Say goodbye to nasty colds and viruses this winter with a glass of delicious warm sunshine! Click here for our printable recipe sheet.
Thank you to our friend, Sherrie from The Wellness Seed for this fabulous recipe and article below.
At this time of year, as the weather gets colder, we start to catch all sorts of nasty bugs and viruses. Some people are adamant that the flu shot is essential for Winter, but the flu shot doesn’t protect you from every strain out there. Building a strong immune system through proper nutrition is a better option.
Don’t underestimate the power food plays in building immunity! Nutrition is paramount in building a strong immune system, not only to help prevent catching nasty viruses, but if you do happen to catch something, a strong immune system will help you fight the bug and get you back on your feet much quicker. Key nutrients in building a strong immune system include Zinc, Vitamin A, C, D and E, and of course eating a diet rich in whole foods that includes plenty of plant foods, is essential.
Zinc is a key mineral in building a strong immune system. It is required to make and activate T-cells – our disease fighting cells. Oysters are the richest source of zinc. Other food sources of zinc include crab, lobster and prawns, beef, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, chickpeas and quinoa.
Citrus fruits that include lemons, oranges, grapefruit and limes are high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial for fighting off infections. Notice how citrus fruits are always in season during the colder months? Mother Nature knows when we need extra Vitamin C.
Pineapple is also a rich source of Vitamin C, but pineapple also contains a protein-digesting enzyme called Bromelain. Bromelain is mainly found in the core of the pineapple. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties, acts as a cough suppressant, assists the body in expelling mucous and fresh pineapple juice also helps sooth a sore throat.
Vitamin A Foods
Vitamin A, also known as Retinol, is from animal products only and found in liver, dairy products such as cheese and butter and also found in eggs. Cod Liver Oil is an excellent source of Vitamin A.
Provitamin A which is mostly found in beta-carotene foods. The body converts it to Vitamin A once consumed. Provitamin A foods include red, orange and yellow fruit and vegetables such as sweet potato, carrot, bell peppers, cantaloupe, tomatoes and peaches. It’s also found in green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A strengthens cells and mucosal linings within the human body acting as a barrier to potential pathogens.
Ginger and Turmeric
These root spices are anti-inflammatory kings! Ginger has antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties. Turmeric is fast becoming the most researched spice, due to the compound Curcumin and its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and its use in disease prevention. With both of the spices’ warming properties, it’s the perfect anecdote to warm your body from the inside out during the colder months.
More and more research is finding how crucial Vitamin D is for many biochemical functions within the human body and this includes strengthening and modulating our immune system. Globally we are becoming very Vitamin D deficient due to modern day living, and of course in winter, we spend even less time out in the sun causing further Vitamin D deficiencies. It is worth getting a Vitamin D blood test to see where your levels are at, and over winter consider taking a good quality Vitamin D supplement.
Probiotics and Bone Broth
Approximately 80% of our immune system sits around our gut and therefore a healthy, functioning gut is essential for a healthy functioning immune system. Processed foods, refined sugar, chemicals, toxins, medication and stress all impact the health of our gut. Lack of good bacteria in our gut influences many aspects of our health. When we lack the good bacteria in our gut it can cause inflammation of the intestinal wall, affect proper nutrient absorption and overall gut function. A good probiotic supplement or adding fermented foods to your daily diet, can assist in getting the right balance of good gut bacteria.
One of the best remedies for gut healing is bone broth. The key healing ingredient in bone broth is gelatin. Long term inflammation to our gut lining causes ‘holes’ to appear in the intestinal lining (leaky gut) allowing toxins, food particles and bacteria to enter the blood stream. This has a huge impact on our immune system. The gelatin in bone broth helps to repair the lining of the gut wall to then allow the immune system to function at its best.
Honey has antibacterial and antifungal qualities. It’s rich in nutrients and antioxidants and honey also promotes good bacteria growth in the intestine, supporting good gut health. Why raw honey? Many commercial honey products have been heated, pasteurised and processed where all the amazing qualities of the golden nectar has been destroyed. Raw honey keeps all that goodness intact, providing many nurturing and healing properties.
Refined sugar suppresses the immune system not allowing it to function optimally, leaving you more likely to catch something. Sugar also feeds the bad bacteria that may have caused your head cold or flu, so to recover quicker – don’t eat the white stuff! Eating a diet rich in whole foods is the best way to build a strong and healthy immune system and ultimately prevent potential dis-ease!