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

Ask Loula Eating Out and Travel Food

Q and A Loula Natural Eating out and travel snacks

I have been asked some great questions this week- I chose these questions to answer publicly because so many of you will be eating out on holiday and may struggle with how to make healthy choices.

When you eat out, where do you go and what do you choose;

I grew up (and now live again) in Asia. When I moved to London for university when others reached for roast dinners for comfort food- I always went for Dim Sum or Thai/vietnamese food. It is still my food of choice when eating out.

 Har Gau

When we eat have dim sum so I generally have a veg dish (choi sum/bak choi in garlic or the beans with pork) and a couple of meat dishes (like stir fried beef or chicken). We also love prawns and broccoli. I am grain free for now, to reduce some inflammation but we always have a couple of dumplings (shanghai, har gau, char sui so being our favourite) However I don’t miss them and feel a lot less tired and foggy after the meal without them. I have not been eating the rice or noodles anymore. However when I am only gluten free I love a pho with rice noodles.

 I eat a lot of vietnamese and thai food without the rice- so we have lots of the pork lettuce rolls, sweet chilli squid, coconut based green/red/yellow curry’s without the rice and satay. We also love the pomelo and papaya salads.

 pomelo-salad-4

If we have japanese food I will have miso, sashimi, I can rarely turn down a soft shell crab and mango roll! We also have asparagus rolled in pork at our favourite restaurant. I also love the curry sauce beef and noodle soup. The udon noodles have wheat flour so I generally leave them! 

steak

If we go to a pizza/pasta place I generally will have a steak or ribs. There is almost always a meat and veg option. I tend to also avoid potatoes and ask for some broccoli (most restaurants have broccoli!) However if I fancy something I generally have it- but I since I feel so crappy and tired after it I generally don’t fancy most of it anymore! I don’t find restaurant salads filling enough so I may order a side to go with it. However there are so many great places to eat nowadays that have yummy options for those looking to reduce refined carbohydrates (especially bread and pasta).  

 

Lunches are normally salads- when I get a salad I want a good source of protein- normally smoked salmon, steak or chicken is available. Then I choose a nut/seed like pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds. A salad will also always have avocado in it. I also love beets, artichokes, pumpkin, broccoli and maybe a feta cheese. Dressing wise- lemon vinegarette is normally enough for me and I use these coconut oil sachets too to boost the oil content! This way if I get stuck I can normally find something to eat.

 Lychee, Coconut Water Kefir

I am not celiac so these choices may not be suitable for those who are celiac- however I ensure that the days I eat out I compensate for with my other meals and I increase my kefir/kombucha consumption on these days. I realise there will most probably contain wheat in these meals- in the sauces and fillers- I make sure I enjoy whatever I choose as his is important for digestion and realise that giving myself a hard time or stressing about what to eat can actually cause more harm than good. I live by the mantra- I look after and am mindful about my food 80% of the time and for the remaining 20% can look after itself. Most days I eat 100% mindful. 

 

Can you recommend some foods I can take with me on holiday? I find breakfast is the hardest to eat healthy when away.

 

There are certain things I always take with me. I always have a ziplock bag with chia in it. This can be sprinkled over fruit to help create a balanced meal. I also like to sprinkle this gelatine in the kids juice and over their fruit.  This can minimise the sugar impact. Also great in tea or coffee. Although I always bring my own Tulsi and Rooibos tea bags. I also take some of my grain free granola in a bag for the kids. They generally have bircher muesli in most hotels but my kids (i really mean just my daughter) can be really particular about what she will eat in her muesli!

 omlette

I normally have an omelette (see above- I love it with extra butter) or ask for fried or poached eggs (if you are worried that it is a reconstituted egg mix they are using for the omelettes this is a good option). I also always travel with my kefir grains (normally my water grains) as I can use them to ferment milk and water kefir. This way it is easy  so I won’t worry too much about consuming dairy as normally the dairy substitute is soy (I would actually prefer milk over soy milk any day- heres why!).

 How to make Kefir Loula Natural

To make the kefir I either buy some juice (normally pineapple or coconut water), or I bring coconut sugar in a ziplock (I also use the cane sugar in the hotel or place I am staying), and I have a mini tea strainer to strain the grains. It is so simple to continue to ferment whilst away (and it really helps with jet lag too).

