How do I naturally boost the immune system?

Naturally Boost Your Immune System Loula NAtural

How do I naturally boost the immune system?

Inflammation is key to healing and the immune system- it is the way the body puts up barriers to shield off the area needing repair. By allowing the inflammation, heat (fever), pain and swelling to be like a no go area (like when resurfacing a road) you are allowing that area to get what it needs. By ignoring these symptoms and surpressing them with anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, steroids, antibiotics and so many other methods you are prolonging the area the time and resources it needs to heal and return to optimum health. By using natural methods to boost the immune system, you can promote healing and repair of the whole body.

Look to nutrients which support the immune system and all the jobs it needs to do- central to this, of course, are bacteria. Fermented foods are the easiest way to get the body balanced. A man named Antoine Bechamp (who worked alongside Louis Pasteur) discovered tiny organisms he called “microzymas” which are present in all things – animal, vegetable, and mineral, whether living or dead. Depending upon the condition of the host, these microzymas could assume various forms. Bad bacteria and viruses were simply the forms assumed by the microzymas when there was a condition of disease. In a diseased body, the microzymas became pathological bacteria and viruses all in the name of survival. In a healthy body, microzymas formed healthy cells. Fermented foods have a balanced ratio of these microzyma’s which can morph, adapt and transform into what the body needs to regain balance. 

Also read this great article from Lynn Margulis about how Kefir forms in the same manner. There is also this one on multicellularity;

“Single celled micro-organisms are constantly interacting with their neighbours, from individuals of the same species to cells from different domains of life, forming complex biofilm patterns, complex nutritional symbioses, and complex clumps.” (source)

Here is Kefir under the microscope;

kefirmicroscopy

 Sometimes this may mean the body’s inflammatory response will turn on to set up a healing area so that the body is able to find energy, strength and motivation. A common thing I hear is that ‘fermented foods do not agree with me”. This is not true- the body has to sometimes go through upheaval to achieve balance. We are 10-20 times more bacterial cells than human cells. Fermented foods are essential for every age to boost the immune system.

Every human on the planet needs fermented foods in their daily diet. Regardless of age.

Life gets better Loula Natural

Firstly REDUCE the IMPACT of Stress

Excessive stress (whether mental, physical or emotional) is detrimental to your immune system and therefore your overall health. Stress affects you by drawing away your life blood from the organs to supply the skeletal muscles in the fight or flight mode. Whether you perceive stress or not, stress is a reaction to stimulus, whether that be walking down the road in a city with everything going on around you, to being overworked and underfed in a job situation, to constantly worrying about anything and everything.

Even watching TV is a stressful situation as the constant flicker and movement is incredibly stimulating. In fight or flight (the opposite being the Relaxation response) mode the blood supply is diverted away from your organs to the skeletal muscles. By diverting the blood supply you are taking away nutrients, oxygen and life source away from the cells in your vital organs disrupting the essential environment and processes for cellular health. Any stagnation, mental, physical and emotional will also contribute to this. To boost the immune system we need to have times in the day to return to rest and recovery mode.

Use Breathing techniques (here is my Rainbow Breathing and Simple Meditation from Real Fit Mama)

Visualisation techniques

Gentle exercise like hiking and yoga

Get into nature- grounding

meditation

Massage

Bach Flower Remedies

EFT

Aromatherapy (essential oils)

Get back to REST and RECOVERY everyday for at least 1-5 minutes. Tiny changes can make huge differences.

Nutrients needed to boost the immune system then also help the bacterial levels in your body or will help the body through the various stages of inflammation (heat, swelling, pain and redness (blood circulation).

Immune Boosting Foods

Nutrients that help can naturally help balance bacteria;

Fermented foods (see my book Culture Your Life)

Elderberry

Lavender

Onions,

Garlic,

Raw honey  

Calendula

Super Greens

Spices; Cinnamon, cloves, star anise

Coconut (oil, meat, water)

Jerusalam artichokes

Ginger

Herbs; thyme, rosemary, oregano, coriander, parsley and basil

Protecting nutrients (allow the body to do its job);

Anti-Oxidants (berries, greens, hibiscus, Rose hips, elderberries)

Viamin A

Vitamin C (including citrus fruits)

Hormone Balancers (like blood-sugar balancers-Holy Basil, cinnamon)

Vitamin D

Fats (butter/ghee, coconut oil, nuts/seeds, avocado’s and eggs)

Protein (including gelatin)

Magnesium

Zinc

Ginger (helps to raise the body temperature)

Bone Broths

Herbs; thyme, rosemary, oregano, coriander, parsley and basil

Nutrients that also clean up and restore the area back to normal

Chamomile

Anti-inflammatories (see a whole list here)

Fermented Foods (see my book Culture Your Life)

