It's that time of year where some of us get struck down by a cold and flu or that horrible gastroenteritis which is floating around. The immune system helps protect us from infection and disease. It also helps us recover when we are sick. Did you know that the health of your immune system is greatly affected by the food we eat? This is because approximately 70% of the immune system resides in our gut.
Factors which compromise our immune system:
• Excess sugar consumption
• Nutrient deficiencies
• Exposure to known allergens
• Lack of sleep
It’s important to support and boost the immune system. This can be done through diet, lifestyle, and supplements.
• Eat a fresh whole food diet, rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant foods such as berries, turmeric, ginger and oily fish.
• Include probiotic foods such as yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut
• Include prebiotic foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes
• Include reishi and shitake mushrooms as they help boost immunity
• Stay hydrated
• When you are sick avoid mucous forming foods, such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, dairy and excessive animal proteins.
• Ensure adequate sleep
• Manage stress
• Maintain a healthy body weight
• Get regular exercise
• Avoid exposure to environmental toxins
• Get plenty of sunshine for Vitamin D production
• Zinc – helps promote a healthy immune system
• Vitamin A & C – both help to enhance the immune system
• Probiotics – can help support the immune system and boost good bacteria within the gut
• Andrographis, Astragalus and Echinacea are herbs which have immune boosting properties.
• Garlic – known as natures antibiotic, it helps maintain a healthy immune system