Top 5 Nutrients for Immune Support

by | Sep 9, 2020 | Immune Support, Nutrition

Fall is here – that means cold and flu season is upon us.


Worried about getting sick?

Instead of relying on supplements, get back to basics.

Start with your diet; food really is medicine.

what you eat directly impacts your immune system, most of which resides in your gut.

Your gut bacteria consume fibre which produces gut healing compounds called short chain fatty acids (SCFA).

They also interact directly with your gut cells and stimluate production of immune molecules called cytokines.


Our top 5 foods for boosting immunity:


1. Fibre:

Fibre feeds your healthy gut bacteria which directly impacts your immune system through several pathways including secretion of immune modulating cytokines.

Aim for 30 g of fibre per day from a wide variety of sources.

Excellent sources include: oats, legumes, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables.


2. Vitamin D:

Vitamin D has many roles in your body including supporting the growth and function of white blood cells; immune cells that fight off viruses and infections.

Most Canadians are deficient in vitamin D, however, don’t take a vitamin D supplement without being tested.

Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, fortified alternative milks (almond, coconut) and mushrooms.


3. Vitamin A:

Vitamin A is made from beta carotene and supports the immune system by helping the body produce mucous. Mucous is your immune system’s first line of defense against incoming viruses and bacteria.

Aim for one to two servings per day from: orange foods including sweet potatoes, carrots, squash as well as leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts and seeds.


4. Vitamin C:

Your white blood cells need vitamin C to function properly.

When you consume sugar, your body uses vitamin C to process it, and in doing so, your white blood cells become depleted and can’t mount an adequate immune response.

Vitamin C is also depleted by consuming other toxins including large amounts of alcohol and pesticides in food.

Good sources include citrus fruits, strawberries, cauliflower and red pepper.

Vitamin C can be taken in supplement form, but we recommend only doing so only under the guidance of a practitioner.


5. Fermented foods:

Fermented foods contain probiotics that directly modulate the immune system via cytokines (immune signalling molecules).

Dairy-free? Try coconut yogourt, kimchi or true fermented sauerkraut or pickles.

Stress & Sleep

Don’t forget to listen to your body: stress and lack of sleep both have major impacts on your immune system function.

Include one stress reducing activity every day: try a walk in the forest, a short run, a short yoga video or cuddling a pet.

Sleep is extremely important, but with the stress of the last few months, many people are struggling with insomnia.

Be sure to allow yourself at least one full hour of relaxation before bed; read, sip a calming tea (we love lemon balm or lavender) and do some stretches.

If you’ve tried everything you can and you’re still struggling with sleep, a personalized supplement protocol can help.

Take charge of your immunity this fall; protect you and your family by booking a session with nutritionist Holly Bradich.

Get your personalized immune support protocol including supplements and dietary plan.

Verdure Wellness Clinic in Waterloo, ON offers naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, nutrition consulting, massage therapy and chiropractic care. Our team of health practitioners offer a variety of services with your best health and wellness in mind.

305-55 Erb Street E, Waterloo, Ontario   •    519.742.0691    •    BOOK NOW   •    ABOUT   •    CONNECT

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