Epsom salts

Oats

Aloe Vera

Turmeric

Elderberry

Immune Boosting Foods Pin

More Information:

culture your life

5 Reasons to make Kefir

Kefir FAQ

5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha

Spring into HEalth

Inflammation

Heal From Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

Naturopaths First Aid Kit

What to do when your kids get sick

What to do when you get sick- fever

5 ways Nutrition can change your life

Recipes

Honey and Onion Immune Elixir

Sunshine Shot

Elderberry Cordial

Immune boosting pumpkin pie spices

Lemon, Honey and Ginger Tea

Hibiscus Tea

Orange Peel Powder

How to make your own bone broth

Coconut and ginger chicken soup

Coconut Milk

Lemon, Orange and ginger curd

Healing Body Butter

 Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak

See here also for my fermenting Inspiration Pinterest Board; 

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

check out this post;

How does the Immune System Work Loula Natural

Naturally Boost Your Immune System Loula NAtural Pin

Apricot Kernels

Nutrient Fact Sheet Apricot Kernels Loula Natural

Nutrient Fact File

Apricot Kernels

Apricot Kernels are from the inside of the seed of an apricot. The Scientific Name(s) are Prunus armeniaca L. (Rosaceae) ; P. armeniaca L. var. vulgaris Zabel. They are very common here in Hong Kong as they are used in congee and powdered to make a tea. They have  been used medicinally in India and China (in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine) for over 2,000 years. They are widely known for their anti-cancer properties although this claim is often disputed. Often by those who seem to profit from them not being used.

In chinese medicine they are used to stimulate digestion (reduce constipation, to soothe the digestive tract and relieve indigestion), improve respiration (used for asthma and to relieve coughs), lower blood pressure, and relieve arthritic pain (by reducing inflammation). Their bitter/sweet taste is warming and slightly toxic. This is supposed to stimulate healing. 

It is their potential for toxicity which is most widely spoken about even though they have been used safely for thousands of years. In fact only two deaths have ever been reported and it is not stated what dose of the kernels were consumed and whether there were any other conditions involved. They contain tiny amounts of cyanide. 

However they (along with wild cherry pips, crab apple pips, grape seeds, cassava root, millet, broad beans, most berries, and many other seeds, beans, pulses and grains that have not been hybridised) also contain vitamin B17 and Laetrile (amygdalin). These nutrients are very powerful immune stimulants, anti-oxidants and digestive supportive. The bitter taste stimulates gastric juices and the rich oils are very beneficial to the body. Apricot Kernal oil is used in many cosmetics and has a great effect on skin.

I have used it both as an oil and as a food for many years and I love it’s flavour. We use it in our muesli, bircher chia, smoothies and I have also made a seed butter from them. Readily available raw in supermarkets they are also relatively inexpensive.

If you want to use them in cancer treatment I suggest you approach your naturopath and oncologist for dosage advice. For prevention of cancer they can also be used safely. Eating 10-12 kernels over a day is generally recommended for prevention. Chewing them to release the oils is advised (hence why making them into a seed butter is a good idea). For cancer treatment almost 5 times that amount is recommended.

Sources and further reading;

My 3 articles on Cancer- What is it, prevention and Anti-oxidants.

My 3 articles on Inflammation; What do we need to know, healing and anti-inflammatory nutrients 

http://www.naturalnews.com/027088_cancer_laetrile_cure.html

http://www.rawapricotseeds.com/faq.html#a1

http://www.anticancerinfo.co.uk/apricot_kernels.html

Nutrient Fact Sheet Apricot Kernels Loula Natural pin

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients Loula Natural

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

So you have read about inflammation, what it is, how you can change your lifestyle to heal from inflammation. Now you are looking for food sources of natural anti- inflammatories?.

I advise my clients on anti-inflammatory foods on a case by case basis and this information is here to help you to further your knowledge and motivate you to use more natural methods to reduce inflammation. For your personal healing journey I recommend talking to your naturopath or nutritional therapist.

Helping the body to recover from chronic and systemic inflammation is key to health and using foods to heal is a very effective way to help prevent long term inflammation in the future. This is true for us and for our children.

Berries– Blueberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries are rich in flavonoids. freeze dried and frozen berries are great options when they are out of season. You can also use freeze dried berry powder. Beware of those with added sugar and preservatives. Vitamin C is also anti-inflammatory

Dried Cranberries Loula Natural

Reservatrol- this is the active anti-inflammatory ingredient in several foods like red/black grapes, red wine vinegar, blueberries, mulberries, peanuts, raw cacao and cranberries. It is one of the reasons red wine is good for the heart- since heart disease is mainly caused by systemic inflammation of the arteries.

