Brrrrr! I don’t know about you but I’ve certainly been feeling the cold these last couple of weeks and as much as I’ve tried to avoid it, the fact is, winter is well and truly here!
And with that comes one of the most common questions: “how can I boost my immune system and stay healthy this winter?”
Well, as much as I would like to say that I have a magic supplement that will keep you fit and healthy, I don’t... What I do have are some tips and tricks to help you stay on top of your game during the flu season.
To start off, let’s acknowledge the complexity of the human immune system. It's influenced by a lot of different things like your diet, weight, age, illnesses, lifestyle, sleep, and stress levels. So, what works for you and your body may be different to someone else's.
What we do know is this: being conscious of what you’re putting into your body is a good place to start.
A varied and balanced diet provides the immune cells a good variety of nutrients to assist in their function. Research has identified that each stage of the body’s immune response relies on lots of different micronutrients including: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein that are found in a variety of plant and animal foods.
Restrictive diets that are limited in variety and lacking fresh whole foods can negatively affect the health of the immune system, as can diets that are high in refined sugar and red meat. These sorts of diets create imbalances in the microbiome, resulting in the inflammation of the gut, which is believed to reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.
Fun fact: the gut plays a major role for controlling our immune system - in fact nearly 70% of our immune system is house in our gut! This is why it’s so important to be mindful of what you are eating.
By now you’re probably wondering “what are some immune boosting foods?”
Well, here’s a list of my 12 favourites:
Here are some other tips on staying fit and healthy throughout winter:
The bottom line is, there is no magic cure, but as they always say: “prevention is better than cure!”