With the change of seasons, children back at school (sniffles, snot, colds and bugs galore!) and coronavirus cases on the rise, the best thing you can do right now for your health is to support (not boost!) your immune system. Here are my five top tips to bulletproof your immunity this autumn.
1. Eat real food, avoid sugar and processed/junk food.
2. Look after your gut (where 80% of your immune system is). Include probiotic foods (good bacteria) e.g. natural live yogurt, kefir, kombucha, unpasteurised sauerkraut, kimchi or miso, and prebiotic foods, the food for good bacteria, e.g. onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, oats, cooked and cooled potatoes or green bananas to your diet.
3. Stockpile on natural anti-oxidants. Eat more of the foods rich in:
• Vitamin A – liver, oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), eggs, dairy products, orange fruits and vegetables;
• Vitamin C – peppers, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, kale, mango, kiwi;
• Vitamin E – nuts & seeds, avocado, spinach;
• Glutathione, your ‘master’ anti-oxidant – cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, chives, tomatoes, cucumber, almonds. Rocket, spring greens, watercress, radishes can also be used as building blocks to make more glutathione;
• Selenium, a mineral needed to make glutathione (seafood, brazil nuts, whole grains).
4. Use natural antivirals in your cooking e.g. coconut oil, turmeric, garlic, oregano, ginger, walnut or apple cider vinegar.
5. Get in the sun. Although trickier at this time of the year, try and get some sunlight on your skin for your body to make some Vitamin D. Very small amounts of this vitamin can be found in food such as oily fish, egg yolks, mushrooms or fortified dairy products. You can also supplement but it is a good idea to get your levels tested before taking anything.
6. Manage stress (moderate exercise, deep breathing exercises, meditation, daily walks, fresh air) and get enough sleep.
Christelle, a local Registered Nutritionist & Health Coach, is currently offering a limited number of complimentary 20-minute nutrition strategy sessions – book now by scanning the QR code.