and the Immune System
The immune system is one of the most important
mechanisms for fighting disease and preserving health. Simply put,
good nutrition is an important factor in maintaining a healthy immune
system and combating environmental illnesses..
Foods for Colds:hot foods such as chilli peppers, hot mustard,
radishes, pepper, onions, and garlic contain substances called
"mucolytics" (similar to over-the-counter expectorant
cough syrups) that liquefy thick mucus that accumulates in
the sinuses and breathing passages.
Nutrition for Immunity - stimulating
the body"s defenses using
Herbs have been used for centuries in virtually every culture in
- traditional Chinese herbal medicine
is believed to promote and enhance the immune system, replenish
the "defensive energy" and accelerate wound healing.
used by numerous tribes to treat a variety of symptoms and diseases,
including: sore mouth and gums, toothache and coughs, and as an
anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent its influence on immune cell
proliferation, antibody production, and antiviral activitiessupport
and recovery from the common cold and influenza. Echinacea has an
excellent safety record. After hundreds of years of use, no toxicity
or side-effects have been reported except rare allergic reactions
in sensitive individuals.
- a woody vine that grows in Peru catechins, alkaloids, ellagic
acid and other phenolic antioxidants which are beneficial in the
treatment of specific types of cancer. The most immunologically
active alkaloids, the oxindole alkaloids, isopteropodine and pteropodine,
to stimulate immune function. In additon, the presence of glycosides,
proanthocyanidins and beta sitosterol help provide anti-viral, anti-tumor
and anti-imflammatory support for the body.
- As an adaptogen, Ginseng is believed to produce a state of increased
resistance to stress, supporting our abitity to resist disease by
building up our general vitality and strengthening our normal body
functions.the herb and its extracts can boost immunity, inhibit
cancer, increase energy and physical stamina and have variable effects
on blood pressure and blood sugar. A recent study found that ginseng
helps prevent symptoms of the common cold.
stimulates the body's immune system, boosting the killing ability
of natural killer cells and increasing macrophage activity. Garlic
also works against heart disease and strokes by lowering cholesterol
levels and blood pressure. As an anticancer agent, Milner and others'
work shows that garlic slows tumor growth and protects against potential
damage from oxidation, free radicals, and nuclear radiation.
Antioxidants And Immune Support
Antioxidants not only reduce disease symptoms, but may also reduce
the long-term effects of chronic oxidative stress, which has been
linked to the development of cancer from some viral infections.
Strawberry and spinach occur naturally.
Vitamin C - It is well
known that Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and this protective
activity is now proving vital in recovery from infection
Vitamin E -
is the body"s premier fat-soluble antioxidant, and complement
of vitamin C, the premier water-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E is
the major protective antioxidant for cell membranes, the dynamic
matrices on and in which most of the body"s metabolic activity
Just as vitamin E protects serum lipoproteins and regulates prostaglandin
balance, new research suggests that vitamin E supplementation may
enhance phagocytosis, cell-mediated immunity, humoral immunity,
and reduce the effects of stress on the immune response. 15
- is one of the best documented nutrients for supporting immune
function. A deficiency in vitamin A is known to reduce resistance
to infection by lowering neutrophil phagocytosis, cell-mediated
immunity, humoral response and interleukin II production. Recent
research has found a strong link between vitamin A intake and upper
- The B-complex vitamins are a group of eight inter-related vitamins,
which occur together in natural plant and animal sources. Because
these vitamins are water soluble, they cannot be stored to any large
degree in the body and therefore must be taken in daily. They are
easily lost through refining, processing, cooking and peeling of
foods. Rich sources of B vitamins are green vegetables, potatoes,
wholegrain cereals, fresh and dried fruit, pulses (peas, beans and
lentils), nuts, seeds, liver and lean meat.
- A group of phytonutrients called bioflavenoids aids the immune
system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental
pollutants. Bioflavenoids protect the cell membranes against the
pollutants trying to attach to them.
- Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells,
natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful
antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging.
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) has been extensively researched for its
antioxidant properties, particularly in its potential to neutralize
the chemical by-products of smoking.
