This Immune Boosting Lemon Ginger Tea with Honey is our #1 requested recipe by our clients who are looking for antioxidant-packed recipe that’s easy enough to include in their daily healthy living routine, yet that’s potent enough for times when they need a powerful immune booster when they feel like they’re getting sick. The awesome thing about this tea is that you can drink it regularly to support your immune system like we do, and when you feel your immune system getting compromised, you can give your system a real antioxidant surge by drinking it every hour.
We’re obsessed with the ingredients in this tea for so many reasons. In fact, Lyssie’s such a ginger fan that she could (and often does!) eat it like an apple! 😉 What we especially love about this recipe is it’s an easy way for our clients to get the combination of these powerful components in one concentrated shot. They drink this tea along with implementing other lifestyle changes we help them to adopt, which all play a big part in keeping them healthy.
If you want to fully support your body’s natural defense system, you’re in luck! We’re sharing this powerful lemon ginger immune booster and some of the very tips that we give our clients (and use ourselves) that keep us all healthy.
How can you boost your immune system?
There are a number of ways you can boost your body’s natural defenses during the colder seasons. We’re sharing a few of our favorites.
Eat antioxidant-rich foods & drinks.
We have our clients focus on this first.
Eat and drink more wholesome foods, especially plants—veggies, fruits, spices, herbs, teas, pulses (aka legumes) and nuts and seeds. Choose brightly colored plant food. They’re packed with antioxidants that help to fight prolonged inflammation, which is at the root of all chronic diseases. Think of inflammation like a fire that you want to put out before it can create damage; the more you can use foods and a healthy lifestyle to put out fires, the stronger the immune system you can have.
Here are some of our favorite easy ways to help our clients get more anti-inflammatory, immune boosting foods:
- Mix at least 1-2 cups of non-starchy veggies into your meals. You’ll “flood” your body with antioxidants and fiber, feeding the good bacteria in your gut which helps to keep you healthy and fight off disease.1 Eating 1-2 cups of veggies at meals is a large reason why most of our clients (and us too), tend to stay healthy when others around them get sick. It’s also one reason that our weight loss clients reach and maintain their goal weight. Eat less of the doughy, heavy stuff and mix your veggies right into the sauce of your meal.
- Keep your favorite frozen veggies on hand so you don’t have to worry they’ll spoil. They’re just as healthy as fresh vegetables; they’re picked and frozen immediately, nutrients intact.
- Add oregano to tomato sauce, eggs, sandwiches, pizzas. The antioxidants in oregano, help to fight against free radical damage2 and may reduce the growth of cancer cells, reduce inflammation and may help fight off bacteria and viruses.
- Sprinkle cinnamon in coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, popcorn and fruits. Cinnamon contains potent antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory properties to help fend off disease. It’s naturally sweet and a great substitution for sugar.
- Keep a big batch of Lean, Delicious Greens in your fridge to toss on salads, sandwiches, pizzas and to eat as a side. Here’s how to make them.
- Sip our Immune Boosting Lemon Ginger Tea with Honey! 🙂 (recipe below.)
What else can you do to keep your immune system strong?
Stay hydrated—Sip it, don’t zip it (your lips, that is!)!
There’s a reason why you’ve heard this a million times before! It’s THAT important. To function at your peak, you need to be adequately hydrated. Otherwise, you’ll feel tired, get headaches, experience mood swings, be unable to focus, and your digestion, heart and kidney function and physical performance will suffer—this all increases the odds your immune system will be compromised.
How do you know if you’re hydrated?
While it’s not glamorous, we’re straight shooters (well, at least Lyssie is [most of the time]; Tammy tends to be the sugar coater in the bunch! ;)) so we’ll tell you the truth about one of the best and easiest ways to check to see if you’re hydrated: look at your urine. It should be pale yellow if you’re hydrated. There is one caveat—if you just took a vitamin supplement, this will affect the color. Drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you’re no longer thirsty.
