Stock up on the right foods and supplements to boost your immune system for colds and flu’s.

PREVENTION IS IMPORTANT

You can make choices now to help your immune system fight off the viruses and bacteria that we will be encountering the next few months.

USE THE RIGHT VITAMINS

Of course everybody knows that Vitamin C is the first choice to stimulate the immune systems.  Food sources are: colourful fruits and vegetables because they contain the most vitamin C content.  Other sources are sweet potatoes, peppers and papayas.

Vitamin D is also very beneficial for our immune systems.  Studies have shown that Vitamin D can strengthen our immunity to infections due to the Vitamin D receptors on our cells found in the immune system.  Therefore it plays a key role in the immune system cells.  Some food sources are fish, egg yolks, but the best source of Vitamin D is still the sun.

Vitamin B’s are the vitamins the immune system uses for protection.  B6 in particular plays a role in biochemical reactions involving cells of the immune system.  Food sources of B6 are chickpeas, lean chicken, bananas and tuna.

Zinc is an essential trace element mineral that affects nearly all body processes.  Dietary sources are oysters, poultry, whole grains, beans and nuts.

Selenium is essential micronutrient for optimal immune function.  Foods that contain selenium are brazil nuts, fish, poultry and grains.

5 EASY TIPS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

  1.  Raise your heart rate.  A 20 minute workout three times a week increases your white blood cells.
  2. Get enough sleep.  A minimum of seven hours per night is protective to your immune system and leaves you less vulnerable to becoming run down and prone to infections.
  3. Balance your stress.  A constant state of stress causes imbalances in cortisol.  Cortisol plays a role in white blood cell production and overall immune function. 
  4. Wash your hands.  30 seconds of washing your hands with soap and water will reduce bacteria on the hands.
  5. Water, Water, Water.  The winter months are when we become the most dehydrated.  Be sure to drink lots of water or eat fruits and vegetables that are high in water content.  Remember that tea and coffee are very dehydrating so you need to drink more water if you consume a lot of these drinks.

It is very easy to keep your immune system healthy and working in great condition, eating, sleeping and exercise are the key targets to do this.

Submitted by Gwen Cottingham, Registered Nutritionist, g.cottingham@hotmail.com   905-778-9998

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