A good foundation to a healthy immune system is going to be fueled by what you put you into it. Green leafy vegetables, fruits and regular hydration will go a long way to keep yourself healthy. Overall you want to aim for eating a health balanced diet that is similar to the mediterranean diet with a focus on Omega 3 rich foods. More needs to be understood in how Omega-3 diets help to regulate the immune system. Preliminary evidence suggests that they do have a positive effect on our immune system but more research is needed to understand this area better. Below you will find tips on supplementation that will help to boost your immune system for you and your loved ones.
Vitamin D: A dose of sunshine
The sunshine vitamin has been found to help us boost our immune system. This is why there were recommendations during the pandemic to ensure that we had adequate levels of Vitamin D. This is especially important for us living in Edmonton as during the winter we do not get much exposure to sunshine which helps with the natural production of Vitamin D. If you have a little one at home it would be best to discuss with their pediatrician or pharmacist on what would be an appropriate amount of Vitamin D as milk is fortified with it. For adults the upper limit for Vitamin D is 4000 IU because above these levels we are more susceptible to forming gallstones.
Echinacea: Flower Power
Echinacea is a herbal product that is thought to boost the immune system. Some of the results in regards to it are a bit mixed. For example, while it does not show that it necessarily decreases the length of the common cold there is some belief based on evidence that taking it on a daily basis as a preventative rather than as a treatment may help to make the immune system stronger to help fight off any potential infections.
Vitamin C: Eat your Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C can be an important tool in our belt to also promote a healthy functioning immune system. Like Echiniciea it is not the cure for the common cold but it can help promote the overall health of the immune system and prevent more serious complications occurring such as the progression of an infection into pneumonia. The best source of vitamin C will be through your diet by eating such fruits such as Oranges, Kiwi’s and Tomatoes. This is because often these fruits will have other healthy nutrients as well as fiber that will provide a positive impact on our overall health. This is why lemons are thought to have such a positive impact on our immune system because they provide us with a large dose of Vitamin C without all the extra sugar.
A spoonful of honey!
Honey has been shown to have antimicrobial properties and also provide a bump to the immune system. Whether that bump in our immune system translates into less infections is something that needs to be further studied. Although much more research is needed in this area it has also been shown to help as a natural cough suppressant as well. Generally regarded as safe it is only indicated for ages 1 and up as it can cause botulism in patients less than 1.
Overall the best things you can do in regards to ensuring you have a healthy immune system is to eat a healthy diet, keep well hydrated, exercise regularly, meditation as well ensuring that you get a full night’s rest. There are a variety of factors that have an effect on our immune system and the key will be not to focus on just one aspect but to live a balanced life in all areas to help boost our immune system.