Gearing Up for Winter
Salam to all aucklanders!!!
As the days grow shorter and the temperature cooler, it’s time to safeguard ourselves against the winter months to come – and a strong immune system is our best defence. A healthy muslim is a strong muslim. Doing ibadah will be easier and we can contribute more to the ummah when we’re healthy.
Feeding our immune system starts with making the right food choices in the supermarket. Healthy immunity means giving our body all the raw nutritional materials it needs for fighting off infection. Some helpful nutrients include vitamin C, beta carotene (the plant for vitamin A), B complex vitamins, and the minerals selenium, zinc and iron, to name few.
A healthy gut is essential for strong immunity, because as strange as it sounds, the bacteria living in our intestines play an important part in keeping us resistant to infection. We can help build strong armies of “friendly” bacteria in our large intestine by eating a diet high in fibre from fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains and beans and legumes. We can repopulate these friendly bacteria with cultured milk products such as acidophilus yoghurt and liquid yoghurt ‘probiotic’ drinks.
When we’re cruising through the produce department keep our eyes out for immune “superfoods’. Fruits and vegetables rich in immune-boosting beta carotene include carrots, sweet potatoes, kumaras, apricots and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and silverbeet. Mushrooms make a delicious addition to our cooked breakfast, and if we choose Shiitake or oyster mushrooms we’re doing our immune system a huge favour. Scientific studies show that Shiitake in particular is a powerful immune booster.
While we’re still in the fruit and vegie aisle, don’t forget to load up on nature’s greatest health booster… the not so humble garlic clove. This pungent, smelly little plant is a member of the onion family, and has been revered for 5000 years for its ability to boost immunity and fight infection.
Adequate protein is another immune essential. Choose from lean meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and dairy products. Along with our great new diet, remember to exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and make smiling a regular event… now we’re ready for winter!
How to get our vitamin C
To most people vitamin C is synonymous with winter wellness. While vitamin C is found in all fruits and vegetables, some foods are known to be especially rich sources.
Choose from citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons; red bell peppers (which contain three times as much vitamin C as citrus); berries, especially blackcurrant and blueberries (why not stock up on frozen berries); and our own New Zealand superfood, the kiwifruit.
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