Our best defense is to strengthen our defense!
We find ourselves in unprecedented times & now more than ever you need to place an emphasis on top quality nutrition.
Food is one of the most powerful tools we have to help prevent disease. A healthy body begins with a healthy immune system.
While you can't expect to become bulletproof overnight, it will stand you in good stead if you consume plenty of nutrient-dense foods & give your body the support it needs to protect you.
KEY NUTRIENTS AND INGREDIENTS TO SUPPORT IMMUNE HEALTH
Always at the top of the list for immune support.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which has anti-inflammatory activity and supports the body’s ability to fight infection.
- Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that we need to have in abundance - every day in nearly every meal!
- We can’t make Vitamin C ourselves. It is a key nutrient we require in our daily diet but which is often lacking. In addition, we simply pee it out & it doesn't get replenished.
- Vitamin C has been shown to shorten the duration of the common cold, and even prevent it in some conditions
- Vitamin C helps to support a healthy stress response and so may have added benefit when feeling anxious or worried
Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, berries and bell peppers.
TIP: I always recommend Altrient Liposomal Vitamin C 1000mg. The Vitamin C is encapsulated in a liposomal fat bubble which protects against the harsh stomach acid & therefore allows the vitamin C to be directly absorbed into our system. ** (see purchasing/ordering details below)
Vitamin D has been found to play a significant role in the function of the immune system, in both innate and adaptive immunity. In a 2017 review on vitamin D published in Clinical Therapeutics, vitamin D is described as a ‘pro-survival molecule’.
Maintaining healthy vitamin D levels is important for supporting the body’s ability to fight infection.
Unlike most essential nutrients however, you can’t rely on food to keep your vitamin D levels optimal.
The main source of vitamin D isn’t food, but sunshine; your bare skin produces vitamin D when it comes into contact with the sun’s rays, so risk of deficiency is higher during the winter months and many Irish people suffer from vitamin D deficiency due to the weak UV rays here.
Most are unaware of their deficiency & vitamin D is not included in routine blood work anymore – you have to request it!
It’s a good idea to get your levels checked at least once a year, and to add a daily maintenance supplement through the winter months (October to April)
TIP: I always recommend D-Lux Spray 3000IU from Better You. Its an oral Vitamin D spray which you just spray once a day onto your tongue for hassle free optimum absorption!
A severe deficiency of zinc is known to suppress immune function, and even mild to moderate deficiency can have a negative impact on the immune system’s ability to deal with infection.
Multiple studies have shown low levels of zinc are associated with increased risk of infections such as pneumonia in elderly adults and children.
The body doesn’t have much ability to store zinc so it’s crucial that your daily diet supplies plenty of this immune boosting mineral. You’ll find high levels of zinc in meat, chickpeas & lentils, pumpkin and sesame seeds.
You can also take extra zinc in supplement form to keep your levels topped up and gently support your immune function.
If you regularly take zinc in supplement form it is important to balance this with copper, as excess zinc can cause copper deficiency and vice versa.
TIP: I recommend Viridian Balanced Zinc Complex as it is highly absorbable, and is balanced with copper and vitamin A (important anti-oxidant)
The gut microflora have an important role to play in their interactions with the immune system, and supporting a thriving, diverse gut microbiome is an important part of ongoing immune health.
Taking a high strength practitioner grade supplement to support your immunity is a good option to begin with.
TIP: I recommend Biocare BioAcidophilus Forte which contains 30 billion strains. You can take up to 2 capsules per day to begin with – ideally on an empty stomach am or pm..
At the same time, including fermented foods in your diet on a daily basis is the optimum sustainable solution for year-round protection.
Try starting your day with overnight oats made with milk kefir & berries or perhaps swapping your afternoon tea or coffee for a Kombucha instead? You don’t need large quantities of fermented foods, just sustained consumption from a variety of sources. This will supply your gut microbiome with multiple strains.
It is the diversity of strains that creates the protective immune boosting benefits. Fermented foods are cheap & easy to make & offer a very economical & more beneficial solution than taking expensive practitioner grade supplements.
It’s important to remember that a healthy immune system relies on a range of supportive diet and lifestyle factors too. Pay particular attention to:
✔ Eat The Rainbow - plenty of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables
✔ Get good quality sleep
✔ Manage stress and make time for daily relaxation
✔ Reduce intake of refined white sugar and alcohol
** Altrient Vitamin C
I carry a small stock in clinic so get in touch if you would like to pick-up, reserve or purchase in advance. The price is my practitioner rate (€49) which is 10% less than RRP (€54) Alternatively you can order online directly using the following affiliate link