- A deficiency of selenium results in depressed immune function,
whereas selenium supplementation augments and restores proper immune
system function. Selenium helps with the development of all white
- This mineral is required for its role in resistance to infection
and wound healing. It can be found in liver and red meat, egg yolks,
dairy products, wholegrain cereals and seafood - particularly oysters
- Magnesium is extremely important - it is a mineral essential for
activating chemical reactions, transporting glucose to the cells
and boosting your immune system. At times of high psychological
stress, our magnesium requirements are even higher. This mineral
can be found in oysters, shellfish, herring, liver, legumes and
- It is used for symptomatic relief of arthritis and of menopausal
anxiety. It is also used in treating allergic asthma, hypertension,
hypothyroidism, bronchitis, insomnia, general anxiety and stress,
and cardiovascular problems. Reishi also is often the main ingredient
in herbal formulas for immune dysfunction syndromes, such as Chronic
rich in an antioxidant called quercetin which has anti -cancer
and anti-inflamatory actions. Eat apples unpeeled. Good for
digestive system and cleaning the gut.
good for cleaning the skin and are rich in beta-carotene (an
antioxidant) . Best eaten with a little oil in either salads
or stir fries or juiced.
phytochemicals which protect against heart disease
, highblood presssure , colon cancer
and help reduce choloesterol levels. It is a decongestant
and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
rich in vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and beta-carotene (also
cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage). Eat raw or steam
- full of phytochemicals.
Sprouted mung beans contain
more vitamin C than unsprouted
beans as well as enzymes, protein and fibre. Eat raw in salads
or as a snack.
a strong cleansing effect and stimulate the digestive system.
Full of Vitamin C use the whole lemon as the phytochemicals
are found under peel pith and juice.
a nutty grain rich in fibre, iron, magnessium and several
B vitamins. Steam or boil and eat instead of rice or pasta
or as a breakfast cereal.
vitamin C , beta-carotene, fibre and phytochemicals with antioxidant
properties. They contain papin to help digestion.
rich in omega-3 oils and contin fibre that protects your gut
and prevents the absorption of bile acids. They help to eliminate
waste, prevent constipation, and aid regular bowel movement.
Store in fridge. top
Instead of wheat bread eat
rye, pumpernickel or wheat-free bread.
Instead of wheat
pasta eat pasta made from corn,
quinoa, rice or millet.
Instead of wheat
noodles eat soba (buckwheat) noodles
and rice noodles.
Instead of wheat
breakfast cereals eat muesli made
from oat, rye or millet flakes & porridge made with oats
Instead of butter
eat hummus, tahini, nut butter
Instead of cakes
and biscuits eat fresh fruit.
Instead of breakfast
cereals eat muesli made from oat,
rye or millet flakes & porridge made with oats or millet
Instead of chocolate
eat iquorice bars, fruit bars or sesame snaps
Instead of sweets eat raisans, sultanas, apricots,
Instead of squash
or cordials eat freshly squeezed
juices & water
Instead of milk
almond or sesame milk.
Eat and What Not to Eat - that is the question!
Once you have been chemically exposed a priority
will be to cleanse your bodiy of the toxins harming it. You can
help your body to do this by eating certain types of food that will
assist the body excretary functions. To detoxify the following foods
can be of assistance to you - if in any doubt do ask a qualified
You will probably have to change your eating habits
in order to detoxify but remember if you remove something from your
diet it is possible to replace it with an alternative.
There are some superfoods which are particularly
beneficial to aid in detoxifying yourself. Try to eat as much as
your food in its natural state or alternatively either steam or
stir fry your food. Avoid boiling, but if you do, use little water
and bring the water to a boil before adding the food and cook for
only the minimum amount of time. top
What To Eat
Fresh fruit banana (limit
these to 1 per day)
Grains; millet, brown rice, quinoa, rye, buckwheat,
Breads; rye, wheat-free, pumperknickel
Crisp breads; rye, rice cakes, oatcakes
Water and herbal teas
Freshly squeezed juices; carrot, apple celery
Pulses and bean sprouts
Non-dairymilk; rice, almond and sesame milk
Nuts; brazil, almond, cashew
Pasta; only wheat-free
What Not to Eat top
Coffee, tea & other caffeine
Dairy products; milk, cheese, yogurht, cream
Cakes, biscuits, sweets
Meat Fish Eggs
Wheat bread, pasta, noodles, crackersWhite
Artificial food additives
Fizzy drinksSquashes & cordials
contain essential phytochemicals as well as vitamins and antioxidants.
Aim to eat at least 3 portions of fruit per day mixing the colours
for either snacks, deserts or juice drinks. Dried fruit is okay
in small quantities.
Grains and breads
from whole grains provide fribre, vitamins (B
& E minerals (postassium, magnesium, zinc, iron & selenium),
complex carbohydrates and samll amounts of essetntial oils. Grains
provide slow releasing carbohydrates which provide more sustained
energy. Oats contain smaller amounts of gluten than wheat but avoid
them if you are prone to bloating or have a gluten sensitivity.
at least 3 portions a day particularly
of a cruciferous vegetable eg broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage,
watercress or cauliflower as these contain glucosinolates, which
help the liver's detoxifying enzymes. Vegetables are best eaten
raw in salads or lightly steamed. You can also juice them.
protein and Vitamin B, iron, zinc and fibre. Include a variety of
beans, lentils and bean sprouts. Sprouted beans in particular are
rich in enzymes, vitamins, minerals and protein.
