October marks the autumn harvest, Halloween and All Souls Day. Unfortunately, however, it's also the start of cold and flu season, but don't let that get your spirits down! Take a cue from the witches' brew to discover six of the best immune boosting foods and seasonal healing herbs to protect you and your family all season long.
Pumpkins are so much more than just Halloween decorations with a mischievous smile. A pumpkin's bright orange colour is nature’s signal that it's loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene—as well as being rich in vitamin C and folate. Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and protect against eye and heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds are also loaded with zinc, a vital mineral for enhancing memory and thinking skills. They are a rich source of magnesium and phosphorous which, along with zinc, can optimize bone health and help prevent osteoporosis. Raw pumpkin seeds are packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Add some pumpkin to your soup or stew
this season for a great flavor with a powerful punch!
Garlic is good for so much more than repelling vampires. As part of the allium family, garlic is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. Garlic contains allicin
, a sulfur compound known to be a super defender against colds and the flu.
Most of the health benefits of allicin are activated when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed. Allicin is also responsible for garlic's strong smell and it enters the body from the digestive tract and travels throughout our blood stream. One ounce of garlic contains manganese, Vitamins B1, B6, C, selenium, fiber, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus and iron. Don’t be afraid to add lots of garlic to your autumn dishes for ghoulishly good immune support.
Keep your bones strong with a healthy dose of bone broth
every day. Ever wonder why your grandmother went straight to chicken soup when you were sick? Bone broth not only provides valuable nutrition for your bones, it aids in digestion, and protects gut health with powerful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as B1, B12, collagen, zinc, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
All these nutrients are great fortification for the immune system and will keep your skeletal "cage" from being rattled when cold weather dampens your spirits.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The active ingredient in apples that makes them such a rich resource to our health is pectin, a form of soluble fiber. Apples have been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, protect against ulcers, and have even been shown in lab studies to kill liver, stomach, breast and esophageal cancer cells.
Apples are also good for your brain! Pectin helps prevent oxidative stress to your arteries which helps your cognitive performance—keeping your brain's plasticity
intact. And lastly, apples also contain quercetin, an antimicrobial compound which is found in tea and onions as well and can protect you against periodontal disease. Now that's something you can sink your fangs into.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar is thought to be one of the best things you can drink daily to maintain your health. High in enzymes, it alkalizes your body to reduce congestion of fatty buildup, flushes the liver and kidneys, and boosts metabolism.
The recommended dosage is 1-2 teaspoons mixed with 4-5 teaspoons of spring water daily. Add a pinch of cayenne and/or organic honey for a wickedly effective detox drink that both helps digestion and burns calories.
Lastly, drink in the mysteries of a thousand years with Hwangchil tea
. Its soothing taste warms your core, revitalizes the nervous system, and awakens your inner healer from head to toe.
Hwangchil is an adaptogenic herb and part of the Ginseng family, making it an excellent tonic for your nervous system and a flu-free body. Its powerful antioxidants remove free radicals and toxins, making you a leaner, meaner running machine when you're being chased by ghosts and goblins!
Try these Halloween treats to stay healthy and protected from the germs during this cold and flu season. Happy Halloween and best of health to you, this season and all year 'round!