Consume antioxidant wholefoods
Our immune system relies on nutrient-dense whole foods to function correctly. In particular, polyphenol-rich foods, like berries and pomegranates, which are anti-inflammatory, reducing histamine levels, to reduce the infection time of a cold or flu. These polyphenols also contain potent antioxidants such as vitamin C and zinc to support immunity by helping white blood cells protect against oxidative stress.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleep deprivation may reduce the body’s natural anti-inflammatory responses to infection. When we snooze, the body repairs and restores the immune system. Aiming for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, helps our immune system to function optimally, for protection against unwanted pathogens.
Reduce sugar intake
Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in our gut, this means pathogens stay longer and can multiply. This may lead to poor gut health and low counts of good bacteria. This in turn may result in a suppressed immune system. Eating an abundance of health unprocessed foods will help to nourish and heal our gut.
The sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D comes from sun exposure, though too much can cause skin cancers. Vitamin D is vital for strengthening our immunity and protecting against viral infections. Many Aussies are vitamin D deficient, so rule of thumb, 10 minutes in Summer, 15-20 minutes in Spring and Autumn and 30 minutes of sun exposure in Winter. Or, supplement as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Consume healthy fats
Acute inflammation is the normal response to an injury or stress, though chronic inflammation can suppress our immune system. Healthy fats are anti-inflammatory, particularly olive and avocado oils, as well as omega-3s, found in fish and flaxseed oil. These healthy fats protect against cell damage and allow our immune system to function at its best.