There are many reasons we get sick. Stress is a big one, poor quality food is another. Not getting enough sleep and rest is up there as a major contributor also. Over prescribing of medication can also affect out immune system as can a broken heart or a shock.
Hippocrates said something similar to ‘all disease starts in the gut’. Well I don’t know if it’s 100% of disease as there are other factors that play a part, but If 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system, then having a healthy gut just got a whole lot more important. It seems having a strong immune system is our number one defense.
An optimal balance of intestinal bacteria is about 85 percent “good bacteria” and 15 percent “bad, and an imbalance is the nutritional cause of most health issues.
Of course a poor diet will affect the bacteria, and sometimes a probiotic supplement will be necessary to get the balance back. This doesn’t necessarily need do be a long term thing, but at certain times like when you’re taking antibiotics, travel to a foreign countries, eating too much sugar or refined grains, or in times of great stress – they are indeed very useful. They’re also useful as the helpful bacteria produce a substance that kills harmful microbes that will help to prevent allergies, among other symptoms.
Food to Include
Garlic and its juice: Garlic is one of the best medicines in the world. It has natural ‘germanium’ which will help to boost immunity, and is antifungal and antibacterial, just to name a few of its actions. If you’re cooking your garlic, ideally crush it up and let it sit for ten minutes before adding it to your recipe. It needs this time so that the enzymes can create the healing phyto (plant) -chemicals we need.
Fermented Foods: Historically, people used cultured or fermented foods to support their intestinal and overall health, way before the invention of the probiotic supplement. Yoghurt, quark, sauerkraut, kim chi and miso paste are good sources of natural, healthy bacteria. One of the best and least expensive ways to get healthy bacteria through your diet is to make your own kefir using raw cows or goats milk, or even coconut water. Add some kefir granules – available from your health food store or on line – in some raw milk, which you leave at room temperature over night. This kefir will have loads more active bacteria than you can possibly purchase in any probiotics supplement,
Micro Greens: Wheat grass, chlorella, spirulina and barley grass are chock full of minerals and enzymes. The enzymes are both anti-mycotoxic (mycotoxins are released by yeast/fungal infections) and antioxidant, while the minerals play an important role in keeping cellular communication channels open.
Hemp: Look for the seeds, oil or protein powder in health food stores.
Flaxseeds: A good source of vitamin E so will naturally be immune boosting
Others: Oranges, pears, peaches, organic soy products, oysters, clams, dried ginger, green beans, pearl barley, shallots and onions. Royal jelly or propolis will be helpful for bacterial infections and immunity. Check for allergies though.
Dried ginger when you are well. Fresh when you are sick, to promote sweating out the pathogens
Garlic is a great immune booster and anti-viral
Manuka and the Australian version – Jelly Bush Honey are fabulous
Garlic, cayenne and shitake broth is antiviral, antibiotic, immune boosting and a diaphoretic (promotes sweating)
Celery and lemon juice for a cold with fever
Those high in bioflavonoids like cabbage and green capsicum
Shitake Mushrooms. Especially strong immune boosters and anti viral
Mushrooms (button). Improves immunity against disease-producing micro-organisms
Fresh fruit & veggies especially yellow, green, orange and red. These are high in vitamin A which enhance immunity
Spelt. A whole-grain with a great capacity to strengthen immunity
Vitamin C: Gubinge is the Nyul Nyul language name for the Kimberley version of the Kakadu Plum. It is wild-harvested from the Dampier Peninsula just north of Broome and is the highest natural source of vitamin C on the planet. Look for it in health food stores.
Camu Camu is traditionally made into a juice by people of the rainforest to support the immune system, ward off viral infections, and help maintain optimal health, especially under conditions of stress and anxiety, which tend to deplete the immune system. Camu Camu has been used by ancient cultures to help promote healthy gums, eyes, and skin and also support the functions of the brain (nervous system) and heart (circulatory system). It has a Vitamin C percentage of over 12%. As Camu Camu is a whole food in its natural form, your body can absorb the nutrients contained within it much more effectively as compared to a synthetic supplement.
Other places to get Vitamin C – rockmelon, goji berries, kiwifruit, acerola cherries, black currants, guava, oranges, red capsicum, strawberries and broccoli.
Iron: Organic tofu, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, alfalfa, arame, broccoli, cherries, chick peas, kale, micro-algae (spirulina etc), parsley, seaweeds
Zinc: Wheat germ, pepitas, oysters, miso, alfalfa, sardines, legumes, mushrooms, pecans, soybeans, seafood, sunflower seeds
Vitamin A: kale, spirulina and any green red, orange or blue veggie
Vitamin E: hazelnut, sunflower, almond and olive oil
Co Q10: as a supplement
Selenium: 3 – 4 Brazil nuts a day will be enough
Sleep. It is important to get at least 8 hours sleep a night, and if possible an hours nap during the day. Less than this will lead to oxidative stress.
Reduce or stop smoking, or at least stop smoking tailor made cigarettes. Roll your own if you’re continuing to smoke.
Reduce your intake of alcohol
Get adequate rest, fresh air and exercise
Reduce stress and deal with underlying emotional issues. This is so, so important.
Avoid drinking tap water
Herbal Medicine: Echinacea, Cats Claw, Olive Leaf. Look for a practitioner-only liquid, or tablet.
BY Janella Purcell