Home remedies for immune system
iStock

It's never too early to give your immune system a boost for "cold and flu season." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the US cold and flu season happens in the fall and winter. But let's clarify that a bit because the truth is that colds and flus happen year-round. The only reason that winter and fall are referred to as cold and flu season is because that's when instances of illness peak. So, it does none of us any good to walk around the rest of the year with a false sense of security. Instead, let's all work on giving our immune systems a boost year-round with some remedios caseros that have been working their magic for generations.

More from MamásLatinas: 8 Stress-reducing super foods that will help you lose weight

The truth of the matter is that having a strong immune system all year long makes sense because it won't just protect you from catching a cold or the flu; it will also make you less vulnerable to infections. Think of your immune system as an army of soldiers whose mission is to keep you healthy. In order for that army to be able to fight any invaders, you need to keep it strong and provide it with ammunition to attack any enemies to your health.

Things you can do to keep your immune system ready to protect against and fight off illness include reducing stress, getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising. In a perfect world, we would all be zen masters who sleep enough, eat right, and exercise just the right amount, but in this world we all tend to fall short here and there, which leads to us and our immune systems getting run down. That's when these classic home remedies can give your immune system a boost. Trust that there is a reason that they have been passed down from generation to generation.

Enjoy a cup of anise tea! 1

Enjoy a cup of anise tea!

iStock

Anise tastes a bit like licorice and makes for a yummy tea. It's used as a natural remedy for all kinds of things because it's rich in iron and has a small amount of manganese. Iron is essential for healthy red blood cells and manganese is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help prevent damage to cells.

Advertisement

Citrus is a no-brainer! 2

Citrus is a no-brainer!

iStock

As you probably know, citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C not only strengthens your immune system, it also great for your skin. One medium-sized orange has all the vitamin C that you need for the day. Also, there are so many delicious citrus fruits to choose from besides oranges. Hello grapefruits, limes, and lemons!

Advertisement

Call it a guava or a guayaba, either way it's good for you. 3

Call it a guava or a guayaba, either way it's good for you.

Getty images

This tropical fruit is rich in iron which is great for building up the immune system. Try adding 3 or 4 chopped guyabas with 1 chopped red pepper (also rich in iron) to a blender with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Can’t find any guayabas in your local supermarket? Don’t worry, Goya sells them frozen!

Combine the power of beets and carrots. 4

Combine the power of beets and carrots.

iStock

Another really good remedy for bringing up your immune system is a carrot and beet juice batido. Carrots are rich in vitamins and fiber and beets are low in calories and full of vitamins and minerals. Cut up 3 or 4 carrots and throw them into a food processor or juicer, then add 1 chopped beet. Add a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice along with 2 tablespoons of oatmeal. Make sure it liquefies well.

Advertisement

Strengthen your bones with molasses! 5

Strengthen your bones with molasses!

Getty Images

Molasses has iron, selenium, and copper in it, which are good for your bones! Bone health is important, amigas. Here's how to combine it with the power of beets: Take 1 large raw beet and grind it, then liquefy it with a strainer. Combine the beet juice with a bottle of molasses and drink 1 tablespoon a day.

Advertisement

What's up with echinacea? 6

What's up with echinacea?

iStock

A lot of people take echinacea in a pill form at the first sign of a cold or flu because it is believed to strengthen the immune system and shorten the length and reduce the symptoms of illness. It contains compounds called phenols, which are antioxidants. Some people use it to help relieve acid indigestion.

Advertisement

Crack open an egg! 7

Crack open an egg!

iStock

Eggs are a great source of protein. Protein is important to your health because it's a part of every cell in your body. You need it for your bones, muscles, skin, blood, and pretty much everything. If you are worried about the cholesterol in egg yolks, according to the Mayo Clinic, most people can eat up to seven eggs a week.

Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes for a very long time. 8

Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes for a very long time.

iStock

It's used to treat nausea, reduce muscle pain and soreness, and even treat menstrual cramps. It contains chemical compounds that help you fight germs and stop the growth of bacteria. You can cook with it, drink it as a tea, or sip a ginger ale. It's up to you how to ingest this marvelous magical root.

Advertisement

Ginseng is one of the most popular natural remedies in the world. 9

Ginseng is one of the most popular natural remedies in the world.

iStock

Ginseng has been used to in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen the immune system. It is also believed to help fend off colds or shorten and decrease the symptoms if you've already caught a cold. You can drink it as a tea.

