One of the most common questions I’m getting asked at the moment, from friends, family and clients alike, is “what can I do to support my immunity?”
We often only think of our immunity when we catch a cold, or are trying to protect ourselves from Corona Virus, but our immunity is working constantly, night and day, throughout our lives, whether or not we’re ill. It’s amazing, intricate and fascinating, and happily responds well to dietary and lifestyle interventions.
I run workshops on “Supporting Your Immunity” naturally where I go into great depths about specific foods and supplements with scientific research behind them.
Here are a couple of the key points we discuss, please get in touch to find out about my next (virtual) workshop.
Support your microbiome – about 80% of our immunity is located in our gut and our microbiome or ‘gut bugs’ play an essential role. They help the body decide what’s a pathogen (disease forming organism) and what’s safe. We need to ensure our microbiome are healthy and happy, so we have to feed them with food they like! This food is fibre. We’re not talking about the fibre that you see on a cereal box, but fibre from all plant based foods – so it’s important to aim for a variety of fruit and veg. Think colour, texture, where they’re grown, different cooking methods etc.
Ensure you’re eating enough protein – we often think of protein from a weight loss perspective, but protein is essential for our immunity. Protein, from meat, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds is a vital building block of our immune cells and antibodies. An online protein calculator can be a useful tool to check you’re getting enough, but remember to not just go crazy on meat, ensure you’re including lots of veggie protein sources to keep the microbiome happy.
Supplement sensibly – there are thousands of supplements on the market claiming to ‘boost your immunity’, but don’t just pop things willy-nilly, more isn’t necessarily better. Think about what your body actually needs. Are you trying to reduce inflammation? Are you trying to prevent catching a virus? Are you unable to recover from an illness? Certain supplements have been shown to help support the immune system, notably vitamin D and vitamin C. I always recommend my clients to get their vitamin D checked as about 90% of the UK population are deficient in winter. It’s generally safe to supplement between 600-1000iu of vitamin D daily, and about 1000-2000mg of vitamin C daily. For specific supplement needs it’s best to work with a qualified nutritional therapist (like me!!)
This is just a teensy snap shot of supportive ideas to help your immunity. Please get in touch to join my next online ‘Support your immunity naturally’ workshop