November 9th, 2016
5 Ways to Boost your Immune System
It’s that time of year again when you find yourself sitting on the morning commute and suddenly you’re surrounded by sniffing, sneezing convalescents. Or your little darlings come home from school with the tell-tale red eyes and dripping nose and you resign yourself to the fact that you too will soon become a barren of the plague. Or maybe not?
To help you stay strong against that incessant cough that’s been circulating the office air conditioning we have compiled a list of 5 holistic and natural ways you can boost your immune system this winter. Unfortunately some bugs are persistent and can break even the strongest immune system, but getting yourself in the best health possible will not only give you a fighting chance of avoiding winter bugs but also improve your ability to recover from any that do slip through.
- Bone Broth: In recent years bone broth has become one in a long line of health food trends but this one is no fad. As a children if we showed the slightest tickly throat or snotty nose our gran would arrive with a steaming pan of homemade chicken soup (with added pearl barley- to die for) to make us feel better. I grew up thinking this woman had some godly healing powers. However science has now taught us that Granny was not quite the omnipotent healer we thought and that actually bone broth is just the perfect medicine and immune booster. Bone broth is rich in magnesium, phosphorus and Sulphur as well as being very high in amino acids. All of the components combine to help build and support our immune system. And it is so easy to make. I now (much to my husband’s glee) make a roast every Sunday, mainly so I can have bone broth through the week. After carving all the meat I pop the bones in my slow cooker with enough water to cover the bones completely, add a generous splash of cider vinegar (which helps extract the minerals from the bones) a few bay leaves, a couple of chopped onions and cloves of garlic, any leftover veg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Leave to stew for at least 12 hours before siving the bones out. I then either drink as it is or add veg and leftover chicken to make a more hearty soup. You should be aiming to have 3 portions of bone broth per week.
- Garlic: Most people hear garlic and think bad breath. They don’t always think cold-fighting superpowers, but they should. Garlic contains high levels of sulfuric compounds like allicin. In order to get the most allicin from your garlic you really should be eating it raw- chop small, pill-sized pieces and swallow whole, because you aren’t chewing it you won’t get the same bad breath. However, if date night is looming and you daren’t risk it you can buy allicin tablets too which are a great way to boost your immune system throughout winter.
- Broccoli: Now we know that broccoli is good for us but did you know that it is also an incredibly effective immune booster? Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable which means it helps detox the body, keeping your liver working efficiently- which let’s be honest around the festive period is no bad thing! It is also exceptionally high in vitamin C. You should be eating at least 2 portions of broccoli per week during winter, though we would recommend doing that all year round, you will thank us one day!!
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” controls the amount of calcium and phosphorus in your body. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and it is stored all around the body. It keeps your bones, muscles and teeth healthy, along with your heart and nerves. However our Great British weather makes getting enough Vitamin D difficult even in summer and very challenging in winter. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement can help your body absorb all the other nutrients it needs and keep you in tip-top condition throughout winter. And when the sun does shine on those perfect, crisp winter days GET OUTSIDE!! Wrap up warm and go and enjoy it, let the winter sun shine on your face and embrace the fresh country air, it is THE best medicine.
- KEFIR: You knew this was coming right?? A daily dose of probiotics is the best defense against illness. So make sure you have a daily cup of Yorlife kefir, be it in a smoothie, on your granola or just on its own, give your immune system a fighting start.
So go and enjoy the festive season safe in the knowledge that Yorlife has your back! You can find some of our other gut-healthy recipes here.
Yorlife, your health x