It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing to vibrant shades of yellow and red. The crisp, cool air feels perfect through a cozy sweater. Pumpkin spice everything lines the grocery store shelves.
And left and right, friends and colleagues are getting knocked out with a nasty case of the cold or flu.
Did you know that 70% of the immune system is located in the gut? So it makes sense that feeding your body well is one of the best ways to build a healthier immune system.
Help protect yourself from the cold and flu season ickies with this immune boosting latte. It’s packed with ingredients that will help your immune system do it’s job!
This bright yellow spice has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It’s active component, curcumin, which gives turmeric it’s vibrant color, supports immune health by decreasing inflammatory compounds and modulating immune cells like B cells, macrophages and neutrophils. You may feel weird putting the same thing you put in curry in your coffee, but turmeric has a light, gingery flavor that blends well with bitter coffee. Piperine, the active compound in black pepper, helps make cucurmin more absorbable, which is why I add just a pinch to this latte.
Antioxidant rich cinnamon not only makes your latte smell like fall, but it can boost your immune system as well. Due to it’s anti-bacterial and anti-fugal properties, cinnamon may help prevent and treat respiratory infections caused by bacteria or fungus. Cinnamon also helps reduce high blood sugar, which can lower immunity in people diagnosed with diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.
A close relative of turmeric, ginger also provides anti-inflammatory and immune modulating benefits. If you’ve already come down with a cold or flu, ginger can help decrease nausea and the spicy kick helps with congestion.
Honey has a long history of being used in medicine. It has powerful antibacterial properties, which is why honey is often used to help heal wounds. Honey also helps calm inflamed skin, which makes it an effective cough suppressant.
Coconut milk and coconut oil are rich in lauric acid, a fatty acid that has been studied for it’s anti-pathogentic ability. Externally, lauric acid helps kill harmful pathogens, which is why many people use it for dental health. Internally, lauric acid reacts with enzymes to create a substance called monolaurin, which also helps kill bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Immune Boosting Latte
- 1 cup hot brewed coffee
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk (full or low fat)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of ginger
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons honey
Pour hot coffee into a blender. Add coconut milk, coconut oil, spices and honey. Blend until frothy, about 30-60 seconds (makes 1 delicious cup). Serve immediately.