Winter Immune Boosters

By June 10, 2014 September 4th, 2014 No Comments

immuneFood is your best medicine and prevention is better than cure. So with the winter bug season well and truly upon us, here are some tips for supporting the function of your immune system; your first line of defence against virus’ and bacteria.

If you can’t afford to be sick this season, or if you’re feeling a little run down then here are some proven preventatives and cures. Eat a seasonal, local, organic, whole food diet. I’m like a broken down record – but it’s really important. If you missed my post on SLOW foods, you can read ithere.

Make a bone broth

The health of your immune system is largely dependent of the integrity of your gut.  Bone broths heal and repair the digestive system whilst providing your body with all of the nourishment it need to support immune responses. It takes minutes to prepare and truly is nature’s penicillin. Find out how to make ithere.

Eat your greens

Winter gives us these nutrient dense leaves for a reason… salad greens, kale, spinach, silver beet, cabbage, herbs. Have a simple salad as part of your meal or throw them in a stir fry, casserole, curry or soup. I’ve spoken about these winter wonders here.

Add some garlic

Studies suggest that consuming garlic daily may prevent and also shorten the duration of colds.

And a little ginger

Ginger also contains cold virus fighting compounds and is very anti-inflammatory.

Include coconut milk and especially coconut oil

The principle medium chain fatty acids in coconut are lauric and caprice acid. Lauric acid is also found in breast milk. Both are anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and healing to your first line of immune defence; your digestive system. I include about 3 tablespoons of raw coconut oil per day (cooking, in my homemade chocolate or just straight out of the jar).

Eat some shitake mushrooms

Shitakes are amazing immune boosters. In herbal medicine, studies have proven their immune enhancing action. They are also very nutritious. You can buy them fresh or dried. See my Asian Immune Boosting Soup recipe here. I just love their taste and use them weekly.

Have an apple or citrus a day

Both contain immune supportive nutrients (and they are both in season so we are meant to eat them now). Also use the zest from the citrus for an extra boost. I always include zest in salad dressings or to finish off a casserole or curry.

Add herbs and spices to everything

Turmeric, cinnamon, chilli, sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme all contain chemical constituents that are protective against a wide range of microbes.

Manage stress

When you suffer with prolonged stress, allot of things go wrong in your body. One such thing is that your body produces a hormone called cortisol, which suppresses your immune function. It also makes you put on weight and adversely affects fertility (another topic all together)!


High intensity exercise actually initiates the release of cortisol too. However regular moderate exercise has the opposite effect of supporting a healthy immune system. So move your booty as often as you can.



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