Your Immune System: Food as Medicine, Food as Fuel.
Over the last few years, immune system function has been at the front of many of our minds. The first thing we want you to understand here is that when your body has all that it needs to thrive, it will do exactly what it knows best. Think about the analogy of fuel for your car, you wouldn’t put poor quality fuel in your car, knowing that it won’t run well. The same principle should apply to your body. Food as medicine, food as fuel.
There are a variety of immune system nutrients that assist in boosting immune function and increasing overall immune strength and integrity, these include things like zinc, vitamin c and even probiotics. Understanding that in a well balanced whole food diet, these nutrients are in abundance!
One of the second most important concepts of immune system function is its close link to your gut health. 80% of our immune system cells are created within the gut, if your gut isn’t functioning well, neither will your immune system. One of my first port of calls when it comes to immunity management is to ensure that their gut and digestive function is working optimally, this is part of my treating the root cause approach! Simple check in questions for yourself around your immune integrity may be
- Do I experience recurrent colds/flus?
- Are my bowel movements regular and on a daily basis?
- Am I likely to catch a cold if I’m exposed to someone who is unwell?
- When was my last round of antibiotics?
Top 3 foods for boosting immunity over winter - Always thinking about food as medicine!
Vitamin C is a key building block for healthy immune function and integrity. Often supplemented with over the cooler months, a well balanced diet rich in a variety of different fruits and vegetables (especially bright coloured) will give you all the vitamin c you need! A little tip; adding fresh lemon juice to your veggies can help with vitamin c absorption. Some other foods that are rich in vitamin c include; red cabbage, capsicum, citrus fruits like oranges and mandarins!
Zinc is one of my favourite immune boosting nutrients as it works on immune integrity throughout the whole body. Zinc is a key building block and cofactor for the production of your immune system cells. Zinc has also been shown to fight infections, reduce your risks of bacterial imbalances and coming back to the gut, zinc is a key nutrient in the health and strength of the entire digestive tract! My favourite food source of zinc include; OYSTERS (#1), cacao powder, nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds. If you’re supplementing with zinc over winter, ensure that you never consume on an empty stomach, this hinders absorption and can cause nausea.