cleaned well), optional
3 stocks celery
1 bulb fennel (optional)
1 bulb garlic, skin on, just cut in half widthwise
A strip of kombu seaweed (about 3 to 4 inches/8 to 10 cm)
1 lemon, cut in half or 2 tbsp (30 mL) apple cider vinegar (this helps the calcium leech from the bones into the stock)
thyme, bay leaf and black peppercorns
3 to 4 quarts (3 to 4 litres) cold water

Preheat oven to 350 F. Chop up all of the veggies big and chunky. In a roasting pan, drizzle the vegetables with oil and toss them up to coat. Add the chicken parts to the veggies and roast for 45 minutes or until it smells great and the veggies are a bit golden in colour. Then transfer them into a big pot (or a slow cooker) and put your herbs and spices in. Add cold water until vegetables are submerged and water is about halfway up the pot.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for minimum 4 hours and strain. (Overnight is fine too.) Let liquid cool, then put into freezable 1 quart (1 litre) container and label with the date. Good stock should have a jelly consistency when it is cooled.
Remember, we are always happy to help you find immune supporting solutions that work for you, so be sure to talk to us if you have any questions.

Cheers to good health!