BY CLAIR WHITTY
Everyday our immune system helps protect us from the host of bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins, and parasites that bombard us and invade our bodies. As we approach winter many of you will be hoping to ward off these bugs.
A healthy diet, moderate exercise, sleep and dealing with stress effectively will help keep your immune system strong. You need a healthy gut with a variety of friendly bacteria to act as the body’s first lines of defence against these pathogens. Up to 80% of the immune system is in the gut. The stomach is another line of defence where some pathogens may be destroyed by the acidic environment of the stomach. Foods to support healthy gut bacteria include natural yoghurt, Kefir, fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
Other foods to support immunity include garlic which has a long history in herbal medicine. Add a clove of garlic a day to your daily regime. Manuka Honey is fantastic to have in the house for colds, sore throats or infection. This is a nice little recipe using these two foods that you could make to help in times of need. Chop a couple of cloves of garlic finely, cover the garlic with double the amount of manuka honey (always choose quality brands), and the same amount of water. Mix together well and leave for 2-3 days. Then take 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture every two hours during a cold/flu or infection.
Goji Berries contain polysaccharides and germanium both of which are known to have positive effects on the immune system. You could add to cereal, yoghurt, or eat a few per day. Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of zinc and they can play a role in regulating the function of the immune system. Aim to include lots of vegetables brightly coloured and green leafy ones, and lots of fruit in your daily diet. Other foods you might like to include is Bee Pollen, they contain a host of nutrients, can support energy levels and may boost your immune system.
Herbal teas like Pukka Echinacea and Elderberry would make a simple addition to your cupboards. It tastes great too.
Top spices to include are turmeric, ginger, and cayenne pepper.
This is just some of nature’s foods to help keep you fit and ready for the months ahead.
Shop online at www.naturalhealthstore.ie where you’ll be able to take a look at these brands.
Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre
Phone: 056 7764538