Grapes are pretty incredible for your health. 10

Grapes are pretty incredible for your health.

iStock

Grapes are so full of vitamins and minerals that they can help with all sorts of things. They may help fend off cancer because of the antioxidants they contain. They are a natural way to combat constipation. They are even good for your eyes. Also, they taste like candy.

Advertisement

Did you know that honey never goes bad? 11

Did you know that honey never goes bad?

istock

It never goes bad because it has a low water content and lots of natural sugar, and a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide, which makes it impossible for bacteria to spoil it. If you have a sore throat, honey will soothe it. You can add honey to your tea, have a spoonful of honey as is, or take a cough drop that has honey as an ingredient.

Garlic is good for your heart and so much else. 12

Garlic is good for your heart and so much else.

iStock

You already know that garlic makes so many foods taste delicious and that's reason enough to cook with it. But it also has medicinal properties that are great for you. One study has shown that eating garlic can help reduce the risk of heart disease. What better reason to heart garlic?

Advertisement

Kiwis are small and mighty. 13

Kiwis are small and mighty.

iStock

Kiwis may not be your go-to fruit, but you should definitely incorporate them into your diet. Why? Well, they are full of vitamin C, which makes them great for your immune system. They are also high in fiber, which makes them great for your digestive system. There is even research that suggests they help you get a good night's sleep.

Moringa packs more punch than oranges or bananas. 14

Moringa packs more punch than oranges or bananas.

iStock

Moringa is a plant that has been used to treat diabetes, inflammation, infections, joint pain, and more. The leaves of the plant have seven times the amount of vitamin C than oranges and 15 times more potassium than bananas. If that doesn't impress you, well then, we don't know what will. You can mix moringa powder into a smoothie or soup. It has kind of a spinachy taste to it.

Advertisement

Onions should make you cry for joy. 15

Onions should make you cry for joy.

iStock

They add flavor to your meals and they are freakin' healthy, too. Onions have naturally occurring compounds that mingle with the insides of your body and produce healthy reactions. Like what, you ask? Well, they have quercetin, which may prevent cancer. They also have compounds that help reduce the symptoms of bladder infections, help keep a prostrate healthy, and lower blood pressure. And they are good for you both cooked and raw.

Papayas are Mexican superstars! 16

Papayas are Mexican superstars!

iStock

Papayas are native to Mexico, but they can also grow in the Caribbean and Florida. They have an enzyme called papain that helps with digestion; it's actually even used as a meat tenderizer. They are also high in fiber, potassium, and beta-carotene, which help keep diseases away. Eat them as is or put them in a smoothie or salad.

Advertisement

Peanut butter isn't just for kids. 17

Peanut butter isn't just for kids.

iStock

Yes, peanut butter is high in fat and calories, but that shouldn't keep you from incorporating it into your diet because it has numerous benefits. To start, it is low in carbs, which is appealing to many. You want to go for the natural peanut butter that doesn't have any added sugar and instead is just full of all the naturally occurring protein, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, niacin, and vitamin B-6 that peanuts bring to the mix.

Shrimp are low in calories and full of nutrients. 18

Shrimp are low in calories and full of nutrients.

iStock

Basically shrimp are made out of protein and water. Both great ingredients. They provide you with phosphorus, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and manganese. All ingredients that help you stay healthy and protect the beautiful cells in your body. Shrimp is high in cholesterol, but research has shown that shrimp are unlikely to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease because they are not high in saturated fat.

Advertisement

Drink water all day long! 19

Drink water all day long!

iStock

We know what you are thinking? "Water? DUH!" Yes, we know that asking you to stay hydrated for your health seems so incredibly obvious, but are you actually doing it? We are all about 60% water and we need water to keep our bodily fluids topped off to flush out all the bad stuff and keep everything running efficiently. According to the Mayo Clinic, a good way to check and see if you are drinking enough water is if your urine is colorless or light yellow.

Bust our your abuela's recipe for caldo de pollo. 20

Bust our your abuela's recipe for caldo de pollo.

iStock

Chicken soup is a great thing to have when you are trying to get over a cold. Research has even shown that chicken soup helps fight a cold and alleviate symptoms. Scientists haven't exactly nailed down why chicken soup is good for you, but think about it. It has so many of the ingredients that we've already mentioned all in one hot steaming bowl of wonderfulness. It's like the combined power of all those healing ingredients come together to take care of you from the inside out.