Nutrition

5 Simple Ways To Boost Your Immune System

Words by  Jacqueline Alwill, Accredited Nutritionist @brownpapernutrition

It feels like summer only just started, and already the weather is starting to change. As much as I love the cooler months: delicious, comforting food, nights in with the family and cozy clothes, it can also be a time of coughs, sniffles and sneezes. As we approach the months ahead, it's important to keep our immune systems strong and healthy.

Here are my simple ways to boost your immune system right now:

1.    GET OUT INTO SUNSHINE… We’ve had plenty of lockdowns and indoor time in the past two years to know that our bodies don’t thrive on being all cooped up. Rather getting out into the great outdoors and soaking up a juicy beam of Vitamin D rich sunlight is just one of the ways we can naturally and easily boost our immune system. Vitamin D is a prohormone/vitamin which plays an important role in immune function, with Vitamin D deficiency associated with an increased susceptibility to infections. Aim for: 10-15 minutes off-peak sunlight daily with as much skin exposure as possible in this time frame. Think of the big hitters like exposing your back and tummy to really max the experience. 

2.    FUEL YOUR IMMUNE CELLS. Your gut houses close to 70% of immune cells… 70%!!!!!! Feed those babies! Rather than thinking of your gut as a place to pass the food through one end and out the other, switch your thinking and understand that your gut - and the trillions of commensal bacteria, or microbes, that live there - is the engine room for your health. Especially your immune health. Focus on a diet full of fibre rich wholefoods, low in refined foods and sugars and pack the fridge with pre and probiotic-rich foods. Prebiotic food sources., - think leeks, onion, garlic, dandelion, barley, oats, artichoke, asparagus, green banana, and flaxseed. Wondering where to find the sources of foods and drinks with probiotic effects? Keep on reading my friend…

3.    LOVE THE LITTLE LIVE CULTURES in foods and bevvies such as sauerkraut, natural yoghurt, miso, kimchi and of course my / your absolute favourite - kombucha too. Want in on the ultimate hack to help boost your immunity? Well, friend and fellow Remedy lover, Remedy Drinks has JUST released REMEDY SHOTS, including Remedy Immune+. SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! They are a VIBE. Remedy Immune+ Shots are a powerful long-aged kombucha brew, boosted with natural vitamin-rich ingredients and 25% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C from acerola cherries (#yum) plus blakeslea trispora, a beta-carotene super producer, which converts to Vitamin A and can help boost immune function. They’re a super convenient size, contain no sugar (for real), packed with flavour, organic and the perfect on-the-go pick me up for your tastebuds and immune system.

4.    MANAGE STRESS BEST. Oh, that old chestnut eh? Y.E.S. As a nutritionist, I’ll never stop reinforcing the importance of managing stress to improve immune function. Stress (external and endogenous) both short/sharp and long term/chronic can compromise the immune system and its nifty response. Absolutely EVERYONE needs to find stress management practices to look after their mental health and immune system. Do whatever it is that makes you switch off from stimulation, stress, thinking, analysing, processing, just over-doing. Try out simple breathwork techniques, stretching, bush hikes, reading a book, journaling, yoga, stretching, cooking… oh and if you’re cooking then one final thing!

5.    GET THOSE ANTIOXIDANTS ACTING inside your body, against free radicals which compromise immune cell health. Enrich your meals and snacks with antioxidant food aplenty. Don’t know where to start? Think COLOUR. #eattherainbow friend! Go for plenty of berries, apples, green tea (hello did you know green tea is in Remedy Kombucha too!?!?!), nuts and seeds, kale, cabbage and dark leafy greens, beetroot and most deliciously DARK CHOCOLATE. 


4 Simple Ways To Get Your Kids To Eat Healthier This Back To School

Written by Jacqueline Alwill, Remedy Drinks Accredited Nutritionist @brownpapernutrition

As a nutritionist without a doubt, the most frequent question I’m asked by parents is - ‘how do I get my kids to eat healthier?’ And, it usually comes up at the beginning of a school term when we’re all trying to get back into routine and eat a few less of the holiday (aka indulgent and discretionary) foods. I could speak/write for hours on this, it’s my passion to help parents better the health of their children (and hopefully themselves!) but I don’t know many parents with hours to listen! So today, take these 4 simple ways to get your kids eating healthier as they head back to school and hopefully before long, things will click and it won’t be a hard push for you as a parent, but rather just a way of life.

