The gentle singing of birds slowly pulled me out of my dream. The needles of the morning light pierced the twilight of the sleeping silence, and the fresh, crisp air cleverly penetrated inside. I looked away. The orange-gold sunrise surfaced more and more among the trees.
“Good morning,” I whispered tenderly, wrapping myself in a light blue blanket.
The cold, grey apartment quickly filled with the glow of candles.
“Mmm, Autumn, my favourite,” I sighed sipping the aromatic decoction. I felt the heat spread centimetre by centimetre of my body. Blood begins to flow more freely, and my thoughts took on a positive glow.
Autumn always reminds me of my immune system, which is an intelligent, protective shield for the body. Our cells, organs and tissues work together to respond appropriately to dangerous viruses and bacteria. This system is not only in one place in the body, but it also consists of many parts and organs that perform a specific function. These include bone marrow, thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils, intestine and the nervous system.
Food vs the immune system
Our immune system is also crucial to the digestive system. The intestine makes up 70% of the immune system. An essential condition for maintaining health is well-functioning intestinal flora. To achieve this, we must provide good bacteria for our digestive system. However, to help good bacteria, we should give it enough food, filled with minerals, good fats, fibre and antioxidants.
In the autumn-winter kitchen, I try to focus primarily on a varied diet, rich in vitamins and minerals suitable for this season:
A varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamins: A, B6, C, D, E
- Minerals: Zinc, Selenium, Calcium, Magnesium
- Herbs: Astragalus, Echinacea (thought to increase white blood cell production), Nettle, Marigold, Oregano, Olive leaf, Camomile
- Spices: Turmeric, Garlic, Cinnamon, Cayenne pepper, Licorice, fennel, Ginger.
- Bee products: Propolis, Honey, Bee pollen.
- Supplements: Probiotics, Omega-3, Cod Liver Oil.
There is nothing better than a cup of warm water in the morning, to warm up and hydrate our bodies after getting out of bed.
Porridge is my favourite autumn-winter breakfast. With a lot of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, which are full of large amounts of vitamin C.
Pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds are excellent sources of vitamins A and E, zinc and iron
Bee pollen and honeydew honey are rich in B vitamins, vitamins A and D.)
This colder than before morning urged me to experiment with combining porridge with turmeric, ginger and orange.
- 40g Oats, which helps boost your intake of starchy foods and fibre
- 1 teaspoon turmeric, which helps bolster the immune system by increasing the immune-modulating capacity of the body.
- 2 cm shredded ginger
- Fresh orange juice, (no more than 1/2 orange) is vibrant with vitamin C. It has potent antiviral properties and is antibacterial.
- Bee pollen, has Vitamin B Complex, A, C, and D
- Pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top
I always try prepare overnight porridge bases before bedtime.
- To start, combine Oats with chia seeds, and add a little water to cover all mix. Next, seal or cover with a lid, and leave it on overnight.
- In the morning, I start by heating a pot with a small amount of clarified butter. Then I add grated ginger and turmeric.
- After a few seconds, I gently insert the overnight porridge base.
- Then I add oat milk and mix until smooth, sticky fluid.
- When the porridge is warm, put the pot away from the gas.
- I add 3 teaspoons of fresh orange juice, mix quickly and put into a bowl.
It is difficult to convince my husband of such inventions however.
“Mmm, what smells so beautiful, ... I want some, please,” Kuba's hoarse voice stretches out among the bedroom cushions. After a few seconds, the man of my life arrived in the kitchen
“I made aromatic porridge with orange and honey today!”
“Hmmm, in that case, just Elixir of youth please”
“Elixir of Health, yes, my alchemist…”
Our Elixir of Health contains ginger and chamomile.
- 2 - 3 cm Fresh, chopped Ginger</p>
- 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile
- 3 cups of water
- 1-2 teaspoons of Manuka honey or honeydew honey, eucalyptus or acai honey.
- Boil ginger and chamomile on low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Strain and pour into cups. When the decoction slightly cools, add a teaspoon of your favourite honey.
Honey is a beautiful ingredient in our diet that strengthens the immune system. Still, it should be treated gently and not added to boiling water, baking or frying because the high temperature deprives it of nutrients.
A strengthening breakfast for someone who doesn't like warm porridge is poached eggs. These are a rich source of vitamin A which plays an essential role in the maturation and differentiation of immune cells, i.e. lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils
- Avocado salad (which is a good source of Glutathione, iron and folic acid)
- Tomatoes(rich in potassium)
- Parsley (vitamin C bomb)
- Sour cucumbers (my favourite probiotic)
At lunch/dinner, delicious warming soups are at the forefront of autumn dishes. Full of vegetables, spices and nutritious broths. In our home kitchen, in the dark autumn season carrots, pumpkins, red potatoes and chickpeas reign, always with a hint of garlic, turmeric and irreplaceable ginger.
Dishes that will help our immune system should also contain:
- Marine fish is also a good source of Omega 3. Omega 3 protects the heart from disease and lowers the amount of cholesterol in the blood)
- Black rice, which is sometimes known as “forbidden rice” or “longevity rice,” contains 18 amino acids, zinc, copper and carotene Brown Rice, is a good source of iron, zinc, magnesium, B3, B5, B6, and B9 (folic acid)
- Vegetables such as carrot
- Avocado, which is a good source of Glutathione
- Sweet potatoes (rich in vitamin A.) with coconut oil (as lauric acid and monolaurin which can kill harmful viruses and bacteria)
- Nuts and Seeds (rich in Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin E)
- Sacha Inchi oil (rich in protein, omega 3, 6, 9, vitamin E, carotenoids vitamin A
- Green vegetables (rich in vitamin A)
- Sprouts (full of vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, K, iron, Potassium, Copper, and Phosphorus.)
What about Smell?
Essential Oils can also boost immunity and help you relax during cold Autumn nights.
Their antimicrobial action works directly against pathogens that attack our bodies. They have a powerful stimulatory effect. They stimulate phagocytosis, lymphocytosis, and lymphocyte production and promote lymphocyte activity.
Taking a nice warm bath with Rosemary oil can help in fighting colds, sinusitis, rhinitis and bronchitis and will make you feel more supported as well as help with a blocked nose and a light cough.
- Grapefruit oil works for toning and as an antidepressant
- Tea Tree oil, on the other hand, is a fantastic anti-bacterial and antiviral agent.
- Ginger oil brings on feelings of courteousness and self-assurance.
- Eucalyptus oil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial healing properties.
The last point on the caring for the immune system list would be to have some free time in the fresh air.
Use the sunny Autumn and Winter days for a walk. That will up your activity levels and charge your “good mood” battery.
- Dymarska, A. Grocholska, H. Krauss " Wpływ sposobu odżywiania na ukad odpornościowy. "
Nutrition Advisor course, 2016
Helena Ciborowska, Anna Rudnicka “Dietetyka, żywienie zdrowego i chorego człowieka “ 2014
Pukka Herbs course 2019 "Exploring Ayurveda and the benefits of turmeric"
The article is only illustrative and does not exhaust the special issues related to the main topic. The information contained herein should not be the basis to carry out self-diagnosis or self-treatment. If you suspect any of these conditions then this information cannot be considered medical advice and must not replace visiting a doctor.