LIVING FOOD: EAT YOURSELF HEALTHY: Recipe Ideas to Keep You Full of Energy; Put a Spring in Your Step by Giving Your Immune System a Boost - the Natural Way. Lifestyle Editor ZOE CHAMBERLAIN Reports
Byline: ZOE CHAMBERLAIN
THE change in season from winter to spring can often cause havoc with your immune system.
Just as you start enjoying the lighter nights and warmer weather, your body is hit by the latest bug working its way around the office or school.
But there IS a way to boost your immune system without having to overload it with supplements and herbal remedies.
And the treatment is right there in your kitchen.
You can eat yourself healthy. 'What you eat and drink regularly will determine how well your body performs at the most basic of levels,' says homeopathic expert Beth MacEoin.
'So it makes sense to ensure you are getting the full complement of nutrients on a daily basis to sustain optimum health and energy.
'These include vitamins, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, fibre and plenty of water.
'Recurrent headaches, indigestion, constipation, poor skin tone, mood swings and disturbed sleep patterns can all benefit from improving the pattern and overall quality of what you eat and drink regularly.'
It is vital to increase your intake of fruit and vegetables at this time of year because vitamin C is one of the most powerful bug-busters.
And if it's difficult to face eating a salad when it's still chilly outside, there's plenty you can do to make it more tempting.
1APPLES make a great addition to stir-fries alongside lots of crisp, fresh vegetables.
Dark green, orange, red and yellow fruit and vegetables are also packed with antioxidant nutrients that boost immunity to infection and protect the heart and circulatory system.
They also reduce the risk of degenerative problems such as memory loss and signs of premature ageing. 2LEMON, SPINACH and APPLES are also all good immunity boosters. They work by neutralising the chemical cocktails inhaled from exhaust fumes and pollution.
3MUSHROOMS contain potassium, phosphorus and selenium that are all power forces in the fight to keep your immune system in shape. They're also packed with B vitamins that promote healthy hair, skin and nails and give your face a great defence.
4TOMATOES are also a great choice as they contain lycopene which researchers at the University of Milan and the Institute for Food Research in Norwich claim has immunity-enhancing properties.
Lab tests showed that a three-week tomato-rich diet helped protect infection-fighting white blood cells. 5Hot foods, such as CHILLI PEPPERS, hot MUSTARD, RADISHES, PEPPER and ONIONS, are also great to get rid of a cold. They contain substances called 'mucolytics' - similar to over-thecounter expectorant cough syrups - that liquify thick mucus in the sinuses and breathing passages.
6GARLIC stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells and increases the efficiency of antibody production. It can also act as an antioxidant, reducing the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream.
Research has shown that cultures with a garlic-rich diet have a lower incidence of intestinal cancer. It is also a heart-friendly food since
it keeps platelets from sticking together and clogging tiny blood vessels.
7LIVER, RED MEAT and EGG YOLKS contain the mineral zinc which is required for helping to fight infection and wound healing.
8And for those feeling stressed out, SHELLFISH, HERRING, LIVER and MILK may help because they are rich in magnesium, an essential mineral for transporting glucose to the cells and boosting immunity. …