Our Immune System – What is it really? It’s a fantastic mechanism functioning within us, protecting us against disease by identifying and killing pathogens (infectious agents) and tumor cells. Our immune system identifies a range of nasty agents from viruses to parasitic worms and needs to set these apart from our body’s healthy cells and tissues so that the healthy cells and tissues can operate properly.
Detection can be complicated to the immune system as infectious agents can adapt and evolve to successfully infect us. To survive this challenge, the immune system endevours to produce mechanisms to help identify and neutralize these representatives. So let us give our immune system a helping hand by eating healthily!
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates, AD 390
“you can’t achieve environmental safety and human development without addressing the fundamental issues of health and nutrition.” – Gro H. Brundtland
“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper.” – Ancient proverb
“You are what you eat” – Ancient proverb
Garlic (Allium Sativum)
The Super Food Germ Buster! A.k.a.”the stinking rose”, this bulbous perennial grows up to a metre high, with light pink or green-white blossoms. Native to Asia, garlic is currently grown Worldwide. It’s in the plant’s bulb (cloves) that has the antioxidant & medicinal properties.
Nutrients: vitamins A, B, C, & E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, & other nutritional supplements. Phyto-chemicals: allicin, alliin (potent sulphur amino acids), beta-carotene, & more!
Garlic’s Key Actions
Antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, fungicide, expectorant.
Garlic provides an exceptional defense for our immune system and consequently our circulatory system (major part of the immune system). Additionally, it offers help with other physiological systems, and therefore is a good all rounder for health.
- Respiratory: Garlic has a long and established reputation for helping the immune system particularly with sinusitis, asthma, colds, flu, bronchitis and catarrh of the stomach.
- Circulatory: Research has shown that garlic can help protect the cardiovascular system, reducing the chance of blood clotting, cardiovascular disease and other related ailments.
- Other: Garlic was used to dress wounds during the First World War! Additionally, it helps to eliminate intestinal worms, stimulates bile for digestion of fats and helps reduce the incidence of cancer.
Caution / Concern
Seek medical advice if taking blood thinning medication. Smaller consumption for children under the age of 12. Garlic is thought to be a safe herb but as Lucretius said”What is food to one man may be fierce poison to others”. Also, too much of a fantastic thing results in a terrible thing. Moderation is usually crucial! Consider a clove or capsule equal for a simple guide to your everyday dose for overall well being.
The Italian Job
Here’s a really yummy Italian, healthful food snack, or starter: Toast a piece of bread, rub on a glove of garlic (without the skin) on the toast. Then rub a chopped tomato on top of the garlic, & add some roughly chopped fresh basil. Drizzle a tiny amount of very good quality virgin pressed olive oil over the toast and then put very thin slices of Parmesan cheese on top. Delicious & healthy!
Immune Booster Juice
Tomatoes and carrots help contribute to a desired daily intake quantity of vitamin C, perfect for keeping a healthy body. Garlic, ginger and horseradish include potent antioxidants and antiflammatory properties. All these ingredients combined produce a powerful anti-mucus punch!
The Hot Stuff Juice Mix
Ingredients: 300 g tomatoes, 100 grams celery, 2.5cm fresh root ginger, roughly chopped, 1 garlic clove, 2 cm fresh horseradish, 175 g carrots, 2 ice cubes, celery slivers to decorate top (optional). Juice all the components (you require a juice extracting machine for this), combine the juice in blender or food processor with the ice cubes and serve. Decorate with celery slivers, if liked. Makes 150ml (1/2 pint).