I can’t remember the last time I had a cold. Seriously. It’s one of those things that my body is simply not susceptible to. How? Why?
When I was in my teens I read a book called The Killer Plagues to Come. It was deeply fascinating and something that I am sure sparked an additional interest for me to study holistic nutrition at college. What I learnt back then and that which was reinforced whilst studying is that prevention is far wiser (and easier) than seeking out a cure. So I make every effort to ensure that I have a healthy and strong immune system, so that my body is prepared and armed with the necessary nutrients to help prevent a viral infection, such as the common cold. With the amount I travel and bugs I’m exposed to on a monthly basis it’s quite incredible just how effective it can be to integrate a few common-sense self-care rituals to your daily life.
Whilst I’m certainly an advocate for obtaining your nutrients from good quality organic (and biodynamic where possible) whole foods, sometimes it can be beneficial to get a little help from a whole food supplement, so as to provide the extra boost necessary. That being the OLIVE LEAF AUSTRALIA olive leaf extract. It is one of the most useful and effective wide spectrum herbal ingredients that has been a source of health for thousands of years.
One of the reasons why I love this product so much is that olive leaf naturally contains a high amount of vitamin C. It’s not the ascorbic acid that you get in a vitamin C tablet that is undoubtedly manufactured in China. Yes, approximately 80 – 90% of the world’s supply of ascorbic acid is produced in China. And yes it’s made in a lab. There aren’t ascorbic acid trees in China. It puzzles me why our pharmacies and health food stores are still advising ascorbic acid in the form of vitamin C tablets when there is an ethical Australian company that produces an internationally recognised whole food supplement that is more effective than tablets that can potentially do damage to the kidneys amongst other things.
“Olive Leaf Australia’s fresh-picked Olive Leaf liquid extract gained international attention when it was shown to have an antioxidant capacity almost double green tea extract and 400% higher than the equivalent amount of Vitamin C.”
Laboratory studies show that olive leaf extract interferes with a viral infection becoming established and/or spreading, either by rendering viruses incapable of infecting cells or by preventing them from reproducing.
Further to this, it’s a good idea to make a conscious effort to increase your consumption of the following nutrients, essential for a strong immune system, but please be sensible to keep in mind that consuming an excess of certain minerals can be toxic. If in doubt ALWAYS consult a natural therapist.
Zinc helps to increase white blood cell formation; and may inhibit bacterial and viral growth and replication. Good vegan sources of zinc include pumpkin seeds, pecans, Brazil nuts and wholegrains.
Iron is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Good vegan sources of iron include dark green leafy vegetables (with a squeeze of fresh lemon to help with the uptake of iron), black strap molasses, wholegrains, nuts and seeds.
Selenium greatly enhances the function of the immune system by allowing it to respond more effectively, enhancing the production and effectiveness of white blood cells, and to protect them from the free radicals that are generated during their fight against infection. Good vegan sources of selenium are Brazil nuts, wholegrains and cereals.
Garlic and Ginger
Raw garlic is a potent immune system stimulant and natural antibiotic, whereas ginger helps to fight inflammation and stimulate circulation.
Following are immune booster rituals to integrate in to your lifestyle this winter.
• Take Olive Leaf Extract before meals. (5mL, 3 times a day, or as professionally recommended)
• Morning snack of 3 Brazil nuts. Afternoon/ evening snack of a half handful of pumpkin seeds.
• Afternoon / evening warm drink of hot water with fresh ginger and garlic. Alternatively a cup of hot chocolate (raw cacao, hemp mylk, and blackstrap molasses).
• Make healthy choices for all your meals and include dark leafy green vegetables with a squeeze of fresh lemon a couple of times a week.
• Ensure that you’re drinking an adequate amount of purified water.
And remember that your thoughts also have an effect on your physicality. A mind filled with complaining, anger and bitching, will not be so helpful for a strong immune system, nor a happy and healthy body. Practice kindness and compassion, towards yourself and others.
Try this “immune system boost” for a month and see if you notice the difference.
Above all, please remember to choose organic (and biodynamic where possible) foods. You’re not only providing your body (and your family) with foods that contain more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, you’re also avoiding your exposure to pesticide residue, and voting with your dollar by supporting Australian organic farmers.