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Building Immunity in Autumn with Food therapy

Building Immunity in Autumn with Food therapy

By Lauren Pegoli

Let us be grateful for the abundance of fresh food that we still have available to us. Regular nourishment and good food choices is the best medicine, playing a key role in keeping our immune systems strong and vital.

In Chinese Medicine the Lung and Large Intestine are closely associated with the season of Autumn. The Lungs helps to maintain healthy immune defenses in order to fight pathogens. From an emotional perspective, the Lung and Large Intestine encourage us to surrender and let go of what no longer serves us. We are encouraged to focus on deep belly breathing at this time to enhance the function of these organs and encourage the free flow of Qi and fluids throughout the body.

Gluten, Sugar, Alcohol, Processed Foods = High Inflammation = Poor Immunity

Gluten, sugar, alcohol and processed foods cause immune cells to overreact causing an inflammation response as the body attempts to protect cells and tissues. The inflammation in the body impairs the immune system’s ability to respond to a virus and sustained inflammation over a period of time can lead to diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

In this current climate, it is more important than ever to decrease inflammatory foods and consume foods that help build good bacteria in the gut and strong immune systems.

Anti-inflammatory foods olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts), fish (Salmon, tuna), fruits (berries and oranges)
High fiber foods sweet potato, artichoke, leeks, onions, garlic, bananas
Fermented foods kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut


This is the time to increase foods that are moistening and deeply nourishing  or “YIN” in nature. Remember, internal harmony within the body equals strong immunity.

YIN FOODS Steamed vegetables (kale, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, cucumbers, carrots, celery, cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms), stewed apples and pears, olive leaf extract, avocados, fish oil, salmon, peppermint tea, green tea, kelp, seaweed, tofu, barley

“An apple a day keeps the Doctor away”

Apples are full of vitamins that boost immunity and help to maintain overall health. Pour ½ a cup orange juice and a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top of the apples and pop them in the oven for a delicious stewed apple alternative, perfect to top off your morning porridge.

 Bone broth & soups

Drinking bone broth is known to boost immunity due to the amino acids like glutamine, arginine and cysteine that also help to fight inflammation. The warm bone broth opens respiratory pathways, disperses mucous and provides an easily digested nutrition.

Please see our recipes section (https://rtcm.com.au/recipes/) for an easy bone broth and green onion soup options.

 Micronutrients that boost our immune response

ZINC A powerhouse of a trace element that boost the production of T-cells responsible for fighting off viral infections. It can be found in the following foods

Oysters, crab, mussels, shrimp, lentils, beans, hemp, pumpkin, squash, sesame seeds, pine nuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds, cheese, milk, eggs.

(There is also evidence to suggest that a healthy level of zinc speeds up the process of overcoming the virus infection)

SELENIUM A trace mineral found in soil that plays a key role in metabolism and is a rich antioxidant protecting cells from damage

Brazil nuts (just x2 brazil nuts a day will give you a good dose of Selenium), walnuts, fresh fish, like tuna, cod, red snapper, and herring, wholegrains

VIT A Vitamin A is involved in the creation of certain cells, including B- and T-cells, which play central roles in immune responses that guard against disease.

Egg yolks, butter, salmon, cheddar cheese, trout, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, kale, spinach, dandelion greens, red peppers, parsley, collard greens

VIT C Citrus fruits, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, white potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Other good sources include dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, papaya, mango, watermelon, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, winter squash, and pineapples.
VIT D Sufficient levels of Vitamin D reduce your risk of infectious disease by strengthening your innate immune system

Salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, cod liver oil, egg yolks, mushrooms, spending time in the sun