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What Can We Do to Support Our Immune System

February 6th, 2022

What foods boost my immune system?

Your immune system begins in your guts, all the different bacteria that live there are called the gut-microbiome. When your gut is healthy and is full of good bacteria, that can help to strengthen your immune system.

Vitamin C helps to build up the immune system. Fruits and vegetables with high level of vitamin C include:

- Citrus fruits such as oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes and grapefruit

- Capsicum, especially the red capsicums

- Broccoli and spinach contain good levels of vitamin C as well as vitamin A and E

Also, “eat your fruits; juice your veggies” is likely to be more beneficial.

Benefits of eating fruits instead of juicing them

- Eating whole fruit provides your body with fiber that gets eliminated during the juicing process.

- Blood sugar will not spike. Whole fruits are recommended for people with Diabetes.

Benefits of juicing vegetables

Juicing a large volume of vegetables will provide more vitamins than eating a green salad with just a few veggies.

The water content and vitamins of some vegetables are lost during the cooking process. So juicing your vegetables can help in retaining these vitamins.

Other immune system boosting foods that help keep your gut microbiome healthy include:

- Plain, unsweetened yogurt

- Fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut

- Legumes and pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas

- Ginger, garlic and onion

Do I need to take supplements to boost my immunity?

Sometimes you might need to take supplements of a certain nutrient if you cannot get enough from food.

- Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports the body by keeping the normal resistance healthy and strong when it responds to immune challenges. Vitamin C – consider if you’re not eating much fresh food.

- Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the ‘sunshine vitamin’, as we get most of it from the. Healthy Vitamin D levels have been associated with a well-functioning immune system, and better outcomes if someone is overcome by ills and chills. Vitamin D – consider if you cover up with sunscreen all year round, or you’re inside a lot. Taking Vitamin D supplements in the winter is beneficial as well.

- Probiotics

Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that form part of our microbiome, keeping our immune health in tip top shape to fight off invaders when a threat appears. Probiotics - generally safe for intake for most people. If you are not sure, consult a healthcare professional before consuming.

- Zinc

This mineral is essential for the normal functioning of the immune system. Zinc in a lozenge form supports the throat tissue and a normal fast recovery time. Zinc is an immune ‘all-rounder’ and provides great support to keep us healthy. Zinc is commonly found in meat, almonds, pumpkin seeds, seafood, and seeds. Zinc – consider if you’re eating a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Supporting immune health has been top of our minds for the last couple of years. We all want to have control over our own health. Here are some tips on how to improve our immune system:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly
  • Manage stress leve

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