Your immune system is the most powerful weapon you have against disease. Strong immunity means that your body is better able to fight off viruses and germs. These days we all want to keep ourselves as healthy as possible, and there are lifestyle steps that we can take to try and strengthen our immune system.
Stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and over-exercising can all be additional burdens on our immune systems. Additionally, gut health is incredibly important to our immune function, given that the cells which help us fight bacteria and viruses are located in our gut mucosa. Vitamin D levels also play an enormous role and catching colds and flu may be symptomatic of an underlying deficiency.
Some easy steps to good immunity:
* Eat at least 5 portions of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables a day. Sprouts, broccoli and kale are all surprising sources of good levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a strong anti-oxidant, meaning that it protects our cells & supports the immune system.
Did you know that vitamin C is water soluble, meaning that you excrete it in your urine throughout the day. For that reason it needs to be eaten throughout the day – every day – not just when you feel a cold coming on.
* Eat at least 3 portions of probiotic foods a week. Natural live yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha, and if you are dairy free, coconut kefir or live coconut yoghurt are all good sources.
A good balance of beneficial gut flora can support your immune system.
* Add prebiotic fibre to your diet daily. Prebiotic foods are those which feed the good bacteria, encouraging a good healthy gut. Onions, garlic, bananas, leeks, asparagus, cabbage and lentils all have good levels of prebiotic fibre.
*Add spices – ginger, garlic and turmeric all have anti-inflammatory properties which can aid your body in its fight against infection.
* Check your Vitamin D levels. Chances are that as we leave summer behind your levels of vitamin D levels will plummet. Making sure that your vitamin D level is tip-top will significantly support your immune response. Low levels potentially make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory infections.
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Article written by Nutritional Therapist Marianne Andrews of https://www.cotswoldnutrition.com/