Are you worried about the flu? Is everyone around you sick? Did you know you can use food as medicine to bolster your immune system and protect yourself naturally against bacteria and viruses?

Two things to remember first and foremost:

1. Food can either be the most potent form of medicine or the fastest form of poison. 

2. Your best pharmacy is the produce aisle at your grocery store. 

During my grocery tour with clients in my health coaching programs, we go through all the colors in the produce section. Red means your heart will benefit and you will reduce free radical damage at the cellular level. Orange means beta carotene which is so important for your eyes and the production of collagen (Mother Nature’s anti-aging serum). But did you know that yellow and especially white fruits and vegetables boost immune function?

Ginger, fresh garlic and onion are three foods you need to be eating now.

Onions are considered pre-biotics because they contain fructans, a kind of complex carbohydrate, which passes from the small intestine to the large intestine to feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. A large part of your immune functions happens in the intestines, thanks to your gut flora. Yay! So part of having a healthy immune system is having healthy intestinal flora. Get onions and other raw, unprocessed fermented foods like kombucha and sauerkraut (choose the kind in the fridge, not on the shelf- they’re different) in your diet.

Garlic is an immunity-boosting super star! It has been used for centuries to help prevent illness and infection. Doctors even used it to prevent gangrene in both world wars! This is because garlic contains sulfuric compounds that wipe out harmful bacteria. Raw is best as heat and water wipe out sulfuric compounds.

Finally, ginger. I loved drinking ginger lemon “tea” in India- simply raw, chopped ginger in hot water with fresh squeezed lemon juice with a little bit of honey. Ginger roto-roots the lymphatic system, cleaning out toxins that make you otherwise susceptible to infections.

Like what you read? We’re going to be talking about all things immunity at my upcoming workshop. Join us – three blocks from the beach you see here in San Francisco, on February 8th. Be sure to join us! Click here for more information and my full list of events!