After the year that was 2020 boosting your immune system naturally has become a hot topic. When your immune system is well supported it is the king at defending you against incoming viruses and bacteria. Sometimes, it isn’t quite able to keep all the bad guys out, and the end result is you end up with a cold, flu or something worse.
How can you strengthen your immune system? Your best defence will always be to choose an all encompassing healthy lifestyle.
When you think of nutrition, you want include foods that enhance your immune function
With an estimate of 44% of the entire world’s population suffering from malnutrition. And don’t just think that living in a western country we are immune from this issue. Our soils are depleted from monoculture practices and heavily sprayed leaving our fruit and vegetables having up to 50% less nutrients than that of 50 years ago. In saying this obtaining all your can through fruit and vegetables may not be attainable any longer. This is where whole-food supplements step in. Bringing the best of both worlds. By containing the potency of a supplement with the power of whole foods.
Here are some of the best natural ways to support your immune system through whole foods and lifestyle strategies
These guys below help to modulate the immune system, whilst also providing anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
• Vitamin D3 is a big player in the area of immune health. It works in a few different ways to support immune function namely through regulating anti-microbial peptides plus its effects on T and B lymphocytes. Do you struggle to get your vitamin D levels up in spite of getting plenty of sun? Your genes could be to blame. There are around 6-7 genes needed to take the vitamin D you get through the sun and turn it into active vitamin D the body can use. The best way to get around this is to take a vitamin D3 supplement that bypasses this issue. Unsure if you're deficient? Ask your doctor for a vitamin D blood test. Aim for levels over 100 for optimal health. If they are below then supplementing will help boost.
• Vitamin C is the most well known vitamin in immune health. It’s a powerful antioxidant and immune enhancing known for increasing the activity of natural killer cells. Further to this it also works to increase antibodies. Now vitamin C is an essential vitamin meaning your body needs it, unfortunately your body doesn’t make it anywhere so you need to get it in your diet somehow. A whole food supplement is the perfect way to boost vitamin C levels naturally for maximum bioavailability and absorption that will allow you to harness the innate immune enhancing properties it has to offer.
• Our gut health provides the training ground for the immune system, where it can flex its muscles and figure out what is foreign and what is not. 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut. How do you improve your gut health? Pre, pro and now science proves postbiotics are also key. For prebiotics think sauerkraut, fermented coconut kefir, fermented coconut water, kimchi and fermented quinoa. For probiotics and post biotics a whole food supplement with added Australian pro and postbiotics like our G’Day Gut blend.
• I am a huge fan of using zinc to support immunity. It boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties as well as the ability to modulate the immune system. Unsure if you need zinc? Ask your doctor for a Plasma Zinc blood test. Aim for levels over 14. 10mg a day is a great maintenance dose as found in our True Blue Immunity blend.
• Stress plays a significant role in altering our immune function. Mainly by suppressing our natural killer cells . Another thing with stress, is every time you release cortisol in response to stress you need to release a tiny spurt of vitamin C to go with it. The more cortisol you release on a consistent basis means less vitamin C is around. Vitamin C is one of the hero vitamins our immune system loves which is another reason to take it if you can’t avoid stress in your daily life.
Consume wholefood fruits and vegetables
A diet rich in whole foods, provides the body with an array of vitamins and minerals which help support a healthy functioning immune system. If you struggle to get in your daily dose of fruit and vegetable. Try our “True Blue” Immunity blend.
There's always a lot to remember when it comes to your health but by focusing on a few of these key nutrients you’ll be much more equipped to tackle the winter months ahead.
Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist