COVID-19 – The virus that has rapidly spread into a global pandemic. To slow the spread of the coronavirus to save lives, the Australian government has announced restrictions for travelling and public gathering, resulting in the cancellation of events, lockdown and even border shutdown. As winter is approaching, many of you might be worried about catching a cold in addition to the virus. Using a mask and washing your hands regularly are fundamental ways to help prevent the spread of the virus. On top of this, you cannot forget to maintain a healthy immune system so that your body protects it against any viruses. Here we will introduce some Japanese ingredients to boost your immune system!
Why is your immune system so important?
First of all, our immune system is essential for our survival. It is everywhere throughout our bodies and whenever you’re feeling ill that is when the immune system becomes highly active as our inbuilt defence mechanism to eliminate infections. Without an immune system, our bodies would be left open from attacks from bacteria, viruses and more (no one would like that right?). Therefore, it is important to boost your immune system regularly to fight against any illness or infection.
Symptoms of weakened immune system
The immune system starts weakening from our 20’s. The weakening of our immune system as we age means our defence system declines.
So… what happens when your immune system weakens?
・Can easily get infections and allergies
・Negative impact on your mind
・Low metabolism causing intestinal and skin infections
As you can see, a weak immune system leads to negative effects and we want to prevent that. The following section will explain how to do so.
Boost your immune system by improving your intestinal condition!
60% of our immune system cells are found in our intestine which means the intestinal condition improvement is a must. Out of one hundred trillions of intestinal bacteria, ‘Lactic acid bacteria (LAB)’ and ‘Bifidobacterium,’ play key roles in maintaining a healthy intestinal environment. These bacteria create an unpleasant environment for germs and viruses taken in from outside of our bodies.
Want to know how to intake those beneficial bacterias? We will now introduce some Japanese ingredients which contain the Lactic acid bacteria to help retain a healthy intestinal condition.
You cannot miss out Natto if you’re Japanese! Natto consists of fermented soybeans and an easily recognisable distinctive smell and sticky texture. People either love it or hate it. Not only is it fermented but also it is super nutritious containing many nutrients for optimal health. It is rich in probiotics, vitamin C, fibre and several minerals, all of which contribute to a healthy intestinal condition. If you want to add something to Natto, Kimchi would be my recommendation, and guess what, it becomes extra healthy and nutritious!
You go to a Japanese restaurant and on the side you’ll always see Miso soup. As mentioned, miso is most commonly consumed as miso soup but you can use it for roasted vegetables or meat to add some flavour. How does it contribute to our immune system? Well, as a fermented food, it is a great source of beneficial bacteria. The lactic acid bacteria will keep the intestine with weak acidity, increasing beneficial bacteria while decreasing non-beneficial bacteria.
Ever wondered what Amazake is made from? Amazake is a Japanese traditional low-alcohol drink made from fermented rice. Another nutritious drink which supports your healthy intestinal condition. It is sometimes called ‘drinkable drip’ because of its richness in nutrients including vitamins and fibre. The amount recommended to drink is about 1 shot glass (18ml) and the best time to drink it is during the morning. Oh as a side note, it is also considered as a hangover cure in Japan.
4. Green Tea
Green Tea – Superfood which Japanese have been consuming all the time. The ‘green tea catchins,’ has grabbed the world’s attention for its health benefits and it has been used for supplements and medicines. Furthermore, it also works for improving your intestinal environment and what’s more, several studies have shown green tea has antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria. Instead of your daily coffee intake, you can start by substituting it to green tea.
Ready to boost your immune system? You can buy the above ingredients at ‘Tokyo Mart’ or any other Japanese Supermarket.
The current pandemic is starting to make us a little tired, yet despite each and every one of us hoping for it to settle down soon, it is yet unknown when this pandemic will be over. However, it is very important for you to stay safe and healthy. Try out the ingredients here so that your immune system will be in tip-top condition and say goodbye to those nasty viruses. Most importantly, take care of yourself and your family!