Your immune system is the gatekeeper to health and wellbeing. When it’s functioning at its best, it will ward off all those pathogenic nasties that would otherwise throw you off-kilter.

A holistic and balanced nutritional intake is key to keeping your immune system in full working order. So (in no particular order), here are my top 5 immune-boosting wonder-foods and the recommended daily allowance (RDA) that will help keep you in peak condition:

1.Ginger

Ginger is the root of a flowering plant, and has been popular since Roman times. This woody yet lightly spiced vegetable has long been known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Available in raw root or dried spice form, ginger can add a new dimension to your culinary experience.

Ginger can help to protect against:

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Colds and flu

RDA: Half a teaspoon (approximately 2 g)

2.Garlic

Garlic, referred to by the Ancient Egyptians as a ‘masterpiece of nature’, has been used as both a foodstuff and natural medicine for over 7,000 years. A pungent vegetable with a sharp, spicy taste, this wonder-food can be consumed raw, cooked, or as a high-quality dietary supplement.

Garlic can help to protect against:

  • Colds and flu
  • Bacterial infection
  • Blood clotting
  • Blood sugar fluctuations
  • High cholesterol
  • Free radical damage
  • Chronic inflammatory disease

RDA: 2/3 raw cloves or 600 – 1,200 mg of supplements

3.Turmeric

Turmeric has been a crucial component of Eastern ‘Siddha’ medicine for thousands of years. Usually consumed as a dried powder, this peppery yet mustard-like spice is a close relative of ginger and is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-fungal properties.

Turmeric can help to protect against:

  • Heart disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Bowel disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

RDA: One and a half teaspoons (1 – 3 g)

4.Honey

Derived from nectar and collected by bees, honey has been consumed by humans for over 8,000 years.

All honey has immune-boosting properties, and can remain edible for over 2,000 years. However, Mānuka honey (collected in Australia and New Zealand) has a highly potent combination of antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic qualities that can’t be matched by any pharmaceutical drug.

Honey can help you treat:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Sore throat
  • Upset stomach
  • Bladder infection
  • Eczema
  • Skin damage2

RDA: Two teaspoons (approximately 8 g)

5.Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are relatively new to the Western diet, but have been consumed in East Asia for millennia. The smoky-flavoured fungus has a similar profile to Mānuka honey, boasting antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal effects. The mushroom contains key immune-system ingredients, including γδ-T cells and natural-killer T-cells, and has been shown to boost IgA levels.

Shiitake mushrooms can help to protect against:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Bacterial infection
  • Lethargy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Acne
  • Obesity

RDA: 5 – 10 g

Always consult your doctor if you’re worried about a specific health condition. However, you truly are what you eat, and with the right nutritional intake, you can optimise your health and discover a new level of wellness and vitality by improving your immune system.

Contact me today and find out how nutritional therapy can change your life for good.

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