Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Natural Immune System Boost


I used to have a love/hate relationship with my immune system. My freshman year of college, I was essentially sick the whole year. I’d heal up from one sickness and then instantly catch another one. I loved dorm life, but my immune system was not a fan. After college, I worked in a preschool, another place that’s not kind to immune systems. So before we moved here, expecting that a true winter would really knock down my immune system, I eagerly wrote down every immune system booster that I came across.

However, maybe my immune system somehow braced itself for the cold, and somehow it’s been working better ever since we’ve moved to the East Coast. Of course, it’s not impervious to every illness, and for the past few days, Aaron and I have been fighting off a cold. For once, however, I’ve had better luck than he has, and I’m going to hand the credit to this immune booster (and I’m not preparing for midterms…oh…maybe that has something to do with it too).

This immune booster that I found in my grandma’s O Magazine over the summer stuck with me. It appealed to me because it uses natural ingredients, most of which can be found on your spice rack.

Natural Immune System Booster (for one)

½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon honey

Turmeric

Cinnamon

Ginger

Pepper

(All spices to taste – a few dashes will do the trick)

Mix it up and eat it!

Immune System Heroes
Yes, I know, it sounds disgusting. Olive oil and honey mixed together? And then consumed through your taste buds? Some people won’t jump at that opportunity, I know. Yet because I know I am helping my body with the mixture, I actually have come to like the taste. Plus, one spoonful and you’re done. I think that this immune system booster has definitely helped me stave off sickness since I’ve moved here.

So how does it help?

Olive oil is anti-inflammatory, and combats free radicals with vitamins E and K, known today as antioxidants. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil also build up the immune system.

Honey too contains antioxidants, as well as antimicrobial agents, which fight infections. If you already have a sore throat, honey coats it to alleviate the pain. The original recipe called for raw honey for optimal results, but I’ve been using regular honey, since I don’t have any raw honey in my cabinet. (I think I’m required to say you shouldn’t give it to a baby, but hopefully you know that already). I try to purchase all my honey locally, to help build us up against local allergens. The extra benefit of purchasing our honey at the farmer’s market is that our local beekeeper is named George Bailey. Naturally I trust him even more to give me heartfelt honey!

Turmeric is also anti-inflammatory and has a high antioxidant content. Cinnamon is antibacterial, and fights viruses and fungus. Ginger prevents toxins from building up in the organs and lymphatic system, which deters infections in the body. Pepper is rich in piperine, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Whew!

If you really can’t handle the taste, I would recommend mixing the booster into a drink. I think it would taste delicious in black tea or in fruit smoothies, but the choice is up to your palate and creativity. I’ll probably continue eating it by the spoonful.

This is what happens when you are trying to have a photo shoot with a kitten in the house.

Hobbes wants some, too...she's licking her lips in anticipation.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical physician, nor have these statements been approved by the FDA, and they should not be used in place of medical advice by a doctor.

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