Friday, November 30 2012
This is a challenging time of year for our immune systems however, it is fairly simple to keep your immunity high!
A food plan high in antioxidants with foods such as berries, spinach, tomatoes, carrots (and all red and orange veg), green tea, and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli. Fresh fruits and lightly cooked vegetables give the body the ability to maintain a good immune system. Eat protein such as lean meats, poultry, oily fish, seeds and nuts high in Omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and protect the lungs from respiratory infections. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, herring as well as flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are good examples of immune boosting omega 3 fats. Also include eggs, beans and lentils. The protein and amino acids found in these foods are the building blocks of the cells in your body and they help the cells that control the immune system. Fatty foods (i.e. fried) interfere with the functioning of the immune system.
Boost your immune system by cooking with lots of garlic, turmeric and ginger! In other words enjoy lots of curries - yes seriously! Garlic is a member of the onion family with powerful immune potential. It stimulates the replication of infection fighting white blood cells and is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral - a natural antioxidant that reduces free radicals in the body. Turmeric is said to be stronger than vitamin C and vitamin E and will assist in boosting your immunity if taken regularly. Ginger helps the body dispel germs and toxins, is anti-inflammatory and is great raw in a juice. Finally, keep fermented foods such kefir and yoghurts with 'live cultures', kombucha,and miso high to ensure a good probiotic status in the gut as that's where your immune system is!!
High levels of stress suppresses the immune system which reduces the body's ability to defend or repair itself. Stress also negatively affects sleep cycles, appetite and metabolism. Stress reduction therapies, such as meditation, visualisation, yoga, etc. help boost the immune system and assist it in fighting infections and disease - even in the run up to Christmas!
Not sure if you need to boost your immune system or what your stress level is like? Book a Health MOT and take the guesswork away - it's like a health questionnaire for your body that will not lie!!