How much water do you need each day?
In addition to our “pee” test, a general rule of thumb is to take your weight in pounds, divide it in half, and drink that many ounces each day. If you’re a hard-core exerciser like we are, or if you live in hot climate, you may need more.
Sip on water or other calorie-free, or very low-calorie drinks- like our Immune Boosting Lemon Ginger Tea! Or this drink.
Forget about sleeping with one eye open.
Make your sleep count. Our older brother introduced us to Metallica’s song, Enter Sandman, and we didn’t know about the reference to sandman but loved the idea of sleeping with one eye open so that no one would try to pull a prank on us while we were sleeping. To this day we say we sleep with one eye open. However, we recommend sleeping the entire night with both eyes shut! 🙂
Getting adequate rest is important to strengthen your body’s natural defenses. Here’s how:
- get at least 7 hours of sleep a night
- sleep in a completely dark room (or use a sleep mask like we do)
- go to bed at the same time every night
- exercise regularly
- avoid the blue light for an hour before bed because it can throw off your body’s circadian rhythm (natural sleep and wake cycle). Your phone, TV, and computer give off blue light.
- take magnesium before bed.
- try using essential oils (aromatherapy)
Use essential oils.
We recently started using essential oils for aromatherapy and we’re hooked! . A good smell can totally change your mood for the better.
Some oils, such as lavender, can be very relaxing.
What if you don’t have an essential oil diffuser?
You can still get the relaxing benefits of aromatherapy! We add 30 drops of NOW® Peaceful Sleep Essential Oil to 1 ounce of water in a spray bottle. We spritz this into the air about half an hour before bed and it definitely brings on the calm! It includes a mix of soothing oils, including lavender oil. It has a calming floral citrus scent. Tammy’s daughter holds the opened bottle below her nose before going to sleep.
We like NOW because we trust the brand and the oils are pure, have not been diluted, processed or manipulated in any way with solvents or other additives. NOW’s quality Assurance and quality control is phenomenal. They’re committed to giving the most pure and potent oils.
We also use NOW’s Nature’s Shield for its purifying properties. It contains a mix of oils, including eucalyptus and has a sweet and invigorating scent. (Confession—when Lyssie starts to fade off at her desk, she sprays the oil/water mixture or simply opens the bottle and breathes it and it invigorates her).
Walk to your mailbox.
When our clients don’t feel motivated to exercise, we tell them to go to their mailbox. We then have them keeping walking for 10 minutes and then turn around. They’ll clock in 20 minutes of exercise without thinking about it. It boosts immune function.
If you’re thinking that you’d have to run a marathon or do prolonged exercise to boost your immunity, the opposite is true. While an intense bout of exercise lowers immunity, moderate exercise is where it’s at if you want to build your defenses. Just get your body moving! You’ll fight inflammation and help your immune cells to regenerate.4
Be a fireman (or woman).
Chronic inflammation is like a fire starter in your body that lowers immunity as it tears through. Inflammation also causes imbalances in immune cell function. One of the best to help to put out the fire (inflammation) is to manage stress. We help our clients to practice deep breathing, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system (the body’s relaxation system). Doing this before eating improves digestion. More stress-fighting nutrients will be absorbed from food and there will be less bloat and inflammation caused by bloat. It also helps to prevents stress eating, which alone contributes to more stress!
Try this 4-7-8 breathing technique for yourself!
- Keep your mouth closed allowing your lips to gently part.
- Exhale completely.
- Then, press your lips together and inhale through the nose for a count of 4.
- Hold the air in your lungs for a count of 7.
- Exhale slowly for a full 8 seconds. We have our clients breathe out through their mouths until all of the air is out of their lungs.
- That was one set. Work your way up to 10 sets with practice.
Other ways to reduce stress? Meditate, practice yoga and exercise, just to name a few!
Consider a few supplements.
There are many supplements on the market. Choose a brand you trust. Here are three supplements that can help to strengthen your body’s defenses.
