People often ask me how seasonal foods and medicinal plants can be an ally to increase their defenses. According to the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) the vitamins and other micronutrients contained in certain foods can contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system.
Other studies show that malnourished people are more exposed to infections and diseases due to the lack of nutrients.
Despite the fact that a person who follows a healthy life will hardly have a lack of vitamins or mineral salts, it is possible that, at times, their immune defenses may be more exposed to attacks by viruses and bacteria.
The change of seasons are usually key moments for our immune system. In addition, stress and bad habits like smoking poor sleep and excessive alcohol intake are other factors that can affect the functioning of your defenses and weaken our immune system.
That’s where some of the amazing botanicals I love the most come to play! These are plants that, when used in combination with a whole foods plant-based diet, exercising and resting correctly are amazing tools that could make a difference in your ability to stave off disease. Check them out here:
1. Echinacea. It is probably one of the most used plants in natural preparations against flu and colds. Echinacea root extracts have been shown to have immunomodulatory effects (stimulate or depress the immune system) in in vitro and in vivo experiments.
2. Thyme. It is rich in flavonoids and tannins, substances that help to strengthen the defenses, and essential oils with bactericidal properties. Using thyme in the kitchen is a very good idea not only to strengthen our defenses, but to improve digestion.
3. Rose Hip. It contains above all vitamin C and flavonoids, important antioxidants that strengthen our defenses and help prevent colds and flu.
4. Garlic. It is a great ally of health and should not be missing in our kitchens. It is renowned for its protective properties of the circulatory system and for being an antioxidant. In addition, garlic extracts have shown antiviral activity, among others.
5. Sea buckthorn. The fruit of this plant has traditionally been used as a topical healing and anti-inflammatory.