Autoimmune disease is an umbrella term for any diseases characterized by abnormal functioning of the immune system. Our immune systems are basically a group of cells and organs that defend our bodies against foreign invaders. When you have an autoimmune disease, your body creates antibodies that attack your own cells by mistake, instead of those foreign invaders. Autoimmune inflammation can be external (skin rashes, redness, muscle and joint swelling/pain), and also internal (stomach and intestinal inflammation, gut pain).
Exercise, medication and a healthy diet can all help ease symptoms, and we want to introduce ingredients that you can add to the second ferment of your water kefir to boost your immunity and help combat your flares.
Raisins: these wrinkly little dried fruits help reduce inflammation. They also contain a good balance of natural sugar, perfect for popping into your second ferment brew.
Basil: this fragrant herb is rich in phytonutrients, which help reduce inflammation. The beauty of basil is that it comes in dozens of varieties, and can be used in sweet and savoury preparations. Our favorites? Sweet basil, Thai basil (more of a licorice flavor), lemon basil and cinnamon basil. Most greenhouses carry several varieties of basil for you to try.
Cinnamon: a beautifully warm spice, that again can be used in sweet and savoury preparations. It also contains phytonutrients which can help with both pain and inflammation.
Cayenne: chili peppers have been praised for their health and medicinal benefits since ancient times. They contain natural compounds called capsaicinoids, which give these spicy fruits their anti-inflammatory properties.
Cherries: these deliciously tart fruits contain anthocyanins and anti-inflammatory properties. Not in season? You can purchase tart cherry juice in the organic section of your local grocer.
Kale: we love kale! Not only is it rich in sulfur, making it a fabulous detox vegetable, but it produces phase 2 enzymes to further cleanse the liver. The happier the liver, the better chance you have at reducing inflammation. Add kale to your morning smoothie to get iron, vitamins, minerals and some autoimmune support.