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      Nutrition: Spices May Boost Winter Immunity

      Spices don't just add taste, they can also boost aspects of one's health.
      By Lily Aronin, CHHC
      First Publish: 12/19/2013, 10:25 AM

      Green tea in a teapot
      Green tea in a teapot
      frame of video

      With all of the winter storms and radical changes in temperature, it is vital to try to boost our immunity this time of year.

      One of the most pleasant ways that is claimed to improve our immune system during the winter is by using spices. Warm spices like cinnamon, turmeric and ginger  can be made into teas, soups or added into your grains like Majadra  or bulgur wheat to get the amazing benefits they have to offer. 

      These spices have been used to prevent winter maladies for thousands of years by indian and Asian cultures. Now, Tel Aviv University is researching the benefits of these spices as well. 

      As a nutritionist, I feel that we can all benefit from using these spices in the winter. Cinnamon  is perfect for winter since it contains Cinnamaldehyde which helps to reduce inflammation in the body by regulating blood flow. This helps our body to stay warm and maintain a healthy blood pressure http://gourmandeinthekitchen.com/2013/ginger-turmeric-spiced-carrot-soup-recipe/as temperatures drop, . Cinnamon also contains essential oils that have an anti-microbial effect on the body. This helps to slow down the multiplication of bacteria, so that our immune system can fight infection more effectively.

      Turmeric boosts immunity and fights dangerous inflammation in another way. The special properties of this golden-hued spice help to prevent inflammation in the digestive track and bowels. In fact, it can help relive pains from Chrone's disease, and decreases the formation and damage of ulcers and intestinal bleeding. Most importantly, during the winter, we often feel pain in our joints due to the changes in the temperature. Turmeric neutralizes the free radicals that cause joint inflammation.

      Ginger is the last superspice for winter. Ginger reduces joint pain and inflammation because it prevents the formation of free radicals in the first place. Many of us, have a hard time working up a sweat in the cold winter months. Ginger is warms the body and increases our ability to sweat in the winter. This is vital to fighting cold and flu viruses, since, sweating assists in the detoxification in the body. Sweat also boosts immunity because it releases dermicidin, a germ fighting agent that is secreted by the sweat glands and protects the body against mico-organisms and bacterias.

      The best part about all of these winter wonders is that you do not need a huge serving to reap the rewards. ¼ inch slice of ginger in foods, 1 tsp of turmeric or cinnamon per serving, is all you need, according to natural food nutritionists, to boost your immunity and fight winter infection.

      You can make a special tea that blends all three of these superspices to ward off winter ailments.

      Super Spice Tea

      Combine 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, cinnamon and tumeric with 1/5 Cups of just boiled water.

      Simmer the blend for 10 minutes on a very low flame.

      Add raw honey to taste.

      My Favorite Super Spice Carrot Ginger Soup also utilizes all three winter spices for a delicious warming meal. Find it here.

      Lily Aronin, CHHC, made aliyah 7 years ago, runs health empowerment programs for Jewish women in person and online, such as family friendly cooking workshop, pre/postnatal health and confidence workshop, Jewish Holidays the Healthy way workshops,  as well coaching clients. She has been featured on TLV1 Radio station as a health expert and is a resident blogger at skinnymom.com. Lily is working to create a model for schools to improve the food kids eat at a cost schools can afford. Visit her at www.lilyaronin.com