GIVE THEM HEALTHY FOODS WHEN YOU KNOW THEY’LL BE AT THEIR HUNGRIEST
It’s hard to turn down food when you’re hangry - no matter what it is! The hiccup is however that all too often we are unprepared for those moments with healthy food on hand. This year take note of your children’s hungry times and be ready. They’re usually first thing in the morning, immediately after school and just as you’re in the final stages of getting dinner ready.  You’ll know best though. Some ideas.

  1. First thing in the morning - bircher muesli packed with seeds and whole oats the night before so it’s ready to dollop into a bowl the next day. Cut fresh fruit when you get up and have it waiting for them - there’s something about it being cut first thing in the morning that encourages kids to eat it too. Have the healthier options for toast spreads out and ready - all-natural peanut butter and other nut butters, some avocado ready, grab or make a chia jam on the weekend, eat a banana and cinnamon on toast in front of them some time and let them try it too. Make smoothies with some extra veggies (frozen zucchini, baby spinach or frozen cauliflower) for those with little time in the mornings because of sport or you know… a bit of a late sleep in and mad rush out the door?!?
  2. Immediately at school pick up - over it, tired, hangry - have the good stuff at the ready. Try veggie sticks and dips, half an avocado with lemon and salt, chickpea peanut butter balls. And rather than soft drinks or juice boxes go for a bottle of Remedy Jnr. instead. Remedy Jnr. is the newest member to the Remedy fam - a lightly sparkling, live cultured, organic drink in 3 fab flaves - Ace Apple, Tropical Tango and Berry Blast, AND of course it contains NO SUGAR, for real.
  3. Pre-dinner - have steamed veggies, salads, and veggie sticks ready for the munching, that way if they’re too tired at dinner to eat them you know you’ve tucked them in prior!


PUT HEALTHY FOODS AT EYE LEVEL IN THE FRIDGE AND PANTRY
Out of sight out of mind is probably the easiest way to start and then popping the right food in sight is the next step. Create a snack drawer/basket/shelf in the pantry with healthy options for them to grab at eye level.

In our pantry, this includes seaweed snacks, rice crackers and other quick delicious cracker options, muesli bars, toasted fava beans and chickpeas, and popcorn. The same goes in the fridge! Aim for the fridge to have options that are raw but also ready-made for ease of decision making such as dips, smoothies, fresh whole fruit, boiled eggs, cooked edamame/soybeans, felafel and ravioli to heat and eat, baked fruits to have with yoghurt, washed berries visibly ready to eat, and other healthy snacks you’ve made so the kids don’t even have to ask - it’s just there.

ENCOURAGE DIFFERENT WAYS OF LOOKING AT HEALTHY FOODS
Whilst we’d love for kids to simply accept and eat healthier foods, sometimes this just really won’t be the case. And telling them to ‘eat it BECAUSE it’s healthy’ doesn’t necessarily work. Start to reframe how you explain healthy foods to kids.

Try to mix up your approach with :
+ “this food might help you sleep better” (a good one for disrupted/more anxious sleepers),
+ “this drink (*Remedy Jnr)  can help the good bugs in your gut WIN! or “can help your brain think more clearly so you can ace your test!”
+ having some fun with sayings too - we all need it! Try “eat your fruits and eat your veggies, stay super happy and have less wedgies!”

BE THE ROLE MODEL TO THEM
It’s hard for kids to rationalise healthier eating and WHY they should do it if their parents aren’t leading by example. Let’s be honest too - it’s also double standards if you don’t right? So give eating healthier whilst going back to school more purpose and do it not just for your kids, but do it for you too. That’s the beauty of parenthood. In the process of wanting the absolute best in life for our kids, we have the opportunity to shape and create the best life and health for us too.

