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Six Unusual Ingredients to Help Fight Off the Winter Woes

Winter can be a time of illness, fatigue or just feeling "under the weather". Here are some foods that can help

Six Unusual Ingredients to Help Fight Off the Winter Woes

Pastured fats. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), omega 3, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 and other healthy fats are found in grass-fed or pastured beef, lamb and chicken. These healthy fats enhance the immune system. Minimal amounts are found in grain fed industrialized farmed animals. Simply choose healthy animals, raised as nature intended. Enjoy pastured beef, lamb and chicken meat, bone stocks, chicken eggs and cow’s dairy. They also happen to offer complete protein.

Olive leaf. Olive leaf extract is traditionally used in Western Herbal medicine to support the immune system and relieve symptoms of coughs, colds & flu, sore throats and upper respiratory tract infections. The active ingredient in olive leaf extract is Oleuropein – a phenolic compound which is one of the most powerful antioxidants around. Look for an olive leaf extract that is Australian made and ‘fresh-picked’ to ensure it is as close to nature as possible by retaining all of the plant’s phenolics that occur naturally in the olive leaf.

 Kakadu plum. Also known as Gubinge, an Australian indigenous fruit that has been identified worldwide as the single natural food source with the highest vitamin C content on the planet. It contains 3000mg of vitamin C per 100g of fruit – over 50 times the concentration found in oranges. It also contains phytochemicals such as gallic acid, which has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Choose a wild crafted, Australian grown dried fruit powder. Take 1-2 teaspoons per day in water or food or as directed by your health care practitioner. (Source)

Shitake mushrooms. This potent little mushroom supports gut immunity, has anti-microbial properties and reduces inflammation. Choose certified organic to ensure quality. Add to bone stock broths with ginger, garlic and greens for a potent immune boosting soup.

Natural probiotics found in cultured or lacto fermented foods and drinks. The process of fermenting allows the lactobacilli and other bacteria and vegetable enzymes to proliferate creating an even 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 kim chi, sauerkraut, miso soup made from fermented miso paste, apple cider vinegar, beet kvass, kombucha, yoghurt and kefir.

Chili. Traditionally used in herbal medicine to improve blood flow and flush out the tissues of toxins and impurities. It warms the constitution. Use fresh or dried in foods, broths, soups, juices or a sprinkling of the dried flakes in a herbal infusion.

Anthia Koullouros is a Naturopath, Herbalist, and Organic Food, Health and Lifestyle Educator. You can find out more about her at her website here

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