Immune Support Through Great Nutrition
Power up your immune system with great nutrition.
I’m a big supporter of giving my body what it needs, to allow it to function optimally. There are many foods, herbs, supplements and homemade potions I make this time of year for keeping my body and immune system in top condition.
My winter immune plan
My first go to for winter is homemade elderberry juice. Just a teaspoon of this three times a week tops me up with antiviral and anti-oxidant goodness. Scientific studies on the commercial product Sambucol have proven the anti-viral effects of elderberries, so science now validates what our ancestors have known all along. If you don’t have access to your own homemade syrups, then Sambucol, (available in most stores is a handy go to).
My next immune system cheerleader is a six week course of Echinacea extract (not recommended for children), as this increases the number of immune cells and primes the immune system to eliminate infections before they take hold. We don’t ‘challenge’ our immune systems like we used to, owing to more sanitary conditions and washed foods, so it’s supportive to use an immune stimulant like Echinacea.
My absolute, couldn’t be without, life saving supplement is vitamin C. I take a controlled release preparation of 1000mg twice daily as well as eating vitamin C rich foods such as spinach, broccoli, and kale. Vitamin C is crucial to our immune function and kills many pathogens. We have the genes to produce vitamin C, but they are switched off and dormant. During an infection or times of stress, animals produce much larger amounts, however…..we can’t. So whenever I’m stressed out, or heading into ‘cold’ season I up my dose.
This is not really a vitamin at all and is actually a master hormone that is involved intricately with most functions in the body. This includes bone health, hormone regulation and immune function. There is much controversy over dosage, so I would advise checking with your healthcare professional to see what doses you personally need. I take 1000 units per day, but my Vitamin D levels are good, (as I eat lots of foods rich in vitamin D and get out in the Sun a lot with growing my own food).Most people will need more, but in high doses it can cause problems with calcium, if there is not adequate Vitamin K being consumed in the diet.
Biodiversity is always at the core of all my nutritional choices
I make sure I include as much biodiversity in my diet as possible throughout the year, but during the winter months I really go to town and add in loads of herbal teas, particularly green tea, berry teas and lemon balm leaves.
MY BEST IMMUNE SUPPORT SAVED FOR LAST……
My best nutritional support is the Worlds most nutrient dense food…..raw unprocessed Spirulina . The reason I choose to eat Spirulina on a daily basis is that it contains a powerhouse of compounds incomparable to anything else I have ever researched. I have written a very brief overview of the benefits below, ( all of which support optimal immune function):
Spirulina Nutrients That Support A Healthy Immune System:
- Phycocyanin – is an extremely powerful anti-oxidant, capable of supporting the activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase as well as reducing the effect of free radicals. It also contains a huge complex of other powerful anti-oxidants.
- Calcium-Spirulan – has antiviral properties scientifically validated against a range of viral infections through interfering with viral RNA injection into the host cell
- Gamma linoleic acid – an essential fatty acid that is very hard to obtain from the diet usually. This helps to regulate the immune system and keep inflammation in check.
- Omega 3 essential fatty acids (EHA and DHA) – anti-inflammatory
- B-Vits – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 as well as Vitamin A, E, C, K
- 70% protein, the protein in Spirulina is a complete protein, so it gives your body every amino acid it needs. The immune system needs good doses of protein to keep immune cell production at it’s optimal.
- Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium,Zinc,Copper, Manganese, Selenium
where I get my RAW, quality assured, Spirulina from….
It’s not hard to see why, after over a decade of looking into what constitutes a healthy diet, I was super excited about including Spirulina in my nutritional plan. But what didn’t excite me was the powdered, processed stuff that tastes terrible and runs the risk of quality assurance issues. Powdered stuff just doesn’t provide the level of bioavailability, phycocyanin and fatty acids that I are possible with the raw version.
I found a way to get a laboratory tested, quality assured supply of fresh raw Spirulina that has very little taste or smell….. here’s the link to where you can get it HERE
Look after yourself this winter and remember to load up with extra vitamin C and nutrients during the hectic festive period to keep yourself ready to fight off any bugs.
As with all changes to diet and with taking supplements, always check with your healthcare provider (your GP or regular Pharmacist), that it is safe for you to go ahead.