Avocado

Natural fats; Remove all trans fats (hydrogenated oils), oils so far from their natural starting point (corn and vegetable oil) and those man made oils (canola). Ensure the oils that you consume are from a reputable source have been harvested and processed correctly (cold pressed and extra virgin- which means nothing added or taken away) and are stable in high heat if cooking and storing oils. Coconut oil and ghee are my oils of choice to cook with. I also use fish oils (fish eggs mostly), nut oils (almond, walnut), seed oils (flax, sunflower and sesame), eggs, meat/fish on the bone, bone broths, avocado’s and seeds like chia and hemp on an almost daily basis. Try this smoked salmon pate, energy balls chocolate, chocolate fudge or vanilla butter fudge. Fat based vitamins like Vitamin A and D are also anti-inflammatory

Different kefir sales image

Fermented foods; By regulating the digestive system and immune system fermented foods can help reduce inflammation. By lessening the load of the digestive system and assisting in absorption of nutrients, bacteria can provide cells with necessary ingredients. By moderating cytokines (immune cells) the body is able to ‘switch’ off inflammation. They can help repair leaks in the digestive system stopping foods from alerting the immune system of their presence in the blood stream in the wrong forms. By consuming excess sugar in the body they can help regulate blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity thus helping to balance hormone levels. Increase the cells ability to create energy, protect and support liver detoxification and toxin elimination thus helping to relieve stress at a cellular level. Consume fermented foods like apple cider vinegar, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir gummies, kimchi, natto, miso, lacto-fermented vegetables and fruit on a daily basis.

Kefir Gummies Recipe Pic Loula Natural

Gelatin; Gelatin is found in the bones and connective tissues of animals. Essentially a collagen protein, it is found in a third of the body in humans. Gelatin assist healing of bones, tissues, and muscles thus speeding up recovery and therefore helping to promote the reduction of inflammation. It can also assist in the digestion of some foods. By helping to form strong cells that are able to utilise oxygen, water and produce energy, less trauma related inflammation at a cellular level will be evident. Get gelatin from daily consumption of bone broths or add gelatin in powder form to drinks (coffee, smoothies, juices, green drinks) and stews, soups, sauces, gummies and so on. You can buy gelatin from reputable sources (ie cows that are grass fed and healthy) that can be added to cold substances that won’t gel- collagen hydrolysate (here and here) and to hot things to thicken and set (here and here).

Onions and garlic; Contain quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant. It also helps balance bacterial levels of h-pylori by helping to protect the cells from attack cause by dysbiosis.

Plants; Vegetables (mostly greens, sweet potatoes, beetroot, cabbage and asparagus. I limit nightshades and try to eat a mixture of raw and cooked). Using colour on your plate is a great way to ensure you have a mix of nutrients. I try to have at least 4 colours on my plate at every meal. I also love apples, pears and plums. I limit bananas, grapes, melon, mango and pineapple. I try to consume more vegetables than fruit and always consume them with some fats like coconut butter. Also greens like spirulina, chorella, wheatgrass and seaweeds can have anti-inflammatory effects.

oil pulling with coconut oil Loula Natural

Coconut; I view coconuts a little like eggs. Natures perfect package. Coconut oil, fresh (or fermented if bought pasteurised in a carton) and coconut meat all have huge anti-inflammatory and bacterial balancing properties.

Spices; Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper. Have great anti-inflammatory properties. I like to consume them as close to nature as possible rather than as processed powders- such as turmeric root. However if prepared traditionally (ie looking at ayurvedic preparation of spices includes heating them first) they can have massive healing benefits. Try a healing Chai Rooibos tea (see below)

Roobios Chai tea Concentrate Collage Loula Natural

Herbs; Rosemary, oregano, thyme, holy basil (tulsi), mint, willow bark, chamomile, calendula, hibiscus, rosehips, melissa, passionflower, valerian and so on. All have calming and healing restorative properties. If you want to use tinctures/supplement I recommend contacting a herbal or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. Culinary herbs and teas are generally how I like to use them. 

Frankincense; Used in ayurvedic medicine it is a tree (boswellia) resin which can block some chemical reactions that can start inflammation.

Alpha-lipoic acid; This is a very powerful intra-cellular antioxidant. this is very effective in chronic and systemic inflammation as it helps to protect the cells from toxins affecting the cells. Is used in blood sugar balance as it can increase insulin sensitivity of cells and helps cells to produce energy. It has show to prevent specific molecules adhesion (sticking) to the cells which promotes inflammation of the cell. It is also is a good metal chelator, meaning it will bind to metals and take them out of the body (source). This helps to support the liver (it is also a precursor to glutathione which is the body’s  most powerful natural antioxidant. Foods rich in alpha-lipoic acid are organ meats such as the heart, liver and kidneys, and vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Lesser amounts of ALA occur naturally in Brussels sprouts, peas and tomatoes. Dietary sources are somewhat ineffective in such small amounts. Supplementation is often advised. Contact your naturopath or nutritional therapist for information on brands and dosage.

There are more sources of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments and contact your naturopath or nutritional therapist for other sources.

see here for more information.

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients Loula Natural pin

 Berries image

 

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