When it comes to cold and flu season, there are a lot of things we can do to help keep ourselves healthy. But, even the strongest of us can sometimes use a boost. Even though I very rarely feel off kilter at all, there are times that even I need a little help. And when this happens, I go to my favorite frugal immunity booster to kick things before they really begin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The first and foremost ingredient in any immunity booster I use is apple cider vinegar. While I have never been a huge fan of any vinegar taste, or smell, I can tolerate this one a bit better than most others. It helps that I only need to use about 1 Tbsp of it per warm drink at a time.
Apple cider vinegar has a ton of immunity boosting properties. Some of the most potent and common are:
- Antimicrobial due to high level of acetic acid
- Helps lymphatic drainage
- Helps restore a more alkaline pH
- High in antioxidants
- Improves circulation
- Prebiotics that help boost microbiome immunity
- Reduces blood sugar levels
- Reduces inflammation
- Thins out respiratory mucous
- Weight loss assistance
This list of benefits is pretty darn long and shows that apple cider vinegar can really help total overall health. And when it comes to buying apple cider vinegar, you want to make sure to purchase one with the mother in it. Since the mother is the healthiest part of the apple cider vinegar, you want to make sure you have one with it. If your apple cider vinegar is cloudy then you can bet the mother is still present.
And, in addition to that, I always go organic to help avoid any potential pesticides and herbicides that might still be present. After all, those would negate the positive immunity boosting properties of the apple cider vinegar to begin with.
I may start my immunity booster out with apple cider vinegar, but that isn’t where it ends. To help complete my powerhouse, I usually add the following spices also:
I suggest starting with 1/4 tsp of each to see how you handle the effects and the taste. As not all of us are fond of all 4 of these spices. I know that I generally prefer much less cayenne and ginger than the other 2 in my drink. But, all of these are added for a specific reason to help boost immunity. These are:
- Cinnamon is high in antioxidants, antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
- Turmeric is high in curcumin which is a strong anti-inflammatory
- Ginger has many anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory benefits
- Cayenne contains capsaicin which can help reduce inflammation and treat colds and congestion
- Add a bit of each to your apple cider vinegar in a mug and either stir or whisk. I personally prefer whisking because I feel that it gets a more uniform distribution throughout that way.
A Touch of Sweetness
After I have my apple cider vinegar and spices, a bit of sweetness is next. The best go-to I’ve found is local honey, but you can also use organic agave instead if you prefer. When it comes to boosting immunity though, local honey is a much better option. The reason is due to the fact that local honey tends to have:
- Antibacterial properties
- Antifungal properties
- Antimicrobial properties
- Helps heal wounds
- Can alleviate allergies to local allergens
- Assists with sore throats
- High in phytonutrients
As if these potential positive side effects weren’t enough, buying local honey helps local farmers. And I am always a fan of that! I usually only add between 1/2 – 1 Tbsp to each cup of my immune boosting drink, but you can add as much as you’d like. I would suggest less is more here though because you don’t want to risk spiking your blood sugar, as that would have the opposite side effect you’re going for.
Immunity Booster Summary
Once I have all of my aforementioned ingredients, I then add boiling water from a tea kettle and stir. If you want to get really fancy, you can add an apple slice and/or use a real cinnamon stick to stir it with instead of adding cinnamon powder.
Overall, this drink costs me very little to make, depending upon which ingredients I choose to purchase. And, since it is such a powerhouse when it comes to boosting my immunity, it helps to keep me well all winter long. By doing so, I eliminate trips to the doctor for weather related illnesses and am able to keep more money, and time. I call this a winter win-win!
Have you tried a drink like this to help boost your immunity? If so, what were the results?