If you want them to eat fresh veggies as a snack, eat those with them. If you want them to drink kombucha (Remedy of course) instead of soft drink, give up your alcoholic choice, and have one too. If you want them to eat a healthy lunchbox, maybe time to start packing your own.

All HEALTHY food for thought this school year - for your kids AND YOU TOO.


New Research On The Benefits Of Kombucha And Other Fermented Food And Drink

We love to sing the praises of fermented foods and drinks around here, but did you know that traditionally fermented food/drink is also a hot topic in the science world right about now? Yes, siree. Researchers have been studying the link between consuming fermented foods and drinks (including kombucha) and the potential positive effect it has on overall gut health.

The New York Times (aka the big dogs) recently covered findings from a study carried out by researchers from Stanford University which were published in the scientific journal The Cell, that shows us fermenting-nerds are onto something, revealing that “foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha increased the diversity of gut microbes and led to lower levels of inflammation”.

You can read the full article here but for those who need the TLDR version, we’ve put together our own little summary below:

WHAT DID THE SCIENTISTS WANNA KNOW?
They wanted to see what changes happen in our gut when we amp up our intake of fermented foods versus how our gut reacts to a diet fuller in fibre-rich foods.

HOW DID THEY GO ABOUT IT?
The researchers recruited 36 healthy adults who were randomly split into two groups. One went from having almost no fermented food or drink in their diet to eating about six servings a day (let’s call them our Fermented Friends). The other group had their usual fibre intake doubled (we’ve dubbed them the Fibre Fans).

SO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?
At the end of the 10-week study, our Fermented Friends showed marked reductions in inflammatory markers along with increased diversity in their gut microbes. The Fibre Fans on the other hand, did not show either of these things.

WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT THIS ANYWAY? 
Basically, our Fermented Friends showed a reduction in certain inflammatory compounds that are often elevated in people living with diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The Fibre Fans however did not show a similar decrease in the same compounds. But why should you care?      

Because the reduction in our fermented friends’ inflammatory markers corresponded to a change in their gut; consuming more fermented food and drinks meant a greater number and a much wider variety of microbial species started blooming!

More diverse gut microbiome = lower rates of Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and obesity (boo ya!). 

HANG ON, IS FIBRE NO GOOD?
Have no fear! High-fibre foods are still A-OK! Health professionals still agree that getting a good amount of fibre in your diet has a world of benefits including reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases and helping to keep you regular (TMI we know).  

But wait, there’s more. The article revealed that it might be the case that Fibre Fans with “low microbiome diversity may have lacked the right microbes to digest all the fibre they consumed”. This is because those who started out with higher levels of gut diversity showed a reduction in inflammation whereas those who had low diversity experienced increased inflammation in line with their fibre increase. 

We’re no scientists but it looks like researchers are speculating that increasing your intake of fermented foods (which can increase gut diversity) may actually help you to better digest fibre. Our fermented friends and fibre fans can finally come together (New BFFS!?).

*PSSST WHAT EVEN ARE FERMENTED FOOD & DRINKS?
Asking for a friend. No judgement here. Fermented foods are those that have undergone a process where a bacteria or yeast break down certain components of a food to produce live microorganisms and other by-products such as healthy organic and lactic acids and vitamins… along with delicious flavours. Kombucha happens to be one of these.  

SO HOW MUCH FERMENTED GOODNESS SHOULD I BE EATING & DRINKING?
OK. We’ll admit. The scientists got a little fermentation-happy with this one. Participants went from consuming no fermented products to 6 servings a day (but it’s not as much as it sounds like, we swear).