Sprouting: Mung beans, chick peas aduki beans and alfalfa
seeds are good for sprouting. Simply soak a tablespoon overnight,
drain and rinse. Place in a wide neck jar and rinse them daily
until they start to sprout. Ready to eat when shoots are 1cm
and seeds are rich
in essential fats, omega-3 and omega-6 oils, protein, fibre, vitamins
and minerals.and of particular use are almonds, brazils and cashew
nuts.Eat plain nuts without the flavourings (toasted will bring
out a nutty flavour). Essential fats are easily oxidised if exposed
to air (ie damaged) therefore eat them as fresh as possible and
store in an airtight jar. About 1 tablepsoon a day will give the
best balance - to get the omega-3 and omega-6 grind flaxseeds (linseeds)
or pumpkinseeds onto your food.
from pumkinseed, flaxseed and walnut are rich
in omega-3 while sesame and sunflower are rich in omega-6. Nutritional
value of oils is destroyed on heating so try to use them for dressings
or drizzliing over food rather than frying with. Store in a dark
includes rice, almond and sesame milk which
do taste different to cow's milk but you use them in the same way.
If you do use soya milk keep it to a minimum and go organic and
unsweetened with them.
|TIP Almond Milk: Soak a
handful of blanched almonds overnight in 300ml of water. Remove
their skins then whiz in blender. You can add a vanilla pod
for extra flavour if you want to.
are great for detoxing. Most varieties help
digestion and have a cleansing effect. Spices are also very effective.
contain gluten which some people find hard to
digest and may cause bloating and wind. Products to avoid include:
bread, wheat-based breakfast cereals, durum wheat pasta, white,
brown and wholemeal flour, ordinary noodles, couscous, cakes and
acts as a stimulant and mimics the effects of stress on the body
thereby depleting it of essential nutrients. Thus coffee, tea and
caffeine based drinks provide a 'quick fix' but will ultimately
leave you feeling more tired, irritable and restless often with
a headache. Cut down amounts of caffeine slowly to avoid any withdrawal
is a cell toxin. The lier breaks alchohol down to acetaldehyde (a
toxin) that harms the liver, brain and muscles. It increases free
radical production and uses up and destroys B vitamins and Vitamins
C and E. Alchohol acts as a diuretic making you excrete more fluid
and also more vital minerals such a magnesium, calcium and potassium.
be replaced with herbs and spices for flavouring such as fresh ground
black peppper, fresh herbs, lemon and lime juice or cider vinegar.
Fruit, vegetables and grains contain potassium which helps to flush
out excess salt of your body and rebalance your body's sodium levels.
can be a problem to digest because of the lactose
(milk sugar) content. They can cause excess mucuous in the sinuses
and nasal passages and also create bloating, discomfort and flatuence.
Meat and fish
should be taken in small amounts and even cut them out for a while
to help encourage any old mucoid build-up in the gut to be passed
mostly contain artificial additives and should not be taken at all.
Shopping List top
Choose what appeals to you most and buy seasonal
food for best value.
Mineral Water (still), Herbal teas (preferably
loose leaf e.g. peppermint, camomile, dandelion root, horsetail
and yarrow), Rooibosch tea, Warm water with a slice of lemon and
fresh ginger (acts as good thirst quencher warm or cold).
Almond milk, Rice milk, Sesame milk.
Apples, apricots, peaches, papayas, bananas,
cherries, plums, kiwi fruits, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries,
blackberries, melons, mangoes, peas, grapefruits, lemons, limes,
Alfalfa, artichokes, asparagus, avocado, celery,
lettuce, watercress, green beans, runner beans, beans, spinach,
peas, mangetout, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, rocket,
potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins, peppers, squashes, courgettes,
(Either as flakes or flour)
Millet, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, non-wheat pasta (e.g.
corn rice millet).
Pulses and Beansprouts
Sprouted beans (e.g. mung alfalfa, chickpeas)
red kidney beans, chickpeas, black-eyed beans, haricot beans, butter
beans, lentils (red, green, brown), hummus.
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, brazils, walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts,
pine nuts, peanuts, pumpkinseeds, flaxseeds (linseeds), sesame seeds,
Bread and Crispbreads
Wheat-free yeast-free bread, 100% rye bread,
pumpernickel bread, rye crackers, oatcakes, rice cakes.
Cold pressed oils
Essential oil blend, flaxseed, pumpkinseed, walnut,
sesame, sunflower, extra-virgin olive oil.
Selection of fresh herbs e.g. coriander, mint,
chives, parsley, basil, marjoram, oregano, dill.
Cumin seeds and ground cumin, cardamom, ginger, coriander seeds
and ground, coriander, caraway, fennel seeds, paprika.