Written by Dr. Nat Kringoudis – Doctor of Chinese Medicine…
As far as I’m concerned, Socrates nailed it. His famous philosophy, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” was nothing short of genius. The power of food and its influence over our body is possibly more than we give it credit for. Have you ever actually stopped before you put in a mouthful of food and consciously think about it’s benefits (or lack of)? All food has an impact on our body – be it positive or negative. What we eat affects how our systems work, how our hormones interact, right down to regulating our moods and managing pain. If we give good, we get good! If we continue on a diet fuelled on processed trans-fat packed burgers and fatty fries, our bodies aren’t so forgiving. So with this in mind, I want to talk about foods to increase immunity – to see you through the change in seasons and to perk your body up to win! After all, if we can nourish our bodies correctly, we have a far better chance of wellness overall. Here are my top 5 immune boosting foods.
Tea! Maybe no surprises here but the therapeutic benefits of tea have long been known to treat ailments. Chinese Medicine recognises the benefits of tea – most of it’s herbal formula’s are created by brewing and boiling various plant forms (leaves, twigs, roots and seeds) for a medicinal purpose. Your regular tea varieties, whilst the doses far less, will indeed have a welcome influence on the digestive system to boost immunity. Tiny Tea, because of it’s ability to benefit and restore digestive activity absolutely delivers a good kick to reinforcing the immune system – all because it helps your body better assimilate food, meaning the nutrients you eat are better absorbed and turned into the necessary ingredients to boost your body. Sip daily to reap the benefits!
Your skin is your bodies first line of defense. It helps protect us from harmful bacteria, illness, and viruses. What’s more it provides a protective wrapping of our organs. Alongside this, it’s important we care for our skin as it helps absorb nutrients by way of Vitamin D. Your skin also requires good levels of Vitamin A found in sweet potato to stay strong and healthy as Vitamin A helps us continue to create connective tissue. Carrots are also high in Vitamin A (in actual fact, beta-carotene – which your body turns into Vitamin A). Remember cooking these foods is very important for digestion. Try baking in the oven as an alternative to the starchy potato.
Just ½ a cup of foods high in beta-carotene will meet your bodies needs.
Bone broth and alike is one of the most nourishing, nutrient rich and immune boosting foods known to man – it’s equally good to help balance hormones and especially useful for those with PCOS. By cooking for a long period of time, the minerals can be extracted from the meat and bones. Research tells us that it helps to reduce inflammation and reduce the effects and length of a cold as it boosts immunity. Equally amino acids found in chicken broth have an effect on the bronchial tubes, which can often be impacted when unwell. Eat as required – you really can’t eat too much!
Mushrooms have long been known to house an array of elements that influence the body. Mushrooms increase white blood cell activity. This is particularly useful when an infection is on the rise, to support the body and ward off unwanted effects. Eating mushrooms daily can be enough to keep any pesky infections at bay.
Onions and Garlic;
Both help fight infection and bacterial growth. Best still it’s specific qualities are shown to help reduce the growth of specific cancers. For some they can be a little difficult to digest so always make sure they are cooked to ease digestion. From a Chinese Medicine viewpoint, both onion and garlic are pungent in flavor, given this they have a strong regulating effect – this means they help to maximize circulation meaning the nutrients and therapeutic benefits can be efficiently delivered to where the body needs it.
Eat daily for maximum benefits.
Using food to nourish our bodies is paramount for long term wellness and avoiding illness. Of course we all at times can get sick, but it’s important we consider what we are eating to continue to implement strategies to maximize wellbeing. It’s important that we move away from inflammatory and harmful foods to ensure our bodies can thrive. Foods that contain sugars and gluten can be extremely taxing on the gut, and for those of us with poor digestion, they can wreak havoc and further damage the gut lining, severely lowering our overall immunity and digestive ability. Thankfully we can include a wide range of wholefoods in our daily regimes to feed our body the nutrients it deserves to set ourselves up to thrive.
Yours in Immunity Boost,
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