What do we know about the immune system and why do we need to keep boosting it? Well, the immune system consists of little fighters that reside in our blood and their job is to kill any foreign invaders that could potentially cause harm to our body. This is why we need to fuel them, so they continue to ward off illness.

Before I talk about how to boost our little fighters, I want to highlight some of the factors that can lead to a compromised immune system such as; stress, lifestyle, diet, and nutritional deficiency. Let’s break them down:

Stress & Lifestyle:

Our work, study, and personal lives play a massive role in our overall health. By keeping those factors in check we will see a reduction of stress, how we manage them can be done through the following:

  • 30mins of exercise a day – this includes yoga, walking, running, and the gym
  • Incorporate selfish time into your weekly schedule
  • Try some meditation before bed or first thing in the morning; there are apps that can guide you such as ‘Smiling Minds’
  • Owning a pet (personally, my favorite), nothing beats coming home from a hard day at work to be greeted with a wagging tail, licks, and unconditional love.
  • Try to get enough sleep as sleep deprivation can lead to a weakened immune system and a non-functioning body and mind.
  • If you’re a smoker or vaper – STOP! Those of you who know me know how much I hate this horrible habit. (Note to self; write a blog on the damages this horrid habit has on the body)

Diet:

Simply put, eating crap will make you feel like crap and will do nothing to boost your little fighters. On the other hand, a diet full of the following goodness will turn your little fighters into little Thor’s:

  • Increase whole foods and remove all processed foods from your diet
  • Increase your intake of vegetables
  • Include two pieces of fruit into your daily diet; any more will put too much fructose (sugar) into our system
  • Sprinkle nuts/seeds over your breakfast cereal or lunchtime salad
  • Try introducing meat-free Mondays into your weekly meal plan and cook a dish with legumes
  • Increase water – a minimum of 8 glasses a day is recommended
  • Ensure adequate animal or plant-based proteins are eaten with each meal
  • Reduce or remove sugar from your meals/treats
  • Reduce the amount of alcohol consumed

Nutritional deficiencies:

We all know that the body uses food as fuel however when we eat crap or we don’t eat at all the body starts breaking down, our nutritional stores are depleted and you guessed it, our immune system is compromised.

The following vitamins will help support our immune and boost our little fighters:

  • Vitamin A: stimulates and enhances some of our immune processes while providing antioxidant qualities that help the body fight off infections.
    • Foods include: Mackeral/salmon/tuna, beef/lamb liver, feta/goats/cheddar/camberbert cheese, hard-boiled eggs, mango, grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, apricot, tangerine, nectarine & passionfruit to name a few.
  • Vitamin C: In times of stress our vitamin C levels are depleted therefore we need to boost our levels through a really good supplement or through foods. Basically, vitamin C is the power horse behind the majority of our immune processes therefore we need to give it extra love.
    • Foods include: Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwifruit, bell peppers, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, broccoli, sunflower seeds, macadamia/almonds, avocado, pork & trout to name a few.
  • Vitamin E: One of the most powerful antioxidants that fight off infection while supporting immune processes.
    • Foods include: Brazil/sunflower/almonds/hazelnuts/peanuts/ pistachios/pine nuts, abalone, Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, octopus, lobster, avocado, olives, sweet potato, broccoli, asparagus, collards, baby spinach, mango, kiwi fruit, berries & apricot to name a few.
  • Vitamin B6: One of my go-to supplements when I’m stressed as it supports the nervous system and keeps my stress levels at a manageable level. Vitamin B6 is used by the entire body so it makes sense when levels are depleted (through stress) that our immune system is open for attack.
    • Food include: Lean meats, sunflower seeds, pistachio, sesame seeds, chickpeas, avocado, soy products & seafood to name a few.
  • Zinc: This little mineral is crucial for the healthy development of the little fighters therefore it plays a central role in supporting the immune system.
    • Foods include: lean meats, oysters, lobster, dark leafy vegetables, pumpkin/chia/flaxseeds, pine/cashews/pecan/walnuts/peanuts/ hazelnuts, cacao powder, chickpeas, adzuki beans & mushrooms to name a few.

We’ve definitely covered a lot about the immune system and I hope you now understand why we need to boost it ALL the time and not just when we have a runny nose or sore throat. By nurturing ourselves every day we reduce the risk of illness and the dreaded flu! If you need any further assistance, I can be reached at info@annedaviesnutritionlifecoach.com.au

 

Much love

Anne

© Anne Davies, www.annedaviesnutritionlifecoach.com.au and www.missfitnutrition.com.au 2017-2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anne Davies, www.annedaviesnutritionlifecoach.com.au and www.missfitnutrition.com.au with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.