Eating For Immunity

Here we are again coming into cold and flu season.

What is the best defense against any type of flu or the common cold?  Your own immune system of course!

A robust immune system comes from a healthy gut and a healthy body

Let’s go right back to basics and look at some great strategies you can put into place right now.

Let your kitchen be your pharmacy during the coming winter months.  You can’t walk through a fruit and vegetable store without passing a hundred or more immune boosting foods and antiviral medicines

Kitchen Pharmacy

made by Mother Nature so why not use those.

Make your diet as clean and as wholesome as possible.  Your food provides an abundance of the basic nutrients and fuel to drive your body so make sure you use the best quality possible.  Ideally use organic produce and make your own whole foods that are cooked or prepared at home.  Packeted and processed supermarket ‘foods’ contain hundreds of chemicals (just read the labels!) that are not recognized by the body as food.  In fact, they are perceived by the immune system as foreign invaders that the body needs protection from.  While tied up doing this, your immune system is not as available to protect you from the really nasty viruses etc.         

Eat regularly, having smaller but more frequent healthy meals and snacks so that blood sugar levels remain more constant, reducing demand and stress on your immune system. 

Strengthen your digestion and elimination systems.  70 to 80% of your body’s immune cells reside in the walls of your gastrointestinal tract and the integrity of the mucosal barrier of the gut, the home of your friendly bacteria, is crucial to good immune function.  These friendly bacteria aid digestion and protect you from invading pathogenic organisms as well as manufacture potent immune enhancing substances. 

Bacterial numbers are reduced by the use of antibiotics, poor diet, pesticide residues in foods and the use of chlorinated & fluoridated water.  

To enhance the growth of your friendly gut organisms, eat plenty of probiotic enhancing foods such as organic yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, green vegetables and juices containing high levels of chlorophyll.

Drink plenty of fluids.  Plain old filtered water is a must but also use warming, nourishing homemade soups and herbal teas. 

Learn to make your own fabulous chicken or beef bone broths from organic pasture fed animals to use as a base for your soups and casseroles.  Bone broths are nutrient dense and support healthy gut flora.

Add these lovely herbs and spices to all your cooking.

immune_spices

  • Ginger – warming, increases circulation, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, calms the stomach
  • Cayenne – improves circulation, warming, provides vitamin C
  • Garlic – antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, breaks up mucus
  • Thyme – antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, soothes coughs
  • Oregano – antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, antioxidant
  • Sage – antimicrobial, antioxidant, soothes coughs
  • Rosemary – antioxidant, antimicrobial, improves circulation, calms the stomach
  • Turmeric – anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, pain relief
  • Cinnamon – soothes the stomach, regulates blood sugar, soothes common cold
  • Horseradish – anti-catarrhal (reduces mucus), improves circulation
  • Star Anise – antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant

Also use plenty of lemons (antioxidant, great for mucous membranes and vitamin C), onions & the onion family (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, vitamin C), Manuka honey (antibacterial, nutrient dense, healing, soothes stomach & gut).

Use a few drops of eucalyptus or Tea Tree oil in a vaporiser or in water for inhalation or mix with some coconut oil for a chest rub.

Medicinal herbal teas are also an excellent inclusion into an immune boosting winter diet.  Try Echinacea, ginger, thyme or licorice (great for coughs & sore throats), chamomile, peppermint & spearmint.  You can add a very small amount of honey to sweeten if you need.  One cup three times a day is about ideal.

Winter time does not necessarily equal colds, flu or poor health.  Try some of these things and I know you will have a wonderful winter.

Have you tried my famous “Kick a Germ Joy Juice”? – a potent but wonderfully effective take on the old lemon juice and honey but also including some immune boosting herbs and spices.  Send me a quick email and I will forward you a copy.

 
 

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