Beat colds and flu naturally
Beat out the cold and flu season naturally!
School started a few months ago and with school means bugs, germs, and immune challengers. One child brings one bug to school, another brings a bug to school, and so on….and these bugs result in sick kids and sick parents. Parents then pass those bugs out to the office, yoga class, grocery shop, and so on. Not fun! So how do you build your immune system naturally? I am not talking about finding a good cough syrup, while that does serve a purpose it is strictly putting a Band-Aid on the problem. The best thing to start now is building your immune system by incorporating in extra vegetables and fruits into your diet.
Build up the immune system
Food is one of the most powerful tools we have to help prevent disease and a healthy body begins with a healthy immune system. Over 70% of your immune system is in your gut and what you eat forms the foundation of your health. Your immune system maintains homeostasis by defending against viruses and bacteria which can cause inflammation in the body, eventually forming into illness and disease. It is important to make sure that you are feeding your body a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, water, and well sourced proteins.
When your produce comes from a source nearby then you are getting some additional benefits, such as; it has a shorter time between harvest and your table, and it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. Similar to locally source raw honey locally sourced produce, which contains pollen spores picked up by the bees from local plants, introduces a small amount of allergen into your system. Theoretically, this can activate your immune system and over time can build up your natural immunity against it. It is important to build your immune system before you become ill!
Which fruits are best?
Apples contain quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant which has immune boosting properties. Quercetin reduces the incidence of the common cold, has anti-inflammatory properties, benefits the heart, reduces risk of cancer, and also helps prevent allergies.
Citrus such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are an excellent source of vitamin C which helps maintain the body’s defense against bacterial infections. Citrus has therapeutic properties by strengthening the immune system, cleansing the stomach, and acting as a blood purifier.
Pineapples are jam packed with B group vitamins including thiamine (B1) and B6, which are vital for energy metabolism and nerve function. Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, renowned for aiding protein digestion which allows your body to utilize immune boosting amino acids effectively.
Papaya is the powerhouse of antioxidants such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids, B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid, dietary fiber, vitamin E, vitamin A and vitamin K, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes. The high concentration of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potassium contained in papaya is very beneficial to strengthen the immune system. Papaya can also help alleviate abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea which can occur when the immune system is weak.
Greens for health
Green vegetables, especially leafy greens like broccoli (and broccoli sprouts), beet greens, collards, kale, and romaine are great for the immune system. They are the source of a chemical signal that is important to a fully functioning immune system. They do this by ensuring that immune cells in the gut and the skin known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) function properly. Cruciferous vegetables have a special chemical composition: they have sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent flavors. When they’re broken down by biting, blending, or pressed, a chemical reaction occurs that converts these sulfur-containing compounds into isothiocyanates (ITCs). ITCs prevent and knock out cancer and have infinite proven immune-boosting capabilities.
What about spices?
Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric, responsible for the distinct yellow coloring and the impressive list of health properties. Curcumin is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, detoxifying and amazing for digestive health. Turmeric has been linked to the prevention of cancer cell growth and management of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel disease. It is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron.
Studies have shown that ginger has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It helps to boost immune function and combat cellular damage. It stimulates circulation and has anti-inflammatory abilities, both of which are helpful to keep the immune system healthy.
Ali’s Sore Throat Elixir
Juice from ½ a lime
1 tbsp raw local honey
½-1 tsp sea salt (up to you on taste)
1 ounce Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (optional, but suggested)
Mix everything together and sip…this is great for kids and adults. The lime and honey act as a natural antibiotic and the salt helps replenish minerals. Apple cider vinegar has numerous benefits, it will help boost your immune system and fight illness faster!