BOOST­ING YOUR IM­MU­NITY THROUGH WIN­TER

AS OUR LONG HU­MID SUM­MER COMES TO AN END, MANY OF US START TO THINK ABOUT FLU SEA­SON. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THERE ARE MANY NAT­U­RAL WAYS OF BOOST­ING OUR IM­MUNE SYS­TEM AND HELP­ING TO PRE­VENT CATCH­ING THESE BUGS. AN OUNCE OF PREVEN­TION IS WORTH MORE THAN A P

Haven Magazine - - Wellbeing -

Re­mem­ber Grandma’s hearty chicken soup? The health ben­e­fits of this is more than just an old wive’s tale. Re­search in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Ther­a­peu­tics showed that a com­pound in chicken soup, carno­sine, helped the body’s im­mune sys­tem to fight the early stages of the flu. There are also many im­mune-boost­ing and in­flam­ma­tion-fight­ing nutri­ents in chicken and veg­eta­bles them­selves that help fight in­fec­tions. Chicken soup is the per­fect syn­ergy of all these el­e­ments but must be made from scratch with chicken car­casses. Some or­ganic butch­ers sell home­made chicken stock that you can sim­ply add veg­eta­bles to if you are time poor. As 75 per cent of the im­mune sys­tem lines the in­testines, it is no sur­prise that pro­bi­otics also of­fer im­mune-boost­ing prop­er­ties. I find that some of the most ef­fec­tive healthy bac­te­ria come from fer­mented foods such as ke­fir and sauer­kraut as the bac­te­ria form their own biofilm as they nat­u­rally re­pro­duce in the foods which helps them stick to the gut more ef­fec­tively than many lab-based pro­bi­otics. My pa­tients get even bet­ter re­sults when they com­bine this fer­men­ta­tion process with al­ready known im­mune-boost­ing herbs and nutri­ents such as olive leaf ex­tract and pa­paya. These ex­tracts have al­ready been sci­en­tif­i­cally proven to boost the func­tion of the im­mune sys­tem by en­hanc­ing the prop­er­ties of our nat­u­ral killer cells that do the ac­tual job of fight­ing the bad bugs. When they are fer­mented with healthy bac­te­ria their prop­er­ties mul­ti­ply to achieve even greater im­mune-boost­ing ef­fects. Don’t for­get to also keep up your daily in­take of veg­eta­bles and fruit. Soup is a great way to get ve­g­ies into hun­gry kids on a cold win­ter’s day (I even sneak in mung beans). Vi­ta­min C and zinc are also es­sen­tial nutri­ents for the im­mune sys­tem to func­tion ef­fi­ciently and many of us are de­fi­cient in these. Vi­ta­min C works much more ef­fi­ciently if it is taken be­fore you are ex­posed to in­fec­tions and is best to be taken in the morn­ing be­fore get­ting to work or the school ground and es­pe­cially be­fore board­ing an air­craft where there is of­ten a bug war­zone go­ing on. Our im­mune sys­tems also work bet­ter when our ner­vous sys­tem isn’t too revved so keep up the stress-re­liev­ing ex­er­cise over win­ter (it’s so easy to stay in bed when it’s dark and colder) and en­joy the cool while you can. Sum­mer will be back be­fore we know it.

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