Most people aren't aware that 80% of our immune system is in the gut. In the age of COVID-19, we have to use every tool in our arsenal to keep our immune system optimal.

Don't let the latest trendy health berry or rare plant that cost $100 an ounce burn through your whole check. You might be passing by and taking for granted some of the most powerful immune-boosting foods in the world. All within the reach of your budget.

Affordable immunity-boosting foods:

1. Garlic

Garlic is not only packed full of flavor, but it’s also packed with health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. Garlic’s immunity-boosting abilities come from its heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, which can help fight off infections.

A 2001 study published in Advances in Therapy showed that garlic has been shown to help ward off the common cold.

Experts suggest consuming two to three cloves per day. My mother has taken garlic for years when her blood pressure was on the rise or she was feeling the beginnings of an illness. She swears by it.

2. Ginger

Ginger is among the healthiest spices on the planet. Loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain, ginger is known to help with everything from indigestion, menstrual cramps,  muscle aches, inflammation and possibly even Alzheimers.

Due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, ginger may boost immune health.

Although some inflammation is an important part of the normal immune response, chronic inflammation can hurt your immune system, and possibly increase your chances of illness.

Increasing the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods like ginger shots can help fight inflammation and keep your immune system healthy.

Fresh ginger may also be effective against the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections.

3. Onion

Few realize the onions are a superfood. Onions are low in calories and high in beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, have certain phytochemicals that act as stimulants for vitamin C within the body. Vitamin C boosts your immune system by fighting against toxins that can lead to numerous diseases and chronic illnesses.

Onions are packed with immune-boosting nutrients like selenium, sulfur compounds, zinc, and vitamin C. In addition, they are one of the best sources of quercetin, a potent flavonoid, and antioxidant that has antiviral properties as well as histamine regulating effects.

Onions have been used to remedy a plethora of ailments:

  • Sore throat - Onions contain sulfur compounds that fight and promote the expulsion of mucus from airways. Onion is considered to be the most powerful natural antibiotics, which can fight off both viral and bacterial infections, and ease the symptoms of sore throat. 
  • High fever - Onions help lower body temperature and relieve body aches caused by fever. Chop an onion into small pieces, put in a glass container. Add drinking water and let sit for seven hours. Drink mixture three to four times a day. 
  • Cold, cough and flu - see above for why. 
My favorite catch-all remedy is sliced onion, soaked in local honey with ginger and garlic. My dad swears by it for preventing or curing an ailment. Drink a tablespoon regularly. 

4. Turmeric

Tumeric has been the superfood of choice for centuries. It helps with pain and inflammation but also  helps
  • fight cancer
  • combat depression
  • improve memory
  • promote healing and kill bacteria
Turmeric helps bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. Adding turmeric into your diet during periods of stress or during flu season can help give your immune system a little boost. There’s a compound in turmeric called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps relieve soreness. It’s also been linked to a ton of other benefits, like reducing bloating and promoting gut health. Make sure you make the most out of your turmeric by pairing it with black pepper. The curcumin compound isn’t easily absorbed by the body and black pepper has a compound to help.

Tumeric is great in a number of savory dishes but try a superfood drink:

Golden Milk Latte

1 cup of nut milk  (almond, cashew, etc)
1 tbsp of freshly grated turmeric root, or 1 tsp of ground
1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger root, or 1 tsp of ground
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
Sweetener of choice (local honey is recommended)
A pinch of pepper
1. In a small pot on the stove, gently heat cashew milk over low heat.
2. Whisk in turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon until frothy, adding sweetener to taste.
3. Pour in your favorite mug and sprinkle with ground pepper. Done and done!
Other turmeric products:

Staying healthy takes a holistic outlook. Wash your hands, get enough sleep, and eat the right foods.