As we head into winter, looking after our health couldn’t be more important.
We can all choose to stay as positive as possible and make decisions within our control that help support our immune system. In order to find out how to best support our immune system Dr Matt Stacey, Osteopath here at NCO, asked local Carlton North naturopath Kate Smyth (@katesmythsportsnaturopath) to give us some general tips on ways we can support the immune system through dietary and lifestyle choices.
Top Tips for Optimising Immunity
1. Maintain a balanced wholefoods diet. Maximise what’s needed for your immune system and limit the processed foods.
2. Consume foods rich in vitamin C (think red capsicum, kiwi, berries, spinach, parsley and citrus) on a daily basis.
3. Consume foods rich in zinc (think pumpkin seeds, fresh local seafood, lean organic meats and legumes) on a daily basis.
4. Vitamin E and D play immune modulation roles. Exposing your unprotected skin to direct sunshine for 15-20 minutes daily will help boost vitamin D levels. You will find vitamin E in a handful of nuts and seeds (such as sunflower seeds).
5. Shiitake and reishi mushrooms and green tea are also supportive for the immune system.
6. Look after your gut health with pre and probiotic-rich foods (think fibre and fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, kombucha, and quality yogurt).
7. Include immune-supporting and antibacterial herbs and spices in your cooking. Turmeric, ginger, Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), Cayenne peppers, garlic, horseradish, parsley and thyme are all good choices.
8. Obtain adequate sleep – at least 8 hours per night. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of picking up infections.
9. Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest. Stress heightens cortisol which in turn smashes your infection-fighting cells. Include relaxing activities such as reading and creative activities you enjoy on a daily basis.
10. Keep your exercise balanced. Overtraining can make you more susceptible to infection and may weaken the immune system.
Kate Smyth’s (@katesmythsportsnaturopath) full blog along with a great e-recipe book is available via the link in her Bio –
By Dr.Matt Stacey – Osteopath at North Carlton Osteopathy