We will always encourage a nutritious lifestyle, but now more than ever should we consider how we’re aiding our health and immune system in particular.
There is an overwhelming amount of information about nutrition, and even more specifically regarding immunity and flu season. We’ve scoured several resources and put together some key points for you to consider with your shopping list, cooking choices and peace of mind you’re doing everything you can.
First, it’s key to understand how nutrients, macro, micro and meso, work together in our bodies and how what you do contributes to the beautiful collaboration between them all.
Food is nourishment
The human body is made up of about 50 trillion cells (whaaaaat?!) and they are constantly in a cycle of replication, repair and death. These cells are required for basic and fundamental processes, but also optimal health and wellbeing to exist, and without adequate nutrients some of the most basic processes are compromised.
Every second, there are billions of biochemical reactions taking place within you. These reactions involve the conversion of one substance to another, and micronutrients are required for these conversions to occur.
It will serve you well to consider food as a source of nourishment, embrace it and understand it as best you can.
Macronutrients give us energy and micronutrients allow us to utilise the energy from the macros. What’s special about micronutrients, is that they are so named as only a small amount is required to do wonders.
Here, in particular, we’re celebrating the micros that assist with our immunity and detoxifying the body (anti-oxidants).
Vitamin A. Required to keep your mouth, throat and lungs moist (important during this time). Find it:
- Meat and fish
- Sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin (note a theme in red/orange vegetables)
- Dark green leafy vegetables (kale, chard, spinach)
- Fortified milk, cheese, cream, eggs
Vitamin C. A legend of the Vitamin group, it is critical for collagen throughout your body, and cannot be produced or stored by the body. Find it:
- Berries, Kiwi Fruit, Lemon, Guava & Citrus fruits
- Capsicums, Kale, parsley, broccoli, brussel sprouts
Vitamin E. A remarkable little vitamin, it contributes significantly to our skin health, but does by the regeneration and contribution to cell growth, which conveniently also assists the immune system and form antibodies combating infection. Find it:
- Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Peanuts
- Spinach, Broccoli
Zinc. According the European Journal of Immunology, the human body requires Zinc to activate T-Cells, which help control and regulate immune responses and attack infected cells. Find it:
- Oysters (from clean waters)
- Pumpkin and Sunflower seeds
- Red meat
Selenium. Not only containing antioxidant properties, it boosts our immunological response against bacterial and viral infections. Find it:
- Brazil Nuts - seriously, you only need about 3-6 a day to get your daily dose
Iodine. Critical to the wellbeing of our thyroid gland and hormones, if lacking it can directly lead to poor immunity (among other things). Find it:
- Salt (Himalayan pink salt and Celtic sea salt)
- Seaweeds, including kelp and nori
The newer kids on the block.
Mesonutrients. These are the active components found within superfoods. One you will know, is the mesonutrient that makes turmeric so magical… curcumin.
The one you should become familiar with for your immune system is Anthocyanins, which are found in naturally purple foods like blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, purple sweet potato and some red foods including cherries, acai, cranberries and pomegranate, and the lesser known and found Aronia Berry (chokeberry). These mesonutrients act as antioxidants offering anti-viral benefits, and studies have shown the aronia berry acts specifically against the influenza.
We're lovers of all micronutrients but in this climate, we're promoting a couple of highlights, below.
Magnesium. It’s impossible to undervalue the benefits of Magnesium, from bone health, better energy, and balanced electrolytes to boosted nervous system functioning. A powdered magnesium supplement (Ethical Nutrients) taken as a drink supplement, can considerably improve your resting state and sleep. In times like this, we need to lower our nervous energy, and this is an easily absorbed method.
Vitamin D. AKA the happy vitamin, Vitamin D plays a big role in the production of serotonin, a hormone that promotes positive feelings in our brains. Although, we’re limited at the moment, try and find a moment in some morning or late afternoon sunshine to boost your happy vitamin levels.
NB: We are not medical professionals and the information provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. The information and materials on this Site are made available on the understanding that they do not constitute professional or expert advice.