Their sample diet of 6 servings:

Breakfast: One cup of yogurt for breakfast

Lunch: 475ml bottle of kombucha

Dinner: 1 cup of kimchi

Remedy’s Sample Diet:

Breakfast: Remedy Ginger Lemon Booch to start the day

Lunch: Remedy Raspberry Lemonade Kombucha to wash the food down

Afternoon tea: Remedy Cola kombucha for the 3pm pick me up

Dinner: a sprinkle of kimchi (and maybe another Remedy)

Just joking (sort of)! But seriously, everyone is different so the amount of kombucha and other fermented products you wish to consume is totally up to you and how it makes you feel, but the insight from this new research certainly suggests getting a good range of traditionally fermented foods and drinks into your diet can only be a good thing. At Remedy HQ some of us are guilty of drinking up to 5 Remedies a day and as it turns out, this study showed us that our addiction is totally acceptable (take that Mum), especially if we throw a little yoghurt on our fruit salad and some sauerkraut on our sanger.

How do you know Remedy is the real deal?
Aside from the fact that we’ve self-claimed the title of kombucha connoisseurs, we’re also committed to making it right. We pride ourselves on being the real deal – brewing our kombucha the same way it has been for thousands of years. We’re talking small-batch, 30-day long-aged brews starting with a descendent of the very first batch our founders Sarah and Emmet made on their kitchen counter. You can rest assured knowing you’re getting a kombucha that is chock-full of live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants (and you won’t have to carry a jar of kimchi everywhere). Click here to find out more about how we make our kombucha the old school way.

How many live cultures exactly you ask?
Our drinks sit at a mighty minimum of 100 million live cultures per 100ml of Remedy (for real!), we’re raw, unpasteurised and contain no nasties – all naturale baby! How do we know our live cultures are swimming? Because we test every batch to make sure of it!


Eat and drink yourself happy

Nutritionist-approved mood boosting foods and drinks to help you feel your best. 


Wondering how to boost your mood? Remedy Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill shares the first place to start is your gut. 

The link between food and mental health is real. Your gut, which consists of no less than 100 trillion bacteria, has its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system (ENS). While its main purpose is to regulate digestion, it also has a strong connection to the brain and can have a major impact on your mental well-being. 

In celebration of World Happiness Day on March 20th, Remedy Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill shares what to eat and drink to boost your mood.

Eat the rainbow. Colourful fruits and vegetables are your friends. Try to make your plate as colourful as possible at every mealtime and load up on foods high in high in tryptophan, magnesium, omega-3, and vitamin-E & D. Here’s how.

Tryptophan is needed to make serotonin, which regulates your mood and cannot be produced in the human body alone. Incorporate tryptophan-containing foods into your diet may ease anxiety. Foods such as oats, cottage cheese, turkey, eggs, bananas and tofu are high in tryptophan.

Magnesium is a mineral that assists muscles and nerves in relaxing. Foods rich in magnesium are leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chard. Also, legumes, avocado and brown rice are high too.

Omega-3 is another great one to boost. Make salmon, mackerel, sardines and eggs your go-to to up your omega-3 intake – all loaded with vitamin D. Lastly, load up on nuts such as pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and almonds. A handful a day is a great start.

Ferments are fun. It’s not a fad, fermented foods and drinks are really good for you and have been around for thousands of years. Think kimchi, Remedy Kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso and natural unsweetened yoghurt. All these types of foods feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut which produce short-chain fatty acids to support the communication loop between our brain and gut. This can improve mental clarity and a positive state of mind. I recommend swishing back a Remedy Kombucha at mealtimes to incorporate ferments into your every day easily.

Ditch the sweet stuff to smile more. The most recent stats show Aussies, on average, consume 14 teaspoons of white sugar a day. Yup, we’re all hooked, and it’s causing havoc on your mental health. Be mindful of your emotions when going cold turkey can be tricky but well worth it. People often see the results far sooner than they think - increased energy levels, clear skin, weight loss and mental clarity are a few benefits worth mentioning to help you muster up the motivation to reduce your sugar intake. If you’re looking for something for dessert – I recommend you reach for dark chocolate and some fresh berries. These winners may help improve your stress, mood and memory too. 



4 speedy smile-worthy snacks.

·      Remedy Kombucha with a handful of nuts

·      Banana topped with ABC nut butter

·      Fresh guac with veggie sticks

·      Dark chocolate and some fresh berries

 

Watch Remedy nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill below on Studio10.