edgemontnaturopathic

Cold and flu season is here!

Here are three foods to support your immune system with winter:

 

Tulsi tea

Tulsi, is also known as Holy basil or Ocimum sanctum. This tasty herb has gentle anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal potential through its ability to support the immune system. It also acts as an antioxidant and can help support the body in times of mental and physical stress. It helps to prevent cellular damage from environmental pollutants and prolonged physical exertion. This healing plant has a long history of use in the ayurvedic traditions of India.

Pumpkin seeds 

These seeds offer a dietary source of zinc as well as protein, magnesium and other trace minerals. Zinc is essential for proper immune system function as nearly all immune system cells depend on it. Zinc deficiency leads to inflammation and decreases in B, T17 and Treg cells.

Brassica family

The brassica family of plants includes many familiar faces: cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, radishes, and cauliflower. What might surprise you is that in addition to containing various compounds that support liver function, they are also an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C rapidly decreases in the body during stress or infection. Adequate levels of vitamin C support many immune cells, such as natural killer cells and lymphocytes. 

 

References:

Beveridge S, Wintergerst E, Maggini S, Hornig D. Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2008;67(OCE1):85-94. doi:10.1017/s0029665108006927

Cohen M. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014;5(4):251. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.146554

Domínguez-Perles R, Mena P, García-Viguera C, Moreno D. Brassica foods as a dietary source of vitamin C: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(8):1076-91. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.626873.

GLEW R, GLEW R, CHUANG L et al. Amino Acid, Mineral and Fatty Acid Content of Pumpkin Seeds (Cucurbita spp) and Cyperus esculentus Nuts in the Republic of Niger. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 2006;61(2):49-54. doi:10.1007/s11130-006-0010-z

Wessels I, Maywald M, Rink L. Zinc as a Gatekeeper of Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(12):1286. doi:10.3390/nu9121286