 Popcorn Collage Loula Natural

I always dry fruit to take with use for the kids to snack on- it is normally easy to find fruit/nuts for them when away but it is always useful to have something in the room if you don’t want to go to breakfast straight away. Beef Jerky fills that hole really well too and travels really well since it is also fermented (I use Kefir in the marinade) I also make  energy balls as they travel well. Popcorn is another great travel snack (here is our favourite flavour), However my favourite one are these individual coconut butter (here and here is a chocolate one), individual peanut butter or almond butter sachets which are perfect on their own or on some apple. Also if there really only is bread- at least these will add some much needed nutrition!! 

Almond butterpeanut butter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are more great travel snack ideas from Kula Mama and here is what I take on our holidays (first aid and travel snacks!)

 I hope this helps and let me know your questions…

 Q and A Loula Natural Travel and eating out Pin

Should we feed our pets real food

Should we be feeding our pets real food Loula Natural

Should we feed our pets real food?

Just like Human’s our pets have basic needs. I am not a vet but as a Naturopath I have a good understanding in the power of nature to heal and nourish. These recommendations are made after hours of research and applying basic principles of natural health across the board. See the Naturopathic principles here. Here is why I thing our pets should be fed real food

It makes sense to me that animals will benefit from eating a diet as close to nature as possible. Unfortunately pet food manufacturers have made us believe that the only food our pets should eat comes out of a can or it a biscuit. Our pets are suffering from the same chronic illnesses that we are.  In the wild you do not find animals with food allergies, arthritis, ibs/ibd (crohns and ulcerative colitis is on the rise in captive animals), epilepsy, diabetes and of course cancer. Animals either die from predators, survival of the fittest or old age. So why are our pets mimicking human degenerative diseases. The solution is simple. There are many holistic vets championing the cause.

Mulan loves her ghee and raw meat
Mulan loves her ghee and raw meat

Pet food is generally packed full of wheat, corn, additives, msg and colourings. All of which can be toxic to our pets and certainly do not support their immune system needed to help them to detoxify from all this ‘fake’ food. The food is generally canned or biscuit form- neither of which are found in the natural diet. Today I am mainly talking about dogs and cats but this is largely seen across all domestic and zoo reared animals.

GMO mouse!!

 

Most food sources for pets are also GMO and grain dominant. Animals would not choose to eat any of this food in the wild. So why do we insist on feeding them this in our homes.? A cat or dog in the wild will catch a kill every two or three days and would eat that kill over those few days. Compare this with the calories they ingest in a normal day in a domesticated environment and it is clear  how they are mostly overweight. Combine this with their less active lives indoors and their lack of interaction in a pack (which they would do in nature) and the weight piles on. Most household pets eat the same thing day in and day out- we would never eat the same thing everyday- we have different needs as the climate changes and pets will have cravings too!

IMG_20140522_075937
Our cat is not able to go out and hunt her food or see sunshine. So we have to support her immune system by feeding her as close to nature as possible.

 

Of course their bodies are also always combating inflammation and their immune systems are constantly turned on. Then they are packed full of vaccinations, anti-biotics and pharmaceuticals like steroids also pet supplements (not always in absorbable forms) to try and ‘keep them healthy’. This is also impacted by a bacteria and enzyme free diet (highly processed canned and cooked foods when they would be feeding on prey they killed themselves and eat raw). They are rarely allowed the bones and sinew they would feast on, organ meats and freedom to drink bacteria from mineral rich natural water sources. It is no surprise that they suffer from chronic illness, mood swings (pets are often labelled with depression) and are overweight.

So how can we enhance our pets lives and help them to heal and thrive in our homes. We can start very simply with their food. Research what your animal would eat in the wild. In the case of cats and dogs it would be largely made up of raw meat from small animals (birds, frogs, bugs, mice, snakes, fish- if a cat is lucky!), and mainly bones from those animals. You would rarely catch a cat or dog eating vegetables-they are carnivores after all. They do eat grasses and plants like cat nip to aid digestion, feed bacteria levels and fibre to help digestive transit (prevent constipation). 

Salmon Collage Loula Natural

I feed my cat the following;

Ghee

Beef Jerky

Dehydrated raw fish 

Fish/bone broth jelly

Tinned tuna in spring water

Raw salmon belly (my cat is still a kitten so I help her by mincing it in a food processor- then mix it with the jelly as above)

Pet food with absolutely nothing added!

Catnip

Raw chicken wings

She gets the thigh bones to gnaw on and left over slow cooked chicken.

Scrambled egg or the raw egg left in the egg shell to lick out

A little water kefir in her water with some rescue remedy from time to time  

The Nature of Animal Healing If you are interested in reading more, this book is invaluable full of inspiring stories and experiences he has had in his busy practice.

Happy and contented
Happy and contented

Should we be feeding our pets real food Loula Natural Pin

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