It’s the 1st of October today. The skies are covered in a thin layer of clouds, hiding the low rising sun behind them and the temperatures have dropped, there is a definite chill in the air. I really love this kind of weather, it’s crisp and fresh for an Autumnal brisk walk but creates that cosy feeling when you arrive back indoors with a rosy glow on your cheeks 🙂 This time of year also brings with it the seasonal coughs and colds. Having 3 children of school age, we are often exposed to the germs that spread and no matter how much you try to avoid it, somewhere within the Autumn/Winter months you manage to spend a few days feeling a bit bleugh with a pack of spare tissues in your pocket!
I like to help my immune system as much as I can during these times and find a small daily tonic of healthful, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients goes a long way in staving off the germs or at least enabling me to get better within a shorter length of time. There are various healthy tonic combinations you can create, so experiment until you find one you like. Some people like to create a shot where the ingredients are juiced or blended with very little or no water, but I find this quite harsh to drink so by adding filtered water, I find you can drink it more slowly, it does not taste so overpowering and for me, it feels easier on my digestion.
I was a huge fan of juicing in years gone by, but I feel that it is much better to consume the whole of the fruit or vegetable so as not to remove the fibre or vital phytonutrients from the food. Now I prefer to blend and add filtered water to dilute/make it easier for drinking. Juicing, I think, is an excellent way of getting a large amount of concentrated nutrients into the body for people who are sick and it is used regularly for cancer treatment programmes or similar, when patients find it hard to eat large volumes of food and so are unable to get the level of nutrition needed to get well. However, if you are generally well and eat a varied diet of fresh, whole foods, I don’t feel you need this megadose of nutrients. Blending less of the produce gives a high level of nutrition and fibre while being kinder to the bank balance too (juicing requires at least double the produce of blending and due to the missing fibre, it does not make you feel full for very long at all). Whole foods come ready ‘packaged’ with nutrients being stored within their fibres and juices, so removing any of them could result in removing and wasting vital nutrients contained within them.
In this tonic, I have used;
- Carrot: Excellent source of Beta-carotene which converts into vitamin A in the body for aiding the immune system & eye health. They are a low GI food so less impact on blood sugar level surges.
- Ginger: Contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called Gingerols, thought to be instrumental in inhibiting inflammatory cytokines (chemical messengers) of the immune system.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw with the ‘Mother’): Anti-bacterial and helps to balance blood sugar.
- Lemon: High in vitamin C
I feel the combined anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties with the good levels of vitamin C and vitamin A, all provide a great health boosting tonic which takes only 5 minutes to make and tastes great too 😉
Try making it a few times a week and see if it helps!
Carrot, Ginger, Lemon & Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
- 250 mls filtered, cold water
- 1 small organic carrot nds removed and washed. If not organic, peel
- 3 cm piece of ginger root peeled
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 juice of fresh lemon
- ice for blending optional
- Place all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve or store in the fridge until ready for up to 3 days.