I notice in much of the media to prepare yourself for the flu season and winter is to get a flu shot, there is never any discussion on foods to improve the immune system and the absolute importance of sleep during the winter months. So I thought I’d give you some tips on how to keep healthy.
1. Stay away from processed foods, most processed foods are filled with ingredients that your body cannot use, they become toxic and cause the immune system to become weak.
2. Eat foods from your local farmers market. The foods will be seasonal, they won’t have travelled across the Pacific ocean losing much of their goodness and they will help strengthen your immune system.
3. Make sure you meats are grass fed, your fish is local and wild and your chickens are free range.
4. If you love your dairy, try and buy as local as possible, if you are feeling a sniffle coming on these foods are not wise to eat. The fat clogs up the immune system and creates a sluggishness that will not be helpful in preventing the cold or flu. But if you are feeling well then good quality unprocessed dairy is a wonderful accompaniment to your diet
5. Hot drinks are invaluable during the winter months. Many herbs that can be steeped in tea enhance the immune system. Go to your local specialty tea shop and ask them for a mix that supports your needs.
6. Sleep in the winter is very important, it is a time for the body to heal. Bright lights after 9.00pm should be dimmed and try not to put monitors close to your eyes. A dim TV as opposed to a bright lap top will help your melatonin (the sleeping/healing hormone) to increase after sunset.
7. It is important to exercise, if you have a desk job every hour just get up and stretch for a couple of minutes, as for you that are constantly on your feet, keep up the wonderful movement.
Happy Winter Eating
Chicken Soup Strengthens the Immune System – Grandma was right!
4 chicken thighs with bones
1 large brown onion – peeled and chopped finely
1 celery stick, trimmed and finely chopped
2 large Australian garlic cloves – finely chopped
6 sprigs of fresh thyme – leaves picked, stalked discarded
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
3 TBS finely chopped freshly parsley
2 litres of filtered water
1 tsp seaweed salt
Place the chicken, onion, celery, garlic, peppercorns, parsley, thyme and water in a large saucepan with a lid, bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes Using tongs transfer the chicken onto a clean work bench, using the tongs cut the meat away from the bone. Discard the bones.
Finely chop the chicken and add back to the pot Taste and season with salt Pour into bowls garnish with parsley and serve