Nutrition plays a large role in boosting the immune system – here are four simple things you can do to stay well for longer.
Cut sugar – eat more fat and protein
Eating a lot of sugar knocks your immunity in the short term. Sugars increase free radical production which is also bad for your long-term metabolic health. On the other hand, good fats have actually been shown to reduce fats in the blood, decrease oxidation and its related damage and help the body to tap more effectively into fat stores (being overweight is linked to lowered immunity). Fats from whole foods like avocado, nuts and seeds help to regulate cholesterol and quality proteins stimulate the immune system.
Take fish oil and eat more fats rich in omega 3
Omega oils are thought to act more like vitamins than fats. They are the starting point for a range of immune and inflammatory signalling chemicals in the body, that’s why they are great for your immune system. In a natural environment we would eat plenty of omega fats - in a ratio of less than 7:1 omega6 to omega3 fats. In the modern world though we eat around 25:1 omega6 to omega3 and this can distort our immune and inflammatory processes.
To boost immune function and rebalance, take a fish oil supplement (which is high in the omega 3 fats DHA and EPA). Include hemp and flax oils as well as lower omega 6 nuts such as walnuts and macadamias in your diet – reduce the common, higher omega 6 vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, canola, rice bran and corn—these are the oils highest in omega 6 fats which increase inflammation.
Get enough micronutrients
You might be surprised to hear that many of us are starving. Not from a lack of calories but from a lack of micronutrients. We need to refocus on eating six or more serves of vegetables per day, plus additional berries (which are high in nutrients and low in carbs) and consider taking a nutrient-dense greens supplement like Good Green Stuff.
Boost your vitamin D
When the sun is shining, don’t waste it! Get out in the fresh air and catch some rays. To make sure you are getting enough vitamin D, take a supplement that contains the preferred D3 (cholecalciferol) form. Good Green Stuff includes the recommended daily dose (400iu).
And if you’re doing all the right things and you do get the occasional cold, don’t worry, it won’t last long. Your immune system will be working away behind the scenes kicking some pathogen butt!