March 1, 2017 Living Well5 Immunity-Boosting Herbs to Add to Your Diet Pin9 Share16 Tweet Reddit StumbleShares 25 Cold and flu season is officially upon us. I don’t know about you, but I find myself washing my hands way more often—along with dodging coughs and sneezes from everyone around me. There are a bunch of ways to boost your immunity, like getting more sleep, eating healthier, etc. but incorporating powerful herbs really is one of the best ways to prevent getting sick. Here are 5 immunity boosting herbs (some common, some not) to add to your diet ASAP: Echinacea You’ve probably heard that taking echinacea is helpful to take while sick, but if taken during cold and flu season it can actually prevent you from getting sick in the first place. This antiviral and antibacterial herb contains polysaccharides that increase the body’s production of white blood cells, which fight infection. The easiest way to incorporate echinacea is in tea form, so drink up! Ginseng Most of us think of ginseng as an herb that’s supposed to boost memory, but did you know it can also help strengthen your immunity? Some people swear by having a bowl of Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup) when they start to feel under the weather. Sounds delish! Ginger Ayurvedic medicine has long praised ginger for its ability to boost the immune system. Sounds kind of crazy, but it’s believed that because ginger is so effective at warming the body, it can help break down all those toxins lingering around in your organs. It’s also known to detox the lymphatic system (a.k.a your body’s cleansing system). Add fresh ginger to your morning smoothies or green juices—it also does a pretty good job at covering up the taste of bitter greens like kale. Garlic Getting your daily intake of vegetables is important, and garlic is one vegetable you don’t want to skip. Garlic is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory (what does it not do, right?). Eating garlic can boost the number of virus-fighting cells in your bloodstream which is super important since colds and the flu are caused by viruses. Garlic goes well in pretty much any recipe, so it’s extra easy to incorporate. P.S. Ever wondered what makes garlic smell so strong? It’s actually sulfur, which also plays a huge role in boosting your immunity. Kinda weird, kinda cool? Astragalus Works as an anti-inflammatory? Check. Contains high levels of antioxidants? Check. Might help slow and prevent the growth of tumors? Check. Astragalus might not be as well-known as these other herbs, but it’s deserving of much more credit. A popular way to incorporate this powerhouse herb is in soup. Give this miso immunity soup recipe a try—it’s really yummy! What are your favorite herbs to boost immunity? Have any good recipes to share for incorporating them into your diet? BTW, some powerful words that stuck with me, and why I make exercise a top priority. Today’s post is written by contributor Chelsea Becker, a San Diego native, living and writing in San Francisco. Follow her on Instagram & Pinterest.