With the current focus on colds, flu and infections, it seems like the PERFECT time to talk about nutrition for immunity.
If you didn't have a functioning immune system, simply brushing your teeth would introduce enough harmful bacteria to kill you. Luckily, your immune system protects you but there are plenty of things you can do to lend a helping hand.
1️⃣ Focus on food
Choosing whole, unprocessed foods does wonders for overall health.
* Garlic: Allicin, a compound in garlic, is well-known for its ability to boost the immune system. The most benefit comes from eating one-half of a raw garlic clove daily or alternatively, roast it.
* Prebiotics: Robust gut bacteria protect us against infection. Keep that bacteria healthy with prebiotics that contain fiber, (specifically inulin fiber). Excellent sources are Jerusalem artichokes, green bananas and asparagus.
* Vitamin C-rich foods: The immune cells in your body literally use Vitamin C as a shield as they attack bacteria and viruses. People often reach for orange juice to get vitamin C, but juice has a lot of sugar. It’s better to get vitamin C from citrus fruits, broccoli, kiwi or cantaloupe!
2️⃣ Hydrate hydrate hydrate 💦
As the water in the body depletes, the flow of our immune system decreases and lymph becomes stagnant, congested and dirty due to a build-up of toxins that cannot be eliminated at the necessary rate. This can lead to inflammation and infection as the body’s immune system becomes compromised as its main ‘transport network’ slows down.
Keep hydrated by aiming for 2L of water EVERY day.
3️⃣ Get outside.
Low Vitamin D has been found to increase your risk of a severe case of COVID-19 by up to ten times. (https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051359) Adequate sunlight exposure, ideally on bare skin without sunscreen for 5-30 minutes can avoid this. In winter, closer to midday the better as this is when UV is strongest and less time is required in the sun to manufacture vitamin D from cholesterol.
If sunlight exposure is not possible, consider a vitamin D3 supplements or consult with your nutritionist if this is a suitable option for you