Here’s an EASY AND TASTY Way to Protect Your Immune System!

Just when we think all the worry over this Covid stuff is past, we hear, on a national basis, about more cases of new strains popping up. And to bring it closer to home, yesterday I was told my neighbor up the street now has Covid.

Along with this news, our doctor friend added this advice: “Don’t be cavalier about your health. Viruses will always be part of life. So be vigilant about keeping your immune system strong. In coming months, as these viruses continue to mutate, a strong immune system may be your best defense!”

So, here’s my theme: there’s SO MUCH we can do, cooking-wise, to follow his advice. For instance, there are more than 100 culinary herbs and spices that research proves have medicinal benefits and strengthen the immune system. To know what these are, and to use them on a regular basis then, is an effective way to protect your health.

And this good news gets even better. There’s no need to go on a massive hunt for exotic ingredients — many of the healthiest herbs and spices can be found at your local market or even in your kitchen right now!

Here are the top 5 herbs and spices scientists say are loaded with antioxidants and other compounds that are just as powerful as some medications. Using these will bless your immune system and as our doctor friend said, may well be your best defense:

CAYENNE. This chili pepper contains a substance called capsaicin, which reduces the number of pain signals sent to your brain. It also helps prevent ulcers by reducing excess stomach acid and increasing blood flow.

CINNAMON. This favorite spice lowers blood sugar, reduces high blood cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, which are especially important for people with type 2 diabetes or at greater risk for developing heart disease. Note that the fresher the cinnamon (and use Ceylon rather than Cassia), the more benefits you’ll have. Thus, grinding cinnamon sticks is a smart way to get the most concentrated advantage.

GARLIC. This strong-smelling bulb helps prevent heart disease by keeping blood vessels flexible, especially in women. In addition, studies suggest that eating garlic also reduces cholesterol. Note that powdered garlic hasn’t any health benefits. It’s the fresh that packs the punch.

GINGER. This tropical plant has been used for thousands of years to treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea. It’s also shown to cut the severity of motion sickness or even prevent the symptoms altogether. Note that while ground ginger is power-packed, grating fresh ginger root into your drinks or into a recipe is also wise.

TURMERIC. Presently, it’s the “flavor of the month” when it comes to herbs and spices, and for excellent reason. This trendy superfood is proven to reduce pain and internal inflammation. And abundant recent research shows it also has powerful anti-cancer properties (according to Johns Hopkins University studies). And note that the above-mentioned reference for including some freshly grated, applies to turmeric as well—powdered is terrific, but the grated root is excellent as well.

Besides consistently cooking with these, I also add ¼ teaspoon turmeric to my morning green smoothie (there’s no hint of its presence). I drink a cup of green tea daily with cinnamon and ginger and turmeric added to it (1 teaspoon green tea powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon turmeric). Lastly, I add freshly minced garlic to just about everything I make for dinner.

Why not commit to regularly using more of these spices, just for drill? They certainly add flavor, and along the way they’ll benefit your immune system to boot! Talk about an easy and tasty way to protect your immune system!


    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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