Magnesium (500mg). Magnesium is great for bringing on the calm. It also encourages relaxation, relieves occasional constipation and supports proper muscular function.5 It is also necessary for the production of neurotransmitters, so it can help to promote a stable mood.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a critical role in regulating the immune system.6 Many people are deficient in vitamin D. Depending on the level of vitamin D that is revealed after blood work, the supplementation recommendations typically range 400 IU- 10,000 IU daily.
ElderMune™. One of the first supplements we started taking when we moved to NYC when we felt immune challenges coming on was Elderberry.* We like NOW’s ElderMune™ because NOW uses a unique process to make the elderberry juice concentrate which helps to preserve the elderberry’s bioactive polyphenols and anthocyanins. And it’s packed with vitamin C, too. Sunfiber®, a prebiotic fiber, is included to replace the fiber lost during the juicing process.
Whip Up our Immune Boosting Lemon Ginger Tea with Honey
If you’re looking to bolster your natural defenses, this recipe has your name all over it. 🙂
This tea is packed with anti-virus goodness that helps to squash free radicals that damage the body. It’s a great for recipe for boosting immunity on a daily basis, and amazingly powerful when you drink it every hour when you’re fighting the flu. Each ingredient in the tea is helpful for boosting immunity.
There’s a reason this recipe uses the whole lemon. It’s not only because we’re twins and don’t like anyone to get left out—rinds, pulps or juice! They’re our friends and all offer immune-boosting benefits too!:
- Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, lemons help to lessen inflammation.8
- The pulp has pectin, a prebiotic fiber that feeds good gut bacteria which has been shown to boost the immune system to fight against bacteria and viruses.10
Many of these benefits are concentrated in the peels. They contain up to five to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself.11 A powerful compound, d-limonene is found in high levels in the peel and it brings the lemonade to the yard with its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-stress, and disease-preventing properties. In this tea, you’ll get all the benefits!12
Choose organic when possible to minimize pesticide residues since you’re consuming the outside of the fruit:
While all types of our sweetie (honey, of course!) have been shown to have health-promoting properties, manuka honey is even more powerful.
Manuka honey is sold under many different brands and many do not contain (or contain minimal amounts) of the important active substance, MGO. We like NOW’s Manuka Honey because it’s sweet, rich and creamy, and because we trust the brand. It’s guaranteed to contain at least 250mg/kg of MGO.
Take about ½-1 tablespoons of Manuka honey each day. You could also drizzle a bit in your oatmeal or on a grapefruit.
Ginger contains potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which help to “mop up” free radicals and reduce inflammatory compounds so your immune system can function at its’ peak. Ginger has antiviral and antibacterial properties and animal research shows it can boost immune response.14 One study found that fresh ginger helped to boost immunity against human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV).15
Plus, it adds a delicious kick to food that’ll wake you and your immune system up!
We can’t wait for you to try this powerful immune booster tea!
Immune Boosting Lemon Ginger Tea with Honey:
This is the #1 requested recipe by our clients who are looking for a recipe that’s easy enough to include in their daily healthy living routine, yet that’s potent enough for times when they need a powerful immune booster. The awesome thing about this tea is that you can drink it regularly to support your immune system (like we do!) and when you feel yourself getting sick, you can give your system a real antioxidant lift by drinking it every hour.
- ½ whole lemon, preferably organic
- ginger, fresh, about 2-1/2 inches or the size of a thumb
- NOW Real Food® Manuka Honey, to taste
- Place the lemon, including the skin and rind, in the blender with ginger. Blend. Remove lemon ginger mixture from the blender and place in small pan or tea pot. Pour 6 cups steeping water over it. Allow to steep for 10 minutes or longer. Strain the mixture. The remaining liquid is your immune boosting tea! Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of honey to each serving of tea.
The Nutrition Twins partnered with NOW for this blog, but all thoughts are their own.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.