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Defend – supporting a strong immune system

Get fighting fit for winter and give your immune system a boost

In these Autumn months the to-do lists are getting longer, yet the days are getting shorter. It’s the time of year when you can’t afford to lose any time to colds and coughs.

Here are my tips to help support your immune system:

Vitamin D

Vital for the immune system, the half life of vitamin D is 3-6 weeks so even your stores from the summer are rapidly depleting.  Consider having levels tested and then supplement, you can only get 10% of your need from food.

Herbs and spices

Anyone who has been to one of my workshops will know that I love using my kitchen as a medicinal cupboard.  Ginger, rosemary, black pepper, garlic, paprika, horseradish, cayenne pepper and turmeric all have well researched immune supporting properties.  Make teas, add to soups, stew, smoothies etc.

Zinc

The king mineral for supporting your immune system – found in dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, seafood and fish.

Colourful fruit and vegetables

We are spoilt at this time of year with an abundance of darkly coloured vegetables and fruit such as plums, berries, apples, dark greens, red cabbage, beetroot, red grapes and squash all contain high amounts of plant chemicals that support your immune system.  Try crumbles, soups, roasted vegetables and casseroles.

Cut back on the refined sugars

Sugar and starches found in table sugar, white bread, white pasta, white rice, dried fruit etc. suppresses our immune system and upsets our gut bacteria (so important for a healthy immune system).  Replace with whole food alternatives.

Baked butternut squash with quinoa and parsley.

Baked butternut squash with quinoa and parsley.

Here are my favourite home remedies when I am starting to get the sniffles

Turmeric tea – fry 1 tsp. turmeric on a low heat with a little pepper then whisk in a cup of milk and 1 tsp. honey.  Try it you won’t believe how warming and gorgeous it is!

Classic lemon and honey – squeeze a lemon and add to hot water, Manuka honey and sliced ginger.  Leave to infuse and drink warm or cold.

Pineapple smoothie – fresh pineapple smoothie contains high levels of vitamin C and has been shown to be more effective than cough mixture.

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