Wednesday 17th October 2018
The weather is changing,and most of us are getting busier and more stressed than the summer.
Children may be sharing germs,and spreading them.
This is perfect for cold virus's to spread.
We can't always avoid them,but we can by prevention can go a long way in supporting the immune system, even if everyone around you is getting sick.
Using foods with the right vitamins and minerals, as well as those with medicinal compounds,can help the body stay strong and healthy.
There are many nutrients that support the immune system, but below are a few of my favourites.
Zinc: This mineral is often the most talked about and is essential for a healthy immune system.It is anti inflammatory and an antioxidant.It also supports immune-boosting gene expression and cellular activity.It is important to get it regularly in the diet.
High zinc foods include
red meat like grass-fed beef or lamb, eggs,legumes and pulses such as chickpeas, lentils,and nuts and seeds such as cashews, almonds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.
Selenium: Another necessary mineral and antioxidant.Selenium has antiviral and antidegenarative properties, and also helps to counteract the aging of the immune system that occurs as the rest of the body ages.
Foods that contain selenium are Brazil nuts which are one of the richest sources of selenium; just one or two a day can get you the amount you need. Salmon, beef, turkey, and eggs are other great options; and other plant-based sources include sunflower seeds, brown rice, mushrooms, and spinach.
Vitamin A: Along with its metabolites, vitamin A is very powerful for the immune system.
It helps the mucous membranes, for example, those of the eyes, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary tracts, so that they can keep out infection.
Vitamin A is also important for the proper functioning of many different kinds of immune cells. It helps the generation of antibody responses to specific antigens.
Foods rich in vitamin A
When it comes to getting vitamin A through food, there are different kinds of compounds to consider:
You can get vitamin A from animal sources like meat, eggs, fish, and organs like liver that contain preformed vitamin A (retinol or retinyl ester).
You can also get vitamin A from plant-based sources like vegetables, especially those that are deep green, yellow, or orange. Kale, spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes . These plant-based sources contain provitamin A carotenoids (including beta-carotene).
The difference between preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids is that preformed vitamin A can be absorbed by the body and used as is.
Provitamin A carotenoids, on the other hand, have to be converted to retinol in the body, a process that may not be very efficient in some people due to genetics, gut health, and other factors.
So, in summary eating a wide range of colourful fruit and vegetables,nuts and seeds and grass fed meat as part of a healthy diet,has immune boosting benefits. Think of a rainbow.