Keeping immunity strong

We are approaching cold and flu season and with everything that is going on around us, it is even more important to start implementing strategies to ensure you are in the best possible health you can be! Staying resilient through times of stress by keeping negative thoughts and emotions in check and nourishing your body with adequate nutrition can really help to keep your immune system robust so it can effectively do its job in keeping you healthy.

man with cold

There are lots of great foods to incorporate into your daily diet to fuel yourself with the nutrition needed to keep your immunity strong. Eating a colourful, fresh diet with lots of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats, fermented foods and super foods is a great start, however, let’s look at some of the key micro nutrients for healthy immunity and the foods that they commonly are found in.

immune boosting foods

Fat Soluble Vitamins:
Vitamin D – Sunshine, Egg Yolks, Cod, Mackerel and Herring
Vitamin A – Carrots, Apricots, Rockmelon, Mangoes, Sweet Potatoes, Green Leafy Vegetables and Liver
Vitamin E – Wheat germ, Sunflower Seeds and Almonds

Water Soluble Vitamins:
Vitamin C – Kiwi fruit, Orange, Chilli, and Capsicum

Minerals:
Zinc – Oysters, Red Meat, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds
Selenium – Brazil Nuts and Wheat germ

Antioxidants:
Anthocyanins – Loaded in berries; and in red, black, purple and blue-pigmented fruit and veggies
Polyphenols – Found in an array of fruit and veggies, legumes, dark chocolate and coffee
Carotenoids – Found in orange, red and yellow pigmented fruit and veggies

Herbals:
Andrographis – Helps to reduce the duration, severity and symptoms of cold and flu
Echinacea – Helps to reduce upper respiratory tract infections and supports resistance
Garlic – Used for thousands of years, it has antiviral and antibacterial properties, and is a powerful antimicrobial (if you’re eating this raw, make sure you chop or crush it to activate the major compound Allicin, the main beneficial compound)
Ginger – Great for breaking down catarrah and decreasing inflammation during colds and flu

woman sanitising kitchen door handles

Now we have looked at food and nutrition – which is the foundation of good health, there are other important factors to consider during cold and flu season to ensure you remain at your best:

  • Make sure you exercise on a regular basis
  • Ensure you are getting adequate, good quality sleep each night
  • Take time to rest and recover when you are feeling run down and stressed
  • Practice mindfulness in the way of meditation or breathing
  • Wear warm clothes and try to avoid going from extreme cold to hot environments
  • Keep surfaces, such as keyboards, phones and door handles regularly cleaned and sanitised
  • Try not to share cups, cutlery and drink bottles
  • Spend time doing the things that you love
  • AND DON’T FORGET TO WASH YOUR HANDS!
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