It’s that time of the year. Grab your gloves, coats and hoodies and avoid anyone with sniffles… No seriously, winter’s here, and we’re spending more time in close quarters, sharing our oxygen supply with other people who may have contracted viruses from their day-to-day routines. Now’s the time to boost your immune system so that you can stay healthy and avoid interruptions to your work, school, exercise routine and life in general.
Tips for building a healthy immune system
There are many things you can do to stay healthy, including:
- Eating a healthy balanced diet with plenty whole foods that are rich in vitamins, Omega 3s, zinc, and selenium. Get an extra boost from microalgae, reishi mushrooms, camu camu and bee pollen.
- Consuming sufficient vitamin C from your diet and from a quality supplement.
- Drinking plenty of clean water to help produce lymph – the carrier of white blood cells.
- Including many potent herbs and spices in your cooking, including turmeric, curry, allspice, cayenne pepper, black peppercorns, ginger, garlic and onions.
- Getting plenty of good quality sleep to prevent chronic fatigue, which puts you at increased risk of illness.
- Keeping your gut healthy with fermented and whole foods, such as kefir, miso, yogurt and sauerkraut.
- Boosting your immune system with regular exercise. Doing it outside in the sunshine is even better, because it will boost your vitamin D intake.
Nutrition for boosting your immune system
Nature provides amazing options for you to help boost your immune system. While some nutrients can be obtained through a healthy diet and immune rich foods, modern farming practices have decreased the amount of available nutrients in many foods and may require additional supplementation.
- Zinc – a micronutrient that is renowned for immune boosting properties, anti-inflammatory agents, and DNA building (immune cell stimulation).
- Selenium – helps to lower oxidative stress and reduce inflammation within the body.
- Vitamin C – antioxidant properties helps protect your body’s cells.
- Maitake Mushrooms – is thought to stimulate various immune reactions on different levels of the human physiology, including inflammatory functions.
- Echinacea – is thought to aid the immune system by stimulating white blood cells that fight infections making it a go-to herb for those suffering the beginning signs of seasonal cold & flu.
- Elderberry – has recently reemerged in popularity with possible antiviral benefits by helping inhibit the viruses ability to enter and replicate in human cells.
- CHD-FA Fulvic Acid – foreign research has indicated the powerful antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of naturally derived fulvic acid.
Best foods for immune recovery if you fall ill
If you’ve already been caught in the icy grips of winter flu, you can add the following foods to your diet of chicken soup and oranges to boost your immune recovery.
- Natural yogurt with live cultures to improve gut health. Healthy gut = healthy immune system!
- Coconut oil has amazing anti-microbial properties and is rich in special fatty acids. The lauric acid converts it into an antiviral compound, which makes it a great supplement to ward off colds.
- Salmon is a good source of protein and vitamin D which makes it one of the most potent immune recovery foods.
- Pumpkin seeds contain zinc. Even a slight deficiency can increase your infection risk.
- Garlic has incredible anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
- Ginger and honey tea will your body’s immune and respiratory systems.
Consider incorporating these foods into your diet when you feel the effects of a cold or flu this system to help boost your immune recovery and see improvements faster.
Sometimes, it’s hard to eat anything when you’re sick. A low immune system sometimes comes with a low appetite. At those times, and the weeks after the acute illness during which you’re convalescing, it might be easier to take a supplement to maintain your optimal nutrition health when you aren’t able to eat healthy foods.