“ Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine our food.” ~Hippocrates 460 – 370 B.C.
by Tina R. Ward CNP, RCNP, ROHP
The Holidays are coming quickly, schedules are busy and things can get a bit hectic; oh ya, and also, Cold and flu season is here. Does that mean that you are destined to get sick?
Nope. Not at all.
Our best defense against disease and illness does not come from the pharmacy, it comes from within, our immune system. Concentrating on immune-enhancing whole foods, and balancing your lifestyle will rev up your immune system, keep it vigorous and keep the seasonal illnesses at bay.
Here are some tips to keep your immune system healthy and strong:
Dive Into the Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a key antioxidant; it also increases activity of white blood cells.
Luckily this vitamin is found in a variety of whole foods such as bell peppers, cauliflower, oranges, lemons, dark leafy greens, strawberries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Visit Your Favourite Antis
Consuming Anti-viral, Anti-inflammatory & Anti-bacterial Foods is not as difficult as it may sound. Onion and garlic are potent immune boosters.
Garlic is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It contains a special compound called allicin which helps to protect us against infection. Onions help fight inflammation, contain sulfurous anti-bacterial compounds, and are also a good source of vitamin C . They might not be great for your breath, but they are great for your life!
Go for Ginger
I know some prefer Mary Anne but Ginger is truly a potent herb for so many health benefits and it does wonders to boost our immune system. Add ginger to everything! – make teas, add to stews, soups, stir fries, sauces, dressings etc.
Mushrooms are Magic
Mushrooms are terrific immunity boosters because they have immunomodulating properties (Yep, it’s a word, look it up! ) – meaning they help increase our immune fighting power when needed but can also temper an over-active immune system if necessary.
Great varieties of mushrooms to incorporate into meals include shiitake, cremini, portabello, chanterelle and oyster. You could also try tea made from changa and reishi mushrooms. And one of our recommended supplements The Good Stuff Health Mix is created with Changa Mushrooms and can help make some AMAZING recipes. I’d be happy to share them with you!
Water is a Weapon
Keeping well hydrated allows the body to flush out toxins, reduces aches, pains and headaches, supports the digestive process and aids in transporting hormones throughout the body.
Without sufficient water, your immune system will be challenged. Aim for a minimum of 2 -3 litres daily.
Perhaps easier said than done but stress management is critical for a healthy
immune system. There is no greater hindrance to our health than stress. That’s where stress reduction activities come in.
Go for a walk, work-out, sit in a sauna, stretch and breathe deeply; these all help boost your immune function. Mindfulness meditation has been shown in studies to increase circulating antibodies. A variety of adaptogenic herbs may also be used to aid in restoring a weakened immune system caused by stress.
Avoid Sugar – You’re Sweet Enough!
Besides making our bodies acidic (an acidic body is a great host for disease!) and feeding our “bad” bacteria, sugar competes with Vitamin C for uptake. The more sugar we eat, the less we are able to absorb Vitamin C.
Get your ZZZ’s
Sleep is crucial to our healing process and is one of the greatest natural immune system boosters.
Long term sleep debt can lead to a host of serious diseases and even general malaise.
Make it a priority to get adequate sleep every night. The hours between 10 pm and 4 am are the most beneficial for restoration and regeneration.
…….and Don’t Forget this Z(n)
Zinc is an important mineral which supports the immune system (and overall healing in general). Good sources of zinc include pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, quinoa, lentils, cashews, beef and lamb.
For more information on how to boost your immune system, or to book a consultation with Tina, please CONTACT US .
#Feed Your Ready