A GOOD immune system is not simply an absence of disease but more importantly is a state of lifelong resistance and ability to recover in a timely manner.
Approximately 70 per cent of our immune system is located in our gut, indicating that optimal nutritional status and gut function are paramount, especially during winter.
Tips to stay healthy this winter:
1) Avoid sugar, white flour and processed snacks. These both suppress the function of the immune system and allow for infections to easily replicate.
2) Hydration. A dry nose and throat are much more susceptible to infection so keep them lubricated. The extra fluids will also help with the elimination of virus. This means primarily water with the occasional honey/lemon type drink – packet juice is essentially just packet sugar.
3) Bone stocks. It’s easy to do and will last you for ages. The resulting broth is chock-full of minerals that are perfect in your winter soups and stews. Incorporate ginger, garlic, parsley, turmeric, and horseradish to boost your antimicrobial, antifungal aspect of your meal. Eating easily digestible foods such as soups and stews allows your body to focus on fighting viruses instead of using energy to digest.
4) Iron status. Iron deficiency is very common, and can significantly compromise immune function. Red meat offers a great heme iron source, other alternatives include lentils, organic dried apricots, egg yolks and leafy greens. Add vitamin C containing foods to boost your absorption, and reduce your concurrent consumption of black tea and coffee which inhibit your absorption of iron.
5) Vitamin C, echinacea, and antioxidants are well known vitamins and herbs that help boost the immune system, reduce the histamine response (responsible for sneezes and inflammatory responses) and aid in fighting infection. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, red capsicum, berries, carrots nuts, seeds, cold water fish, and parsley, are all examples of these food sources.
VITAMIN C: A well known vitamin to help boost the immune system.