The top 3 nutrients for immune resilience
Vitamin C is proven to reduce the duration and severity of colds
- activates and enhances the number and activity of specialised white blood cells
- Foods rich in vitamin C include: broccoli, brussels sprouts, all citrus fruit, parsley, guava, paw paw, capsicum, raw cabbage, rosehips, strawberries, tomatoes
Vitamin A enhances our bodies natural immune response by supporting healthy mucous membrane barriers which are our first line of defence
- Vitamin A enhances the function of white blood cells such as macrophages (the Pac-men that munch the bad guys), neutrophils (the commanders of the white blood cells that rally up the troops), and NK cells (the bombers) that kill pathogens
- Foods rich in vitamin A include: apricots, butter, carrots, oily fish such as cod, salmon, halibut, green leafy vegetables, liver, mint, eggs (yolk). Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin so is best absorbed with a fat.
Zinc is a profound mineral for the development and function of our whole immune system supporting white blood cells.
- Deficient zinc places ‘stress’ on our body causing the release of our ‘stress’ hormones which suppresses our white blood cells white blood cells. It is also important for our first line of defence!
- Foods rich in zinc include: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, eggs (yolk), beef, lamb, liver, ginger, herrings, oysters, seafood in general, capsicum.
Top herbal medicine performers that boost your immune system
- Poke Root
Other key “adaptogenic herbs” that would be great to support you
- Siberian Ginseng
Top 10 dietary and lifestyle tips to keep you well
- Enjoy a large and colourful array of vegetables and fruit. Add a bit of ‘oomph’ to your vegetables with freshly squeezed lemon juice, pumpkin & sunflower seeds, raw crushed garlic, chopped parsley and olive oil.
- Enjoy freshly chopped garlic regularly (contains the anti-microbial constituent ‘allicin’) and parsley (vitamin C) on your vegetables, in your dips (e.g. hummus, avocado, eggsplant, yoghurt), and in soups.
- Enjoy freshly home-made soups regularly. Add ginger, garlic, fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, and coriander. (see recipe section of website for ideas).
- Drink at least 2 litres of purified water every day and add in some freshly squeezed lemon/ lime juice or 1-2 tsp of raw fermented apple cider vinegar (alkalising).
- Enjoy herbal teas – vitamin C rich herbal teas – rosehips, ginger & lemon, rooibos; nervous system supporting teas – chamomile and passionflower.
- Reduce sugar, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, take-away foods.
- Enjoy Epsom salt baths – 1 ½ cups of Epsom salts in a full warm bath and soak for 15 minutes. Add some essential oils such as 6 drops of lavender, frankincense, geranium or eucalyptus (all safe to use in the bath).
- Go to bed early to ensure adequate sleep for recovery every night
- Keep up your exercise to maintain good circulation and the gentle rhythm of detoxing.
- Enjoy some “time out” for you and do something you love.
If you have been feeling ‘run’ down for a while, and are having recurrent colds/ flu or other kinds of infections, you may wish to book in for a naturopathic consultation. Here we will look at the probable causes, body system stresses, dietary and lifestyle patterns and any other impacts. With three visits you should be feeling robust and healthy for the year ahead.