Commonly found items in our kitchens to use during winter

Winter time sees a peak in the occurrence of the cold and flu, partly because we are exposed to other people’s germs in an enclosed space as we keep the windows and doors closed, we increase the use of air-conditioners and heaters, and partly due to our reduced immunity brought on by cold, windy weather changes, among other things.

Here are some commonly found items in our kitchens that we can incorporate into our winter months to help nourish our immune system and combat that dreaded cold.

Ginger:

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Analgesic

  • Antimicrobial

  • Antioxidant

  • Antihistamine

  • May modulate the immune system

  • May help to maintain the immune system.

Chilli:

  • Chilli has capsaicin (the thing that gives chilli its’ heat), capsaicin is a tonic for well-being, good for the heart and digestive system, may help the body rid itself of toxins via sweating, is anti-microbial and may increase the metabolism.

  • Chilli and capsicum have beta-carotene, which may strengthen the immune system (beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and acts as an antioxidant and may protect the mucuous membranes from infection).

Lemon:

  • Lemon is rich in the antioxidant vitamin C

  • May help to lower cholesterol

  • May help to prevent kidney stones

  • May strengthen blood vessel walls

  • May help to lower the blood glucose impact of meals.

Berries:

  • Nutrient rich

  • Antioxidant-rich

  • May help to boost the immune system

  • Vitamin C rich, which may encourage the production of white blood cells, but also bioflavonoids, which work synergistically with vitamin C and may maintain healthy collagen, improve immune response, and to detoxify harmful toxins in the body.

  • Good choices of berries: Goji berries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries.

Garlic:

  • Sulphur-rich (natures antibiotic)

  • Antifungal

  • Antibacterial

  • Antiviral

  • May boost production and efficiency of various immune system cells to help us stave off illness

  • Antioxidant properties

  • Great for the heart.

Onions:

  • Sulphur-rich (natures antibiotic)

  • May help to promote growth of healthy intestinal flora and inhibit the growth of the bad kind

  • May be beneficial for the heart.

Onion syrup:

Prepare an onion syrup of the cold and flu season because it takes about 6 weeks.

  • prepare, chop an onion and put it in a sterile glass air-tight jar. Cover it with a good quality honey and store in a cool dry dark place, such as your pantry. Every morning and night give it a good shake. When the honey turns a watery consistency and the onion turns translucent it ready for use (takes about 6 weeks).

  • Take 1-2 teaspoons for sore throats and coughs.

Yoghurt:

  • When fortified with acidophilus bifidus helps boost the immune system and maintain healthy bowel function.

Raw honey:

  • Has not been heat treated and retains a lot of its minerals

  • Antioxidant

  • Antibacterial

  • May have wound-healing properties

  • May help digestion.

Water:

  • Women need 2.2L of water a day, men need up to 3L a day, including the water content of foods.

  • May help our organs of elimination rid the body of toxins

  • May help to lubricates the joints

  • May help to keep our skin moist (and reduces wrinkles!).

Useful herbs and spices:

Thyme:

  • Anti-tussive (coughs)

  • Antispasmodic

  • Antimicrobial

  • Astringent.

Sage:

  • Antimicrobial

  • Antioxidant

  • Astringent

  • Antispasmodic

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • May help to reduce night sweats.

Cinnamon:

  • May help glucose get into cells where it can be used for energy, thus regulates blood glucose control

  • Lowers cholesterol.

Warmest regards,

                             Penelope Espinoza Hallett, Naturopath

BHsc (C.M.) AdvDip. Nat/N.D, Dip. Aroma, Dip. C.H., Cert. R.M., Cert. R.M., Cert. SBM, mNHAA