Boost Your Immunity With These Super Ingredients

organic fresh raw vegetables and corn with garlic in the center

Do you get stuck in bed for days when you are hit with the flu? Or find that it takes you weeks to feel 100% again? Check out these simple immune-boosting ingredients that you can add to your diet to keep you feeling your best all year round.

Garlic

Nature’s antibiotic! When garlic is crushed, it produces allicin, an antiviral, anti-fungal, and immune-stimulating compound. Research has found that garlic can be as effective as some antibiotics at destroying pathogenic bacteria, it also acts as a natural decongestant and expectorant. Recent studies have also shown that consuming garlic can shorten the duration of a cold by 50% when taken on the onset. Just be sure to let your crushed garlic sit for a few minutes before cooking to release the allicin. 

Mushrooms

Mushrooms such as Cordyceps, Reishi, Maitake and Shiitake have been used medicinally since at least 3000 BCE. These mushrooms have antimicrobial effects- which means that they are effective in killing and stopping the growth of bad microorganisms. Mushrooms have also been known to reduce inflammation within the body, support the heart and cardiovascular system, prevent diabetes, and encourage healthy liver function. Ongoing research also suggests that mushrooms can modulate the immune system and has antineoplastic properties, meaning they can slow the growth of tumours, which is some pretty amazing stuff! 

Find these mushrooms in our Super Immunity, Herbal Hot Chocolate and Reishi Cappuccino health tonics at the refuel bar! 

Raw Honey

Raw Honey has been documented since ancient times to possess antimicrobial effects. Modern literature states that honey may be useful and has protective effects for the treatment of various disease conditions – particularly those of the respiratory and gastrointestinal system. The pollen in raw honey also works as a natural form of allergy relief and reduces symptoms of seasonal hay fever. 1-2 teaspoons straight from the spoon will even soothe a sore throat or curb a pesky cough! Honey has health-promoting antioxidants such as polyphenols, which are known to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. It’s best to source organic honey from markets or health food shops as most packaged honey you find in supermarkets have been heated and therefore loses its antibacterial effects. 

Turmeric

Turmeric has the active compound curcumin, which is a potent inflammation fighter and antioxidant. This compound had been related to the reduction of a number of health issues such as arthritis, heart disease and fluid retention. In fact, Turmeric is possibly one of the most powerful foods for fighting inflammation within the body.

Astragalus

Herbal medicines such as astragalus can be used as it is specific for long term immune support, particularly in the case of exhaustion as it is also an adaptogen – meaning it helps us adapt better with stress. Astragalus is a strong anti-viral and stimulates the production of defence cells in our body to fight off illness. This is a particularly great herb for someone with a lowered immune system.

You can find turmeric, astragalus and honey in our very own Turmeric Latte at the refuel bar.

And of course don’t forget to hydrate, rest, and when you’re feeling up to it.. sweat it out!!

Words by @tahliajorden_naturopath

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