ANTHEA KOULLOUROS - NATUROPATH AND HERBALIST, FOUNDER OF OVVIO ORGANICS TEA AND AUTHOR OF I AM FOOD - EATING YOUR WAY TO HEALTH

During times of stress and a change in food & lifestyle habits, an extra boost to your immune system will help give you strength and resilience.

Increase your intake of Seasonal Fruit & Vegetables which are grown and picked for their peak nutrition and flavour. Serve with every meal as a salad, baked, stir-fried, steamed, sautéed, in a soup or broth, stew, juice or smoothie or eat whole, as is. Fresh fruit and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other special nutrients necessary for a healthy immune system. A change in season also brings a change in weather and temperature and this should influence our food choices, cuisines, and style of cooking. Choose warming, soups, broths, stews and slow-cooked meals.

2. Naturally, enhance every meal with Herbs & Spices. Everyday ingredients such as garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, ginger, turmeric, mint, sage, cinnamon, and chili are used in traditional herbal medicine to bolster immunity as well as speed recovery from a common cold. Add a handful of fresh herbs to each meal just before serving such as freshly chopped parsley and mint. Cook freshly minced garlic with onions, celery and, carrots to form a base for soups, stews and, casseroles. Add heat and spice with turmeric, chili, ginger and, cinnamon powders. Make a flavoursome salad and vegetable dressing with fresh or dried herbs & spices such as oregano, rosemary and, thyme. Simply whisk into olive oil and lemon juice to make a delicious and immune-enhancing emulsion.

3. Nourish with Natural Probiotics found in cultured or lactofermented foods and drinks. The process of fermenting allows healthy beneficial bacteria such as lactobacilli along with vegetable enzymes to proliferate creating a more nutrient-dense food, full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes that support gut immunity and overall general health. Choose high quality, naturally fermented types without additives. These include kimchi, sauerkraut, miso soup made from fermented miso paste, apple cider vinegar, beet kvass, kombucha, yoghurt, and kefir. Take 2-3 tablespoons per day with meals.

4. Supplement with Healthy Immune boosting fats such as Fermented Cod liver oil, a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, and K2 and other ant-inflammatory essential fats. Cold-pressed, virgin and unrefined coconut oil contains lauric acid which converts into monolaurin, an antimicrobial substance that can fight bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and other pathogens. Add coconut oil to smoothies, yoghurt, salad dressing or use as a cooking oil instead of processed vegetable oils. Enjoy, pastured or grass-fed, healthy animal fats over inflammatory and nutrient deficient grain-fed animal fats. Healthy, grass fed animal fats are rich in conjugated linoleic acid, omega 3, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 and other essential fats which enhance the immune system. Enjoy pastured beef, lamb and chicken, bone stocks, eggs, and dairy as well as wild and sustainable fish & seafood.

5. Be your own herbalist and enjoy making therapeutic, medicinal herbal tea blends. Every day organic ingredients are available from most health food stores such as olive leaf, licorice root, marshmallow root, lemon myrtle leaf, elderflower, and peppermint leaf. Blend equal parts for a delicious, soothing and hydrating immune-boosting remedy. Or find your herbal ingredients in your pantry or fridge. Make a virgin hot toddy with minced ginger, garlic, chili, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and zest and a spoonful of manuka honey in a cup of freshly boiled water. Alternatively, I created NO: 83 WINTER OLIVE ORGANIC TEA by OVVIO for times like these. An invincible tea; bold and potent. Strengthen your reserves and sail through winter. Enjoy 3 cups per day.

For more recipes and immune boosting wellness, check out Anthia’s book I Am Food – Eating Your Way To Health

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