The Art Of Beauty & Well-being Issue 11 2016 - Page 26

Nutrition to avoid Winter colds and flu. By Elspeth Waters for CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine). Having adequate ‘good’ gut flora is the best defence against external pathogens, so keep your levels topped up with daily servings of probiotic, fermented food and drinks, such as raw sauerkraut and fermented vegetables, kefir and kombucha, or take a multi-strain probiotic supplement. Vitamin D3 helps regulate the immune system but our levels often dwindle in the UK during winter. In terms of food, fermented cod liver oil is the best source. Oily fish and grass-fed meat and eggs will also provide some, but a D3 supplement may be needed. Think zinc as well as Vitamin C as both nutrients are essential components of our immune cell response.Vitamin C is readily available in fruit and green veg but levels are quickly depleted by cooking and storage. Consider boosting your intake of natural vitamin C with a concentrated fruit powder such as baobob, rosehip or acerola cherry. Zinc is found in meat, liver, seafood and nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds. Bee pollen – ‘Mother Nature’s multivitamin and mineral’ – contains nearly every nutrient 26 the art of beauty & well-being we need so taking a spoonful or two a day can help boost overall energy and vitality. Viruses and bacteria are transmitted through the nose and mouth and it is mucous they latch on to. Saline nasal rinses help to keep the airways clear, as does oil pulling, an Ayurvedic tradition of swishing oil (virgin sesame, sunflower or coconut) around the mouth for 5-20 minutes before teeth cleaning. The oil helps to drain mucous and draw out all the old immune cells and their waste products from the sinuses and nearby lymphatic tissue to keep the passages smooth and clear. Avoid sugar! Not only does it suppress our immunity, it also feeds bacteria, viruses and fungus and promotes mucous production so will prolong an infection. Opt for unprocessed organic food and supplements to minimise intake of immunesuppressing toxins. Immune-boosting herbs include elderberry, echinacea, olive leaf, oregano and raw honey. Taking andrographis at the first sign of illness can significantly reduce its severity and duration, too. Elspeth Waters trained in Nutritional Therapy with CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine), which offers training in a wide range of natural health CNM therapies, from colleges a