It’s time to boost your immunity.

October 2, 2015

 

 

The leaves are turning yellow, orange and brown and the nights are drawing in. It’s time to boost your immunity and enhance your wellbeing as the season changes.

 

Get your “7 a day”:

 

It’s important to eat a healthy diet at this time of year. Vegetables and fruit are packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients that could boost your immunity to keep you happy and healthy.

 

Probiotics: As 80% of our immune system is found in and around our gut, the health of our digestive system is a key factor for optimal immunity. Probiotics are the bacteria that help support the natural balance of organisms most notably in the intestines. In 2014, research was published that suggested a daily probiotic can reduce the incidence and duration of coughs and colds, reduce absenteeism from school/work, antibiotic use and visits to GP’s.

 

Ramp up the nutrients this autumn by:

  • Adding extra veggies to soups and stews;

  • Wise up to green smoothies – with kale, spinach and broccoli. Add fruits like bananas and pears for some sweetness.

  • Autumn berries like blackberries or blueberries are packed with healthy phytonutrients. Use them on top of porridge or in salads;

  • As it gets cooler, think warm salads. Lightly steam runner beans and courgettes, crumble over some feta and mint yogurt dressing for a perfect lunch;

  • Mushrooms, including shiitake, oyster and reishi can be taken in supplement form as well as used in cooking for their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Mushrooms strengthen your immune system because they are rich in protein, fibre, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, and other minerals;

  • Drink plenty of fluids like herbal teas, homemade juices or smoothies and vegetable soups to ensure an inhospitable internal environment for viruses and bacteria;

  • Eat plenty of proteins, as they are the building blocks of the immune system. Organic fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, tofu and tempeh are great sources of protein. Or alternatively try a good quality whey protein to add to smoothies to boost the important antioxidant, glutathione;

  • Add garlic, onions, ginger, herbs and spices to your food for their antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial properties;

  • Also consider supplementing with nutrients like zinc, vitamin C and garlic ahead of time to boost your immunity;

Stock up on Vitamin D:

 

Numerous studies show Vitamin D to be very important for the immune system. It’s important to supplement in the winter months when there is not enough sun around. Always choose Vitamin D3 rather than Vitamin D2 as research has shown that D3 is 87% more effective in raising and maintaining Vitamin D levels. 

 

Sleep Better:

 

Autumn is a great time to examine your bedtime routine.

  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol too close to bedtime.  While alcohol is well known to speed the onset of sleep, it disrupts sleep in the second half as the body begins to metabolize the alcohol, causing arousal.

  • Have an Epson Salts bath before bedtime, as magnesium is an easy and effective sleep aid.

  • Ensure adequate exposure to natural light.  This is particularly important for older people who may not venture outside as frequently as children and adults. Light exposure helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

  • If you’d like more information on how to stay healthy during this time of year, email me at juliana@nutriinsight.com 

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