Five Super Nutrients to Boost Your Immune System
If you’re looking for a way to boost your immune system, here are five super nutrients that will do just that:
The ultimate preventative! When you get sick, the first vitamin you usually think of is vitamin C. But did you know what vitamin C actually does for the immune system? First of all, it increases antibodies (which is one of the ways the body defends against foreign invaders). Second, it increases something called phagocytosis, which is the Pac-Man-like process of “eating up” the bad guys. And finally, it increases chemotaxis, a technical word meaning the speed with which white blood cells travel to the infection. Vitamin C is plentiful in fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits, red peppers, dark leafy greens, strawberries, kiwi, papaya, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
If “C” is the super-immunity vitamin, then zinc is the super-immunity mineral. Zinc levels of vegetarians tend to be lower than those of meat eaters because animal products (meat in particular) provides high levels of zinc, and because the absorption of zinc from plants is lower than that from animal products. The richest non-meat sources of zinc include whole grains, beans, nuts and nut butters and pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin A is critical for optimal performance of the immune system. A deficiency of vitamin A increases the severity of bacterial and viral infections. Vitamin A (as beta-carotene) is plentiful in almost any fruit or vegetable with a red or orange colour: carrots, cantaloupe, melon and guava, for example.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fats play an important role in supporting the immune system. In addition to strengthening your heart and supporting healthy brain function, essential fats increase resistance to infection!
Essential fats include:
Found in sardines and cold-water fish like salmon; also found in flaxseeds.
Found in Evening primrose oil, peanuts and cold-pressed organic vegetable oils.
When it comes to immunity, garlic is a certain superfood. Garlic is a global remedy and one of the oldest medicinal foods on the planet. Garlic was used during World War II as Russian penicillin- it neutralizes dozens of bacteria, viruses and fungi. It contains strong antibacterial and antiviral compounds that boost your resistance to stress-induced colds and infections. The key to the wide range of health benefits in garlic is a compound called Allicin, which is only created when the garlic clove is crushed or chopped. For best release of the Allicin, it’s best to crush a little raw garlic and combine it with your food shortly before serving. It’s a turbo-charger for the immune system’s natural defences!
Avoiding Sugar and Processed Fats
Some foods- like excess sugar and processed trans fats in processed and packaged products- depress immunity, creating inflammation and strain on nutrient delivery through the blood system as well as reducing lymphatic drainage and detoxification pathways.
Enjoy a balanced diet including these super-immunity nutrients and you will be helping your body to be strong and resilient to protect itself in times of challenge!
To learn more on how to further improve your health, book a consultation with Dr Rachel Murphy (Osteopath, Clinical Nutritionist) at the Family Wellness Group in Surrey Hills.
Call 9898 0222 or book online at https://cwg-eh.cliniko.com/bookings#service
Dr Rachel Murphy
In clinical practice, I continue to pursue passion for treating infants and children as well as pregnancy care, including pre and postnatal support. I have a strong belief that environment plays a crucial role in health and well being, and therefore treatment management must also include advice on exercise and nutrition, ergonomics, stretching, rehabilitation and lifestyle modification.
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