70% – 80% of your immunity is derived from the gut so to help improve your immune system, provide your body with the powerful tool of good nutrition. Supporting the body’s immune system through the winter months is therefore beneficial, not only to stay and feel well, but to move that ink out! It is no surprise that the healthier our gastrointestinal tract is, the healthier we are.
Here is a list of immune boosting ingredients you can incorporate into your diet this winter to help maintain or gain health and move ink.
Taking vitamin C for a cold is probably not a new concept to you. It’s a personal bodyguard, protecting cells and assisting healing. As it is required for your adrenal glands, the more stressed you are, the more your body chews it up which is potentially why someone with significant stress will tend to become unwell a little easier. It works hard in the liver, protecting DNA. It also helps your body make collagen, to keep you looking younger.
A good squeeze of lemon juice in lukewarm water first thing in the morning, not only gives you a dose of Vitamin C, but also helps alkalize the body.
Ginger is an effective antibacterial and antiviral. It is also a helpful antiparasitic and antifungal. In other words, it is great at helping get rid of quite a few nasties that can create havoc in the body. There even has been some evidence for helping heal stomach ulcers.
The incredibly safe turmeric has over 10,000 peer reviewed articles of its benefits, it is therefore no wonder that it is the most frequently mentioned medicinal herb in science. One of the types of chemical compounds found in turmeric are curcuminoids. It is considered one of the most effective anti-inflammatories in the world. As inflammation is the cause of most diseases, reducing inflammation in the body is of paramount importance. Studies have also found turmeric useful for depression, blood clot prevention, cancer treatment, pain, Type2 diabetes and multiple skin conditions.
For skin conditions, it could help speed up wound healing, calm the pores and decrease acne and acne scarring.
Turmeric also binds to cadmium and lead and can be therefore useful in body detoxification.
Garlic is classed as another superfood and is second in line to the amount of studies on it after turmeric. It’s effectiveness as an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasitic as well as helping to enhance antibiotic function is well known. It has been found useful for heart health, colds and flus, blood pressure and a potential cancer fighter. It is not expensive, highly available and easy to grow.
Probiotics are bacteria that line your gastrointestinal tract. Gut bacteria help digest food, balance blood sugar, fight infection (by stimulating secretion of immune cells), absorb good fatty acids for cells to grow, regulate appetite, break down carbohydrates (sugars), control weight, can help skin conditions, are used to treat irritable bowel, can regulate mood and help store fat. The diversity of the bacteria in your gut and the balance between the good and the bad is well known as a vital role for health. The human body contains about a trillion microorganisms outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1, including a staggering 2kg in weight of gut bacteria. Stress, illness, antibiotics, environmental toxins and food choices can all affect the balance of this gut bacteria.
95%of the feel good chemical, serotonin is made in the gut. Many health professionals are slowly coming around to the significance of probiotics regarding mood disorders.
The probiotics that you can add regarding a food source are sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt and kefir. Resistant starch such as cooked and cooled potato, cooled rice, legumes and ground green banana act as prebiotics. Our bacteria love prebiotics. It is the fibre that feeds them. Whole plant foods not junk food will vastly help your gut bacteria.
Otherwise known as the Brassicaceae family of plants, cruciferous vegetables have shown to have a large list of benefits including cancer fighting properties, improved heart health, reduction in inflammation, promotion of oestrogen balance, and increase in weight loss. Containing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they are also low in calories and high in fibre, promoting satiety.
Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Bok Choy and Kale are amongst this group of vegetables.
Found in every cell of the body, protein is only second to water in abundance within the body and does require constant replacement. It is of significant importance as every reaction in the body requires protein.
Grass fed meat, wild caught fish, organic pea protein, whey Protein and organic eggs are good sources of protein.
Honey has been used medicinally for 1000’s of years. It is worthy to search wisely when purchasing honey as the standard supermarket variety is not much better than high fructose corn syrup.
Manuka honey is however a little bit more special for its powerful antibiotic properties. It actually helps stimulate certain immune cells. It can help with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (bad balance of bacteria), due to its antimicrobial properties as well as helping treat acne and combat Staph infections (the super bug that has been plaguing hospitals for years). Some scientists now suggest that regular topical use on cuts and infections (especially in the hospital and nursing home setting) may keep staph infections naturally at bay. There is research for treating burns and wounds, preventing tooth decay and gum disease and improvement in sore throats.
It is rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics.
On a side note, the latest research on the low level laser (the other laser we use at Renude Laser) is demonstrating potential capabilities of increasing stem cell production as well as supressing inflammation!
Here is a sweet treat immune loving recipe.
Chicken Soup Good for the Gut, Good for the Soul
Cold and flu season beware! Here is an easy recipe to help your immune system repair.
What’s great about this soup?
Simple- antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and contains potent antioxidants.
A few side notes on the ingredients: Pepper is known to enhance the benefits of turmeric by about 200 times. Garlic is a great antiviral, rosemary is fabulous to reduce inflammation and thyme is wonderful against sore throats. Thyme is also known as a mood booster! For vegetarians, please replace chicken and chicken stock with egg and vegetable stock. Beat up a few eggs and add them in slowly constantly stirring for a few minutes in the simmering pot. For those of you who like a bit of spice, cayenne pepper is high in Vitamin C and can provide detox support for your gastrointestinal system helping to move out toxins such as bad bacteria.
500g of free range chicken thighs, sliced and diced
Loads of garlic smashed (10-12)
1-2 tablespoons of grated turmeric of for less gritty, add a few tsps. turmeric powder instead
2 litres of chicken stock (homemade is best- great supply of collagen)
A bouquet garni of rosemary and thyme (held together by kitchen string)
A cup of diced tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
A bunch of coriander and ½ bunch of parsley finely chopped.
Add some rice noodles for those who require extra filling.
Combine all ingredients into a large pot (except for the coriander and parsley) and slowly simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni. Add the coriander and parsley and simmer for another few minutes. Add extra rosemary and pepper to adjust to taste.