Detox Drinks to Increase Immunity, Recipes
We are facing the times when fear caused by coronavirus is coming from everywhere around. Obviously strong immune system is very important, especially in this period.
There are many different factors which can strengthen your immune system, among others stress management, proper diet, yoga asana, pranayama, meditation, believes and emotions which you experience on the daily basis, proper sleeping routine.
In here let’s concentrate on the diet factor.
How can we boost our immune system through diet? What foods we should be avoiding?
Go natural! Be AWARE of what you are actually putting into your body cause that’s exactly what will transform into your physical body. Better quality materials you use, better and stronger your body will become. Avoid processed products. Read ingredients on the products you are buying to minimise consumption of chemicals entering your body.
Avoid pre-packed meals, leftovers, deep fried and low quality food. Cook fresh meals for yourself and your loved ones (or have it from the trusted and healthy source). Freshly cooked food with fresh and natural ingredients contains highest amount of vitamins and minerals. With the time it simply looses it’s properties. According to Ayurveda ideally meals should be freshly cooked and consumed up to 3h after preparation.
Choose easy to digest foods. The reason why we want to have easily digestible foods is that we give our body a chance to direct energy into strengthening our immunity instead of using that energy on digesting a heavy meal. Example of easy to digest food is kitchari - traditional healing and cleansing Ayurvedic meal, made of rice, split mung dahl and spices.
Have more warming up meals like soups, curries, cooked veggie stews. Basically foods which you would be naturally craving in winter time, when it’s cold outside and you need some extra warmth coming for example from creamy pumpkin or sweet potatoes soup, ginger-cloves-cinnamon tea or warm spicy curry.
Avoid cooling and heavy foods like cheese, ice cream, fried food.
Boost your digestive fire by adding more immune supporting spices like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, long pepper, cardamom, cumin, fennel, coriander. Drink hot water to stimulate your digestive fire.
Increase intake of natural vitamin C. Examples of the foods rich in vitamin C: guava, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kiwi, amla (Indian gooseberry), bell peppers, lime, lemon, orange, parsley, papaya.
Add more colors to your diet! Make your diet more colorful - veggies and fruits of different colors contain different vitamins. Various nutrients which we find in them, give them their characteristic color - that’s why we encourage you to turn your plate into a rainbow!
Probiotics can boost immunity and assist the body in warding off infections. A probiotic source which we would like to share with you is kombucha - fermented tea. Kombucha has become increasingly popular as a potential source of probiotics, which are live organisms that help balance the intestinal flora.
Some of highly immune boosting foods:
Turmeric is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to clean your liver and kidneys from the toxins. Also, curcumin found in turmeric improves brain function and lowers the risk of brain diseases. Interesting fact, if you add turmeric to the food you cook, for example potatoes, beans etc - it neutralizes the pesticides!
Ginger is a super booster for your immunology system! It had antibacterial, anti inflammatory and antiviral properties. It also helps to relieve headaches, muscle pain and nausea.
Leafy greens such as swiss chard, kale, mustard greens and spinach, when cooked and spiced with the immune supporting spices, are great immunity-boosters, because they provide iron, calcium and other nutrients while simultaneously cleansing the bowel. Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower contain antioxidants, flavonoids and other immune-enhancing nutrients.
Ghee is one of the most easily digestible fats. It contains Omega 3 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E and K. Ayurveda has given high importance to ghee for its medicinal qualities, its therapeutical properties and it’s immunity boosting qualities. Due to its powerful gut-health-boosting and detoxification properties, ghee is the immune system’s best friend (around 80% of immune system lives on our gut). Also, ghee has one of the highest flash points (485ºF) which make this oil the best choice for high temperature cooking.
Amla (indian gooseberry). Very rich in antioxidants, especially in vitamin C. It has antibacterial and astringent properties which means it helps in increasing a person's immunity and protects the body from various infections.
Apples support the immune system because they contain antioxidants and both insoluble and soluble fiber, which cleanse the bowel.
Immunity boosting recipes:
Jamu - traditional indonesian drink well known for it’s healing properties. It boosts your immunology system and it’s beneficial for your digestion.
There are many variations of jamu. Our lovely ladies from the kitchen use fresh roots of ginger, turmeric, temu lawak (javaneese turmeric) kencur (galangal), temu kunci (finger root), black pepper (we add black pepper to help your body to absorb more curcumin) and lemon. The proportion is approximately 1 handful of the roots per 1l of water. They blend it with warm water, strain it and serve.
Here is another recipe with more basic ingredients:
Take 1 big piece of fresh ginger root (more or less size of your 3 fingers) and a little less of fresh turmeric root. Grate it, add 750ml of water, dash of black pepper and cook it all for around 15-20min. Strain it well to take out all the valuable liquid. Add juice of 2-3 limes and 1tbs of honey.
Kitchari - Indian Ayurvedic healing meal. Simple, nourishing easy to prepare and to digest.
1/2 cap basmati rice,
1 cup split yellow mung dal,
2 tsp ghee,
1 inch ginger,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
1/2 tsp cumin powder,
1/2 tsp coriander seeds,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
dash of pepper,
dash of salt,
handful of fresh cilantro.
Wash well rice and dal. Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, about 20 minutes. In a separate saucepan, sauté the seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Stir together to release the flavours. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture. Add the mineral salt and chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
Kombucha - fermented drink made from sweetened tea and a specific culture known as a scoby (‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts’). It’s a potential source of probiotics. A study carried out in 2000 found that kombucha was able to kill microbes and help fight a range of bacteria. This suggests that it may help prevent infections by killing the bacteria that cause them before they are absorbed by the body.
3 liter of water
10 gram of green/black tea leaves
200 gram of cane sugar
10-15 cm scoby
Boil tea and sugar for around 3 min, until sugar melts completely. Leave the tea to cool down for a few hours (it has to cool down to the room temperature!).
Pour tea into a big jar, place your scoby inside. Leave it for 7-10 days to ferment in dark, room temperature place (do not touch or shake the jar during this time). The higher temperature, the sooner kombucha will ferment. Begin tasting kombucha after 6 days and check when it reaches your desired taste. With more time scoby will eat more of sugar, so kombucha will be becoming less and less sweet.
P.S. It is important to be careful when making kombucha at home, as it shouldn’t ferment for too long. It is also possible for kombucha to become contaminated when not made in a sterile environment. Over-fermentation or contamination may cause health problems, so you may consider to just buy kombucha in a store instead of preparing it by yourself.