by Charles Weller October 24, 2013
It’s that time of year, and most people start to dread not only the lengthening shadows, but also the cold, wet winter season and the disasters that it can wreak on their health. But fear not; your health need not be as bleak as the weather. Natural plant-based solutions exist to help you combat the all too common cold, as well as help you ramp up your immune defenses to avoid some of the even more tolling sicknesses.
An acidic, illness prone body that is more aggravated by cold weather can be restored to health through alkaline-forming plant-based sources — mother nature’s gifts to help strengthen and heal our vulnerable bodies. Alkalizing plant-based sources increase your resistance to disease and accelerate the body’s healing processes. Leafy greens are among the most alkalizing vegetables due to their high chlorophyll content. Therefore, during the bleak months, it’s always a good habit to incorporate plenty of leafy greens into your diet or add a quality plant-based supplement to your regimen.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. It contains nutrients, including B complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid).
Recent research highlights the unparalleled immune boosting properties of Spirulina and it’s unique ability to fight infection, as well as enhance cellular function. The dark green color of spirulina is a good indication of how incredibly rich it is in chlorophyll, a powerful natural detoxifier, which helps the body to avoid environmental toxins, pollutants and negative health influence.
It penetrates as far into the body as the DNA and gives it a cellular “tune up” or regeneration, thereby vastly improving cellular communication and well being. Moreover, amino acids make up 62% of spirulina. Because it is a rich source of protein and other nutrients, spirulina has been considered a key component of any immune boosting superfood regimen.
Vitamin A boosts the body’s ability in fighting infections, protecting you from colds, sore throat, and viral infections. It also has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Well-known sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, bok choy, collards, Swiss chard), broccoli, squash, papaya, mangoes, and seaweed (nori/laver, wakame, dulse, kelp).
Riboflavin (B2) is an antioxidant and immune-boosting vitamin. It can be found in yeast, whole grains (whole wheat, oats, brown and wild rice, quinoa), seaweed, and green leafy vegetables.
Pantothenic acid or B5 is another immune-enhancing, anti-inflammatory vitamin that also reduces your body’s stress levels. Ground and tree nuts and whole grains are rich sources of this vitamin.
B6 or pyridoxine maintains immune system health by producing disease-fighting antibodies. Wheat germ, bananas, potatoes, green leafy vegetables, carrots, and peas have abundant amounts of B6.
Vitamin C is another antioxidant vitamin that helps your white blood cells fight infections. Ascorbic acid is both time- and laboratory-tested when it comes to preventing colds and relieving its symptoms. Broccoli, bell peppers, mangoes, citrus fruits, strawberries, cabbage, parsley, seaweed, tomatoes, pineapple, and goji berries will supply you more than the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C.
Copper also plays an important role in proper immune function. It can be found in peanuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, prunes, and wholemeal bread.
Iron enables the immune system to destroy pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. Iron is more bio-available if obtained from dried fruit, bitter gourd, parsley, and dark leafy greens.
Selenium stimulates the immune system by activating antioxidant enzymes that protect the body from various diseases. Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, whole meal bread, walnuts, fruits and vegetables all contain a significant amount of this mineral.
Zinc helps protect the body from infections and colds. Get your zinc from wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, garlic, parsley, Brazil nuts, and ginger root.
Ground-Based Nutrition never uses artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, dyes, additives, or other synthetic chemicals. Superfood Protein Smoothie is vegan friendly, gluten free, soy free, whey free and dairy free.