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Boost your Immunity this Winter

Cold and flu season has arrived. Make sure you and your family are in the best position to avoid illness by building resiliency in the body to protect yourself against everything that is going around.

Here are our tips:

1. AVOID FOODS THAT OVERWHELM THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND MAINTAIN GOOD GUT HEALTH

Food is Medicine! What you put in your body matters so be sure to choose wisely.

Did you know 70-80% of the immune system resides in the gut? When we have poor gut health undigested proteins and fats to pass through the gut in inappropriate sizes, which then overwhelms the immune system. Even foods that should be nourishing can now become an assault on the immune system. This sets the stage for a whole host of immune issues such as asthma, skin conditions, parasitic and viral infections and autoimmune conditions.

To avoid this from happening we look to build our gut health with foods that strengthen the immune system and avoid food and lifestyle choices that stress the system. 

Let’s take a look at some foods that can really boost your immunity:

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are extremely nutrient dense and full of lots of micro nutrients that are the essential minerals and vitamins needed for health and vitality. Not only do leafy greens help support your immune system they are necessary for helping to eliminate toxins out of the body as well.

Our leafy greens come from our Farmer Kel's spray-free farm near Woodford. All grown with fresh air, sunshine, water and love - no chemicals! Try them sauteed lightly in coconut oil, in a broth or raw in a salad.

Fresh Spices and Herbs

Fresh spices and herbs such as garlic, ginger, turmeric and coriander are well known for their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.  Thyme is well known for cough relief and chilli is great for the sinus. Fresh herbs are tastier and have less chance of going off unlike dried herbs.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are full of probiotics that are important for good gut health and a functioning immune system. Fermented cabbage is also a great source of vitamin C which is perfect for fighting colds and flu.

We stock Gutsy Ferments and Buchi Kombucha & Kefir. All are packed full of probiotics and nutrients. Gutsy sauerkraut is ALIVE, organic, locally made and delicious!  Buchi is unpasteurized, certified organic, locally made and full of life. Only a small amount each day as an accompaniment to your meals is required for beneficial health. 

Don’t forget the fire cider too! Fire Cider is made by our good friends at Buchi Kombucha, this traditional medicinal drink is delicious and loaded with nutrients. True to its name - it burns (but we love it!). Fantastic for colds and flu. Take it in tiny sips or as a flaming slam-dunk shot. Your choice!

Bone Broth

Bone broth is known to help boost the immune system by helping “to seal and heal the gut”.  Collagen, gelatin and amino acids in bone broth, help to restore the gut lining and thereby support healthy immune function. 

Homemade bone broth with organic bones is amazing but if you're short on time there are some delicious new concentrates on the market. We love Best of the Bone. It's an all-natural grass-fed beef bone broth paste that is a true collagen, mineral and amino acid-rich living gelatin. 

A daily tablespoon of the delicious Best of the Bone turns a mug of hot water and some vegetables and/or spices to add for taste into a Superfood snack or meal.  Add it to your soup, sauce and gravy recipes for flavour and nutrition for the whole family. There are approximately 35+ serves per jar (350g).

We also stock Changing Habits Gelatin Powder.  Gelatin powder can be used to make breads, pancakes, soups, homemade jellies, panna cotta, cheesecake, thicken sauces and added to hot drinks. Certified organically raised animals, ensuring no hormones, antibiotics or chemicals are used. It is great to hide in your food if you have fussy eaters!

Honey

Honey has been regarded as a cold and flu remedy since forever! The phyto-nutrients in raw honey have antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help to boost your immune system. It's also incredibly soothing to a sore throat and can help suppress coughs. 

Our honey is absolutely delicious and comes from DP's Bees - a small family business at Warwick. The honey comes in lovely glass jars and is seasonal as the hives are moved around keeping them spray free. The bees work the blossom and our farmer ensures us they are long gone before any spraying.

Good Fats

Healthy natural fats are essential for our immune system. Fat plays a vital role in the absorption of vitamins, A, D, E, K which are necessary for a healthy immune system. 

Our favourite good fats are Coconut oil, Ghee and Avocados.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. Our cold pressed virgin coconut oil from fresh, certified organic coconuts ensuring it is of the highest quality. 

We also stock Sol Ghee. Sol Ghee is hand made according to traditional Ayurvedic methods – made from Unsalted Butter sourced from New Zealand Grass Fed Cows. It’s non GMO, totally natural free from additives, colours, preservatives making this another great source of fat.

Of course a nutrient dense real food needs to be combined with the following lifestyle factors to make the most of your health:

2. MANAGE STRESS - we may not be able to eliminate all stress in our lives but we can look at ways we can make it more manageable like starting the day with meditation.

3. REST & ADEQUATE SLEEP - As soon as you feel like you might be coming down with something that is the body’s signal to tell you to stop and rest. Getting a good night's sleep - at least 7 hours is vital for gut health and immune system as well.

4. STAY HYDRATED- often in the colder months we forget to drink water but we must stay hydrated for all the functions in our body.  Set yourself a reminder if you are prone to forgetting.

5. TAKE WALKS IN NATURE - Forest bathing is fantastic for our stress and therefore our immunity.  We have plenty of great short, walks around Brisbane. Head to the council’s website to find your closest spot.

6. GET SUNSHINE - make sure we are getting a few minutes of sunlight each day to top up our Vitamin D levels that are also vital for our immune function.

We realise this seems like a big list but if you try and implement smaller changes over time your immune system will thank you for it.

Written by Leah Williamson, Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.

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