5 Nutrition Tips To Boost Your Immune System
(1) CONSIDER PROBIOTICS
Over 70% of our immune system is based in our gut and if our gut flora is out of balance, our body’s ability to defend itself from invaders is significantly reduced.
Including probiotics in your daily diet will help you optimise this balance and make sure that you have enough of the “good bacteria” to help you strengthen your immunity.
Before you include probiotics in your diet, it is important that you consult either your GP or a nutritionist, to make sure you get the right type (and dose) of probiotics for you, and guidance on how long to take them.
If you would like to get more specific advice on what probiotics might work best for you from us, you can get in touch with us HERE.
(2) reduce sugar and processed foods intake
For many of our clients, this is the toughest advice to hear. But, sugar and processed foods really have a very negative impact on our immune system, as they cause inflammation in the body and contribute to imbalances in our gut flora. Research shows that sugar in particular can even suppress the functioning of our immune system for several hours, if we consume too much of it in one go.
So, if you are keen to truly strengthen your immune system, it is important that you reduce both processed foods and sugar in your daily diet as much as you can, and replace them with unrefined foods, such as whole grains, fruit and vegetable, beans and pulses and unprocessed animal-based foods.
(3) INCLUDE enough PROTEIN IN EVERY Meal
Having enough protein in your diet is important for the optimal functioning of your white blood cells, which are a key part of our immune system.
To provide your body with enough dietary protein every day, make sure that one third of every meal, whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, includes food rich in protein. This could mean foods like meat, fish, eggs or dairy, or plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, beans and pulses or pseudo-grains such as quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.
(4) BOOST YOUR INTAKE OF FOODS RICH IN ZINC
Zinc is a mineral that helps to reduce inflammation in our body and also makes our defense cells to react quicker to infections.
To supply your body with enough of this powerful nutrient, include zinc-rich foods in your diet every day. Some of these include chicken, dairy, eggs, sardines, anchovies, haddock and plant-based foods such as chickpeas, ginger, pecans, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, buckwheat, beans, peas, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds and cashews.
(5) CHECK YOUR VITAMIN D STATUS
Vitamin D is another nutrient that is crucial for strong immunity, as it is involved in the activation of the T cells of our immune system.
Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common ones among adults globally, and if you tend to get ill often during winter, it is a good idea to have your vitamin D status tested, and make sure that this is not one of the reasons for your frequent colds and infections. You can easily request a vitamin D test with your doctor, who will do a blood test and get you your results in a few days.