How can we reduce our likelihood of developing serious complications if we are stuck by a viral infection? Boosting the immune system and providing the body with nutrients that have anti-viral properties whilst also taking a common sense approach is key.
Eating food with anti-viral properties:
Coconut oil, MCT oil, raw garlic, ginger and medicinal mushrooms (cordyceps, reishi, maitake) all have anti-viral properties. I incorporate coconut into my daily routine by adding MCT to my drinks or drizzling on salad. I also love fermented coconut yoghurt such as CoYo. Raw garlic is an excellent addition to your daily meals, for those looking for an easier option, fermented garlic and dill sauerkraut is heavenly and has the added bonus of all the immune boosting gut bacteria!
Seven Ways to boost your immune systems
Boost your vitamin C
Our immune system and natural anti-stress system (the adrenal glands) rely heavily on vitamin C to function well. When the body is under stress, from an illness, emotional stress or from a fearful situation, it releases a cascade of hormones to cope with this stress. Vitamin C is very important in this cascade, the more stress hormones produced by the body (cortisol), the more vitamin C is required.
Vitamin C occurs naturally as a composite of ascorbic acid and certain bioflavonoids. This is how we want to consume vitamin C in order to get the necessary beneficial effect. Bioflavonoids double the effectiveness of ascorbic acid in your body. A fantastic source of Vitamin C, that is very low in sugar, high in bioflavonoids and potently high in vitamin C is sea buckthorn juice. You can gradually increase the dosage taken dependent on your health needs. I take 20ml per day or double if my body is dealing with any additional stress such as travel or late night working.
Eat less sugar and processed food
Sugar has a negative impact on our immune system. It lowers our white blood cells' ability to do their job, defend our body! Ensure your diet is low in sugar and you are eating plenty of immune supporting colourful veggies and low sugar fruit such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, all packed with antioxidants.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut have a fantastic immune-boosting effect on our body. 80% of our immune system is housed in our gastrointestinal tract. Good gut health is essential for our bodies natural defense system, the immune system. Accoring to Dr.Elisa Song MD, ‘the fermented Korean cabbage, kimchi, was found to have significant effects in preventing and fighting the H1N1 influenza virus!’ Another reason to load up on the fermented foods.
I take a daily shot of Bath Culture House beet kvass, have a daily portion of sauerkraut and of a daily 20ml of Apple Cider Vinegar (a fermented drink- raw and unpasteurised with the Mother is best- I like the brand Willy’s)
This super-food is packed with minerals, trace minerals and nutrients to boost your immune system.
Drink plenty of water
Ideally filtered or glass bottled mineral water. Avoid the sugary canned drinks, instead drink Kombutcha (fermented tea), herbal teas or tonics made with sparkling water, sea buckthorn and apple cider vinegar.
A good night sleep helps to re-set our adrenal glands, essential for ensuring we are staying on tip-top form. Sleep is very anti-inflammatory so try and aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night!
Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have long been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects also have the potential to boost our immune function through their effects on our white blood cells according to recent from the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. I recommend a high quality fish oil such as Wiley’s Finest. I take 2000mg per day for optimal health.
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