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A Natural Prescription to Reinforce Your Immune Defenses This Fall

To fine-tune your defenses against viruses, now is the time to take advantage of foods and natural substances that boost your immunity.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:September 11, 2017, 9:47 AM IST
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A Natural Prescription to Reinforce Your Immune Defenses This Fall
Ginger is one of a number of options that boost your immune defenses. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ ALLEKO/ Istock.com)
In the wake of a summer season in which temperatures bounced up and down, it could be that your immune system is ill-prepared to face the wide variety of ear nose and throat infections that emerge with cooler weather in the fall. To fine-tune your defenses against viruses, now is the time to take advantage of foods and natural substances that boost your immunity.

Vitamin C

Before reaching for vitamin supplements, it is a good idea to boost your daily intake of foods that are rich in vitamin C, which is an antiviral that is not naturally produced by the body. Fruit such as clementines, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwis are well-known sources of vitamin C as are blackcurrants and red berries. Whole fruit should be preferred over juice, which has more sugar and less fiber. With regard to vegetables, vitamin C is found in broccoli, turnips, cabbage, peppers, fennel and spinach.

Grapefruit seed extract

An anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, grapefruit seed extract can combat 800 varieties of virus and bacteria. Make sure that the product is based on seeds of citrus paradisi variety. Taken in liquid form without alcohol, it is effective as a preventive and a treatment for all types of infections including colds, ear nose and throat infections in general, flu, bronchial complaints, and a tonic for chronic fatigue and a weakened immune system.

Royal jelly

A honey bee secretion, royal jelly is used to feed queen bees, which is how it got its name. Among other benefits, it stimulates and strengthens immune defenses. Another apiculture product, propolis, a resinous mixture can be taken as a preventive (colds, pharyngitis or laryngitis) and as a stimulant (for a period of 20 days), or in cases of sore throat, in pill or spray form.

Echinacea

Echinacea is a plant used by Native American tribes for the prevention of colds, as well as ear nose and throat infections. A stimulant for the immune system it can be consumed in the form of root extract, fluid extract, juice, capsules, and teas (1g of root per cup, six times a day), decoctions and tinctures. It is available from organic groceries and other specialist stores.

Ginger

Ginger is another option for beefing up your immune defenses. It can be consumed fresh, in grated form in cooking or as an infusion, like cinnamon which also stimulates the immune system.
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