The immune system is like a defence force stationed outside and inside your body, on patrol 24/7. It’s mission is to protect the body from any invaders – such as micro-organisms and allergens – as well as to perform quality control on the body’s own cellular production.
For the most powerful way to strengthen your immune defences naturally, think of the Three P’s and Two Z’s !
The 3 P’s are:
Protein: Important for tissue structure and repair. This is where the age-old remedies of chicken soup and bone broths exhibit their healing powers.
Probiotics: To maintain integrity of the digestive tract lining (a major barrier to the outside world) and to up-regulate the production of Transforming Growth Factor-Beta (TGF-b), one of the body’s primary inflammatory mediators.
Photosynthesis: (Exposure to sunlight) Vitamin D from the sun has a major role in regulating appropriate cellular immune responses.
The 2 Z’s are:
Zinc: A mineral involved in thousands of enzymatic reactions in the body, including anti-oxidant control, wound healing, white blood cell control and anti-viral actions.
Zzzzz (Sleep): The importance of getting good quality zzzzz’s cannot be overstated. It is only in a restful state that your body is able to heal and recover.
Some other nutrients important for immune function include: Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E and Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids for their anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and tissue repair mechanisms.
Other healing foods to include in your diet are: Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric and Coconut Oil for their anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity.
Load your body up with the tools it needs to swiftly and effectively deal with any bugs that come your way this winter. And remember, if you do get sick you have not failed! The symptoms of illness is actually your body responding appropriately to invaders – and the better equipped your body is, the quicker you will recover.
Reference: Osiecki, H The Nutrient Bible, 8thedn, Bioconcepts Publishing, Australia.