Winter Superfood Immune Protectors
With winter just around the corner it’s time, if you have not already started, to build up you immune system to combat the cold and flu viruses and infections. To help you in the fight we have put together some powerful immune system boosters to get you prepared.
Vitamins A and C have always been big players in the immune boosting game. Resveratrol (found in red grapes, raw cacao and cocoa) and pterostilbene are now also recognised as excellent immune boosters. Add some antimicrobials, antibiotics, antiparasitics foods to help your body fight off unwanted microscopic winter invaders.
Collard Greens and Cruciferous Vegetables:Collard greens and Cruciferous vegetables including Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Watercress, Brussels Sprouts, Radish and Wasabi arehigh in folate, vitamin C and soluble fibre and contain multiple nutrients and phytochemicals.
Beetroot(not canned):Excellent source of A and B vitamins, antioxidants Don’t throw away the leafy tops to your beetroot (beets) as they are considered the healthiest part of the plane containing important nutrients like protein, phosphorus, zinc, fibre, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, beet greens also supply significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
Through them into your smoothie or green drink mix as they will strengthen your immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies and white blood cells
Fresh Lemonsand Limes:high in antioxidants and vitamin C and although acidic tasting are actually alkaline when consumed and help balance the pH level of the blood.
Fresh Ginger: strong antimicrobial, antibiotic, and also high in antioxidants. Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for colds and flu around Asia. The root acts as an antihistamine and decongestant, two cold-easing effects that can help with symptoms. Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater!
Blueberries Fresh or Snap Frozen (no added sugar): high in pterostilbene, a known immune booster. Blue Berries, being very rich in anti oxidants like Anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, and iron (promotes immunity by raising haemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood). Once your immunity is fortified you are less likely to catch colds and the flu virus so boost up your immune system and prevent infections.
Red Grapes: Red grapes are high in vitamin C and contain small amounts of vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, folate, beta carotene and alpha carotene. These nutrients help your body processes function properly, and many vitamins, such as vitamin A, have antioxidant properties.
Red Grapes also contain resveratrol, which is a polyphenol antioxidant. This antioxidant is concentrated in the skins of red grapes. A 1-cup serving of red grapes contains about 160 g of resveratrol, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Resveratrol seems to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiestrogenic properties, and may activate the enzymes of the liver that rid the body of unwanted chemicals,
Raw Cocoa & Cacao: also contain resveratrol (see benefits above), a known immune booster and a potent antioxidant. Raw Cacao and Cocoa also contain a natural endorphin also known as the “bliss chemical”, which acts as a mood booster.
A recent study tested the antioxidant levels of several popular hot winter beverages. The beverages tested included a cup of hot water containing two tablespoons of pure cocoa powder (not the added sugar variety commonplace on supermarket shelves), roughly equivalent to the amount of cocoa in a normal-size packet of instant hot chocolate; a cup of water containing a standard size bag of green tea; a cup of black tea; and one glass of red wine (California Merlot) The researchers found that the antioxidant concentration in pure cocoa was the highest: It was almost 2 times stronger than red wine, 2-3 times stronger than green tea, and 4-5 times stronger than that of black tea.
Apple Cider Vinegar: It boosts your immune system due to its antibacterial properties. You would think it would be acidic but in fact, similar to lemons and limes, once consumed it balances out the body’s pH levels and helps bring your body into a more alkaline state (viruses thrive in an acidic environment so pH balance is key). It is a great detox weapon when taken with water fist thing in the morning as the alkalising effect helps detoxify the liver.
Herbs & Spices
Here are some common herbs and spices known for there immune boosting properties. These can be easily added to omelettes, stews, curries and soups for added flavour.
Turmeric: high in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, great for overall cell health
If you haven’t tried adding a few tablespoons of coconut oil to your lentil soup or vegan chili, get ready to live!
Cinnamon: antimicrobial Hands down Cinnamon is the best stomach flu cure because it works very fast; it’s simple to use, cost effective and has virtually no side effects for 99.9% of people.
Cinnamon: is a warming agent. That means it has the power to dramatically reduce the chills, aches and pains and make your comfort levels so much better.
Boil some cinnamon sticks in filtered water, add some honey for taste or even add to a cup of black tea. Here is an excellent recipe for Cinnamon tea: http://www.cinnamonvogue.com/How_to_make_cinnamon_stick_tea.html
Paprika: Contains vitamin E, Carotenoids and vitamin A. A tablespoon of paprika contains 3,349 international units of vitamin A… more than 100 percent of the daily intake requirement for men and women, set by the Institute of Medicine.
Coriander: Coriander is considered both an herb and a spice since both its leaves and its seeds are used as a seasoning condiment and contains vitamin A, Vitamin C and vitamin K. Fresh coriander leaves are more commonly known as cilantro and has been found to chelate (remove) heavy metals like mercury, aluminium, and lead from the body. In fact, it is believed to cross the blood-brain barrier and actually remove said metals from the brain.
Curry: strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties
Crushed Fresh Garlic: high in sulphuric compounds, anti-fungal
Fresh Parsley:high in vitamins C, B12, K, and A (big supporters of the immune system)
Oils ain’t Oils
Not all oils are created equal or as the famous saying goes… “oils ain’t oils”. Read more about the good, the bad. And the ugly oils here: https://healthyhomesblog.com/ go to the bottom of the article.
Oregano Essential Oil (not cooking oil): Its antiviral, antibacterial and immune stimulating properties make it highly effective for many pathogenic infections. Because it is high in phenols, as is thyme, clove, basil, tea tree and peppermint essential oils, it cleanses receptor sites and combats free radicals as well.
Organic Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil: (antiviral, antimicrobial) Because of it’s anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, pure virgin coconut oil when topically applied on infections, forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is also very effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.
According to the Coconut Research Centre, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes and SARS. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhoea. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause Candida growth, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush and diaper rash. Find out more benefits of coconut oil here: https://healthyhomesblog.com/
Sunshine: Last but not least, something that isn’t mentioned often enough when we talk about a strong immune defence is sunlight. The sun gives us an abundance of vitamin D, which has been shown to support our immune system in a big way. You should be getting at least 15min of sunshine on your body per day. The best times are early morning or late afternoon sun.