Immune Boosters

It’s coming into winter and you want to avoid having the flu lurgy over the cold months, maybe you’ve got a bug you just can’t shake, or maybe you just keep on getting sick over and over and over again, and it’s becoming quite a drag. Well if that’s you, then you need an immune system BOOST.

There are lots of practical things that you can do to give your immune system a helping hand.

R & R

When you’re under the weather, or your immune system is taking a battering rest and recuperation are vital. So rather than soldiering on, take some time out, stay in bed with a good book and a hot water bottle, or re-acquaint yourself with your couch and the joys (?) of day-time TV, or better still a NetFlix binge. Clear your diary, take some sick leave from work, keep warm and keep horizontal.

Protein

Your immune system is made up of antibodys, macrophages, T cells, mast cells and a whole host of other bits and pieces, all of which are primarily made up of protein. If you’re not eating enough protein then restocking and renewing all these immune system factors is affected. Protein rich foods include meat, chicken, fish and eggs, as well as legumes, seeds and nuts.

Drinking plenty of fluids

My mum always told me to “drink plenty of fluids” when I was sick as a kid, and she was right (of course). Fluids, especially hot herbal teas are fantastic for your immune system - they help boost along your lymphatic system, thin down mucous and keep you well hydrated if you have a fever. So drink lots of water, herbal tea or why not try Mim’s Hot Cold Tea down below.

Hot Foods

Ginger, chilli, garlic, wasabi and horseradish are all warming foods, and they are fantastic for your immune system, so use them liberally in your cooking. Make stir-frys with ginger, chilli and garlic, add some wasabi to mashed potatoes (it’s really good), have Thai hot soups, add some extra crushed garlic to your shop bought hummous.

General Diet

Apart from the hot foods, now is the time to be eating a good, healthy diet - lots of vitamin and mineral rich fruit and vegies, whole grains and some protein, especially fish, are what you need every day. Eat well and cut back on the junk.

Avoid

As well as doing all the right things it’s important to avoid the foods that will inhibit your immune system - these include:

  • alcohol, which always takes a toll on the body
  • milk and yellow cheeses which can cause over-production of mucous, not helpful when you’ve already got a snotty nose
  • sugar, which has a negative impact on the immune system

Gentle daily exercise

Exercise and a dose of sunshine will do you the world of good. Avoid strenuous workout regimes, you need to build up your strength, not be wearing yourself out. If exercise makes you tired, desist until fully recovered.

Mim’s Hot Cold Tea

In your favourite teapot or plunger, combine the juice of one lemon and add half of the lemon rind chopped up, half a stick of cinnamon (optional), three or more sprigs of fresh thyme, 3 cm of fresh ginger root grated and two or three teaspoons of honey. Add boiling water, put the lid on and stand for five minutes.

Herbs & Supplements

Echinacea, Andrographis, Cat’s Claw, Garlic, Vitamin C and Zinc. All of these are helpful in preventing and treating a cold or flu. You will find various combinations made by different companies. It’s often better to choose from a practitioner range if available. If there are many infections around, take one or two tablets daily to boost your immune system. However, if you feel like you have caught a bug. Act now. Immediately take a tablet, followed by another in two hours and continue until you go to bed. Hopefully, you will have arrested viral growth while the bug is still blood borne.