The idea what we eat impacts on health is not a new one….“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” said Hippocrates in 431BC. But in the busyness of 21st century life one that may sometimes get lost or forgotten. The supplements and remedies aisles are growing but maybe the real remedies and cures are to be found elsewhere in the supermarket. The produce department is an obvious choice but there are also wonders to be found in the cereals and spreads aisle not to mention the chiller and meat cabinet. In the spirit of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” we’re going to look at readily available foods to boost immunity and help keep you and your family well through winter as well as foods to speed the recovery process should the bugs get you. (And if you’re thinking it is only Fall, don’t worry yet, think again. You need to start building a strong immune system well in advance of winter)
Probiotics are very important in maintaining wellness. They are the “good” bacteria that help keep your immune system healthy. A daily dose of probiotics is a good thing for prevention but is also useful in fighting colds. To effectively fight a cold you about 10 billion active probiotic “bugs” a day. It’s a lot but not impossible to a savvy shopper who takes the time to read labels. Look for yoghurts with added probiotics especially the following (this is important as not all probiotics are effective in fighting colds);
Lactobacillus gasseri, CECT 5714 or PA 16/8
Lactobacillus acidopholus, 74-2 or NCFM
Lactobacillus casei, DN114
Bifodobacterium longum, SP07/3
Bifodobacterium bifidum MF 20/5
As a prevention measure you need to include probiotics every day for at least three months before the beginning of the “cold season”.