The change of temperature outside at this time of year can weaken the body’s overall immunity; which in turn manifests in the shape of coughs and colds, fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite (or increased appetite) and hair loss – which is the last thing that any of us need as flu season rears its ugly head.
But, there’s lots of natural ways to fight off coughs and colds and give your immune system a boost.
Supermodel Giselle swears by powdered camu camu berry to keep her healthy – which is a powerful little superfruit from her native Brazil.
Camu camu has been used as homeopathic treatment for headaches, asthma, depression, and other illnesses for years. This bitter-tasting berry is now available in powder form, meaning you can incorporate it into your diet with ease. You can stir it into yoghurt, sprinkle on porridge, or simply add it to a juice or smoothie for a potent cough and cold remedy. Camu camu is bursting with vitamin C – one serving contains over 60 times more than an orange (1 tsp = 1180% of recommended daily intake) so it’s definitely a fabulous weapon to have to hand when you’re not feeling your best.
For an instant lift, try this cold-busting ‘red ruby slippers’ juice: Take a handful of red berries (strawberries or raspberries and they can be frozen or fresh), a hefty portion of beetroot (packed with the antioxidant betalain, benefits of beets include repairing cells, plus they’re full of inflammation-fighting potassium and magnesium) a handful of spinach (frozen works brilliantly), half a banana, a splash of coconut water (or spring water), a few slices of turmeric or ginger root and a tablespoon of camu camu. Whizz in a blender, drink, kick your heels together, close your eyes and say, “there’s no place like home” like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and you’ll be feeling better in no time.
Here are my other top immune boosters for the winter:
Lemons – Full of vitamin C which strengthens the immune system and boosts disease fighting soldiers.
Turmeric – One of the world’s most antioxidant packed foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Curcurmin is the active ingredient that is anti-fungal and anti-viral. Add a sprinkle of black pepper to increase absorption significantly.
Garlic – Boosts virus fighting T-Cells in your bloodstream which cause colds and flu.
Ginger – Combats chills, fevers and kills cold viruses. Putting a slice of ginger root in a cup of tea can ease throat pain. Can reduce pain and swelling.
Green Tea – Contains an antioxidant called catechin which helps prevent viruses and can even reduce the duration they hang around for!
Honey – Can help soothe a sore throat and relieve a nasty cough. Use a local raw honey or Manuka honey. Other bee products such as bee pollen and propolis can be hugely beneficial too.
Immune-Boosting Turmeric Tea
2 cups boiled water
1 inch peeled, chopped ginger root
1 tsp manuka honey
1/2 tsp turmeric
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of black pepper
Add the boiling water to a tea pot or bring to boil on the stove. Add the ginger, honey, turmeric, black pepper and lemon juice. Let steep for 5 minutes before serving, if using a pan on the stove cover with a plate.
Serve and enjoy.
Naomi’s Tip: Add a splash of cold filter water before adding the rest of the ingredients to preserve the maximum nutrients. Heat kills the precious nutrients of these superfoods.
If turmeric isn’t floating your boat, add a dash of cayenne pepper which will wake your circulatory system whilst still giving you an immune boost!
Let us know what you use to fight off coughs and colds in the comments below.