4.20.16

With all the magic springtime brings, it also totes along a slew of immunity obstacles that can knock our health – and fun plans – off course. To help us avoid illness-induced FOMO this spring, integrative health and food therapy specialist, Christine Dionese, is sharing her pro tips for preventing an early spring immunity slump. No one wants to get sick and stuck indoors!

Wrap up in a scarf (yes, it matters!), sip on saffron lattes and don’t let the seasonal weather flux interfere with your festivaling, fitnessing, and healthy feasting…

Spring is the season that signals the gradual opening of our yang, the more active side of our energetic flow. No longer needing to store energy, we trade our winter yin layer for a more outward interaction with the environment. But, not so fast. Remember, spring weather can be unpredictable – a cool day today and hot and windy the next – and that may disturb immunity.

Integrate my toolkit into your daily routine to help prevent the early spring immunity slump from slowing you down!

Wrap up in a scarf

When patients call suffering from a sore throat and runny nose during the early days of spring, first question I ask is, “Were you at the beach or were your neck and back uncovered?” We refer to this as a wind-heat or wind-cold attack – it’s the equivalent of a cold or upper respiratory infection!

I know how tempting it is to strip down to halter and bikini tops the first few warm breezy days of spring after the long stretch of winter cold, but at least cover up with a scarf. You may be thinking, “Wait, but it’s warm out. Why a scarf?” In traditional Chinese medical practice, we consider wind a potential vehicle that can usher pathogenic influences in through the body’s defense layers when it’s uncovered and vulnerable. The one pictured above from Ink & Wit is light enough to wear on a sunny day, but still offers the necessary immunity protection!

pop immune boosters

Stock up on a couple spring immune-enhancing faves. Pop them in your bag and ward off the slump!

Anima Mundi’s Curam. At first sight it’s a beauty elixir, but read on and you’ll discover it contains the camu camu I describe below along with ginger, turmeric and citrus peel to nourish deep-level immunity. Blended with lime and ylang ylang, you can easily take a tasteful shot while you’re on the move post-yoga or between meetings. Tip: Take it before breakfast in the morning.

Four Sigma’s Lion’s Mane powder. Technically, this mushroom is not for immunity, yet it plays an indirect role – it enhances brain health. As the more active yang energy I discussed above comes alive, lion’s mane helps keep the nervous system from becoming over-activated, therefore protecting the immune system from stress.

Drink This saffron Immunity Latte

Consider this saffron immune stamina milk your comfort-food companion to get spring mornings off to a brighter start. Instead of starting every day with coffee, opt for this alternative – it protects and enhances immunity at the cellular level.

Here’s what you need to know about the key immuno-regulatory ingredients:

Saffron. The powerful carotenoids contained in saffron make it an ideal multidimensional immune-protecting, -enhancing -healing food. Saffron has been shown to prevent DNA damage specific to the way several of our immunogenic genes are coded. This means it can help prevent and treat immune-related illness (even cancer).

Camu berry. This vitamin C powerhouse contains 50 percent more C than a navel orange making it the most potent vitamin-C containing food. Along with saffron’s DNA protecting properties, camu helps keep invaders, such as bacteria and virus, from sneaking in.

Astragalus. Popular in Chinese medicine, astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that assists in protecting cellular immunity. Along with enhancing immune-cell performance, astragalus increases the number of immune cells throughout the body.

Saffron Immunity Latte

Ingredients:

2-3 cups nut milk or organic whole milk* (my pistachio mylk works great for this)
1 Tbsp saffron
½ Tbsp astragalus
½ Tbps camu
pinch to ¼ tsp black pepper
organic raw honey to taste

*Note: Use 2 cups of milk for a richer flavor

Directions:

Add milk to pot over medium heat. Once boiling, add other ingredients.

Whisk saffron, astragalus, camu and pepper together, lower heat and cover for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, remove from heat and serve. Stir in honey if desired.

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