Improving your overall well-being and strengthening the immune system is vital this time of year to prevent sickness. There are many ways you can easily do this such as making simple changes in your diet and lifestyle and supplementing to ensure immunity is strong.
Supplements and dietary changes can help
Did you know about 80% of our immune cells are produced in our gut by the good bacteria? Probiotics (the good bacteria) are the gatekeepers of this immunity. They increase the function of the lymphocyte action and strengthen antibody binding, allowing a stronger defence and a quicker response to infection.
Ensure you take a good quality probiotic recommended by a health practitioner – unfortunately a lot of the ‘off the shelf’ probiotics are full of fillers.
You can also add fermented foods to your diet as a condiment as they provide a good dose of probiotics. Try Miso, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Kombucha and Yoghurt.
2. Vitamin C
A classic vitamin for colds and flus. Vitamin C boosts white cells, phagocytes and t-cells (important immune cells) function to combat bacteria and viruses. It also attacks the nucleic acid of the virus, preventing the replication of new viruses.
Vitamin c is found in fresh fruit and vegetables, especially kiwi fruit, capsicum, berries, broccoli, oranges.
Zinc is crucial to the development and functioning of neutrophils (our first-line defence cells) and natural killer (NK) cells and the activation of T-cell cytokines, the inflammatory chemicals that destroy pathogens.
As well as supplementing with a good quality zinc add Pumpkin seeds to your diet. They are a food source naturally high in zinc.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D enables your body to produce over 200 antimicrobial peptides, which are indispensable in fighting off a wide range of infections. Research has shown that this important vitamin promotes the production of a natural antibiotic protein by mucosal cells acting as an immune barrier to viruses.
It best to get your levels tested before supplementing with Vitamin D3.
Reduce stress! Cortisol, the stress hormone, greatly depletes immune function which leaves us vulnerable to disease.
Meditate regularly, enjoy a massage, start introducing relaxation techniques into your life like deep breathing, music/ art therapy. Take some time to rest and ensure you get good quality sleep
Book into speak to our Naturopath & Ayurvedic Consultant for an individualised Winter Wellness Plan.