Looking for a more healthy lifestyle? Here are some useful tips and information about which foods are the best immunity boosters.
ALMONDS & PEPITAS
This combination provides a great source of vitamin E and zinc. Try them toasted and sprinkled with turmeric for extra flavour and anti-inflammatory action. Or add them to soups or casseroles for extra texture.
Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A, a powerful immune-boosting combination. It is also very alkalising so will help to keep the blood clean. Add a teaspoon of manuka honey if you find it too sour.
Mushrooms have strong immune-stimulating properties. Different varieties offer different immune protection. Fry up some mushrooms with garlic in coconut oil and enjoy on a piece of pumpernickel toast.
High in vitamin A, sweet potato is a great addition to any winter hotpot. By combining it with carrot you can double the immune-boosting benefits. These root vegetables can replace the standard potato in most dishes.
Made from scratch with whole chicken and a good mix of herbs and vegetables, this is an immune booster bowl. Add onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, fennel, mushrooms, carrots, celery and spinach for extra goodness.
With strong anti-bacterial properties, medicinal-strength manuka honey I a winter staple. Add one teaspoon to a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon for extra vitamin C. Add a slice of ginger to keep you warm.
More on Immunity Boosters
The winter months are often associated with colds or aching muscles, fatigue, runny noses and chesty coughs that may eventuate into nothing more but linger throughout the season.
Although this is common for many, others make it through winter with no sign of the “lurgies”. The difference between these two groups is their ability to defend themselves from infections passed from one person to the next. This is a reflection of their immunity. Immunity is the body’s protective system and is capable of recognising foreign pathogens such as viruses and bacteria and responding in a way that keeps those pathogens from setting up home in our bodies.
Key nutrients plat specific roles in boosting immunity. To stay well it’s important to boost immunity by maintain a regular and high intake of these nutrients. These are often found in supplements that can be assisted by regular consumption of foods containing these nutrients.
Zinc plays an essential role. By supporting white blood cell production, zinc is literally the building block of the immune response and acts as a catalyst to many chemical processes. Lack of taste, smell and poor wound healing are a few signs of zinc deficiency.
To be utilised in the body, zinc is the best accompanied by vitamin A, which plays its own role in boosting immunity by keeping mucous membranes soft and moist. These membranes line the mouth, throat, nose and other parts of the body, acting as the physical barrier to any pathogens. By keeping them moist, vitamin A ensure they are in working order to trap pathogens rather than allowing them to pass through the membrane and into our system.
Vitamin C helps to build proteins, called interferon’s, produced by the body once pathogens are identified. Interferon’s are effective at acting against many pathogens, but have strong anti-viral action due to their ability to interfere with viral replication.
Vitamin E has shown beneficial effects on the immune response, particularly in the aged, and is shown to reduce the occurrence of upper respiratory tract infections when taken in high doses.
Adding ingredients such as thyme, ginger and garlic to your diet will also help. Garlic and thyme are both effective antimicrobials. Thyme can also prevent infections professing further down the respiratory system, keeping it away from the lungs, while acting as an expectorant to aid unproductive coughs.
Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory that also assists the body to fight infection by promoting sweating during a fever. Combine these three ingredients in a pot of water and simmer for 15 minutes to make a potent immune boosting tea for both prevention and treatment of colds and flus.
As the immune system is made up of antibodies and white blood cells which are effectively proteins, a good supply of protein is required to provide the building blocks for these immune cells. Choose proteins that have high levels of omega 3 for extra anti-inflammatory action to combat mucous production. Deep sea fish such as salmon as well as anchovies will provide both.
About 70 per cent of the immune system lines digestive tract. By keeping the membrane lining of the digestive tract in good health, as well as keeping a good balance of bacteria within the digestive tract, our immune system is kept strong. Probiotics help to create a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive system, playing a large role in immunity.
The adrenals, our “stress response” glands ,play a key role in immunity. When these glands are overworked during periods of increased stress, be in emotional or physical, our fight or flight response is compromised including their fight against infection.
Many herbs known for their immune stimulating action, such as Echinacea, Siberian ginseng and astragalus, also support the function of the adrenal glands. Maintaining low levels of stress will ensure your adrenal glands can provide an effective response to fight infections when required.
Mucous-forming foods such as dairy and sugar can add longevity to chesty coughs and congested sinuses. Avoiding these foods may greatly reduce respiratory mucous and inflammation.
NOTE: IV Nutritional Therapy is a procedure streamlining vitamins directly into the body, without having to wait for it to be absorbed from food. This Therapy is available at Chique, call us for an inquiry!
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