HOW TO OPTIMISE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Help! I’ve reached my sick-day quota….
Why do we get sick? And what can I do to keep healthy?

We all get told to be careful of ‘germs’ as we move into the colder season…but is there really any fact to that?
The cold weather doesn’t bring with it more bacteria and viruses. What it DOES bring with it is a change in lifestyle. And our body will struggle to adapt to this… hence immune function goes down.

-Decreased Sun exposure results in decreased vitamin D intake. A deficiency in vitamin D (common with decreased hours of sunlight in winter) is associated with increased susceptibility to infection (Aranow, 2011)

    •         Foods high in EPA and DHA to reduce inflammation (Fish oils  are great sources of this)
    •         Green and white tea (high in flavonoids to reduce inflammation)
    •         Vitamin C (natural antihistamine) and Zinc
    •         Local Raw Honey

Try out this immune-boosting chicken soup

Devised by an Australian Nutritionist and her Chef husband, this soup will keep you going through any tough period. I’ve added shitake mushrooms, full of vitamin Bs- great for liver function.

Soup made of bones is packed full of vital minerals, and has been used for centuries for when the immune system needs a boost- It is an ancient form of medicine. Making a soup using bones means the minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous leech from the bones into the soup.

Into a large pot, THROW this into water:

  • Approximately 1 kg of chicken necks, or chicken drumsticks. Any type of chicken  you can get your hands on with bone.
  • 1 whole knob garlic. Peel and cut each clove in half
  • 4 whole onions. Peel and cut into quarters
  • 3 whole carrots unpeeled, chopped into large pieces
  • 5 stalks of celery chopped roughly
  • 5 spring onions. Remove the roots, and chop into 5 cm pieces.
  • Handful of goji berries (optional)
  • 1 palm sized knob of ginger. Peel and slice roughly
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly and stems included (ADD THESE AT THE END!)

Method:

  • Cover the ingredients with cold water until completely submerged.
  • Put the soup onto a low heat. Cover with lid. Watch the temperature very closely in the beginning.
  • Small bubbles should slowly and softly be breaking the surface. If the soup is boiling, the heat is too high.
  • Leave slowly bubbling for 2 hours, up to 6 hours.
  • You will need to skim and discard the top of the soup as the meat proteins raise to the top, every hour.
  • Taste the soup, and add a sprinkling of salt , soy sauce/tamari if required. Add mushrooms.
  • With tongs, remove the chicken necks from the soup. Pick the meat from the bones and add the meat back into the soup. Or, leave the necks in the soup and serve as is for people to eat from the bone.
  • Eat it all up! If you can, eat the ginger, garlic and onion pieces to REALLY get the most out of the soup.

(“Immune Boosting – Cold and Flu Busting – Chicken Soup”, 2013)

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References:

Bennett, M., & Lengacher, C. (2009). Humor and Laughter May Influence Health IV. Humor and Immune Function. Evidence-Based Complementary And Alternative Medicine, 6(2), 159-164. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem149

Aranow, C. (2011). Vitamin D and the Immune System. Journal Of Investigative Medicine, 59(6), 881-886. doi: 10.2310/jim.0b013e31821b8755

The Lung Foundation Australia. (2010). Indoor Environment and Lung Health Fact Sheet [Ebook]. Milton. Retrieved from https://lungfoundation.com.au/resources/?search=indoor

Immune Boosting – Cold and Flu Busting – Chicken Soup. (2013). [Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.thenutritionguruandthechef.com/2012/06/17/immune-boosting-cold-and-flu-busting-chicken-soup/

Chronic pain changes our immune systems: Epigenetics may bring us a step closer to better treatments for chronic pain. (2016). Retrieved 2 January 2020, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160128074319.html

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