No on wants to see any member of their family get sick. Getting sick is a fact of life, but there is a lot that you can do to try to minimize you and your family’s risk. As with most things health related there are plenty of diet and lifestyle changes you can make to help support the immune system.
Easy Ways to Help Support Your Immune System
Foods to Eat
- Sweet Potato and Squash- High in beta-carotene, which is the precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A has recently been researched and has shown to be promising against viral respiratory infection. Vitamin A however is fat soluble and there are risks associated with taking too much. The risk of taking too much does not apply to beta carotene
- Leafy Greens- Are high in nutrients but have also been shown to be beneficial for the immune cells located in the gut.
- Berries- Good source of Vitamin C. They also contain many antioxidants which helps the body mount a proper immune response
- Avocados- Source of healthy fat and many vitamins and minerals. They are a source of glutathione, which is nature’s most abundant antioxidant
- Garlic- Has antibacterial and antiviral properties
- Ginger- Strong antioxidant, has antiviral properties
Foods to Limit
- Sugar- Reduces the ability of the immune system to respond to foreign invaders
- Alcohol- Reduces immune response and disrupts REM sleep which further contributes to lowered immunity
- Refined Carbs- White bread, pasta etc. These are quickly converted to sugar in the body and have the same effects
- Bone Broth- Helps to reduce inflammation, heal the lining in the gut and is an easily accessible source of minerals and amino acids. Bone broth is also great to have on hand in case you do become sick
- Vitamin C- The Most popular vitamin for the immune system. Works as an antioxidant to protect the body from reactive oxygen species that are generated by immune cells when they kill pathogens. It also may help to protect those immune cells so that they are better able to do their valuable work
- Vitamin D- The sunshine vitamin also has a large role in immune function. Having a deficiency is associated with an increased risk of developing an infection. Vitamin D is fat soluble and can be toxic in large doses, so it is best to only do larger doses under the direction of your medical professional
- Zinc- Is especially helpful for viral infections. Research has shown people who are deficient in zinc are more susceptible to infections. Zinc helps to control infections by modulating the inflammatory response to pathogens from getting too large which can be quite damaging
- Probiotic- Helps to maintain diversity in your microflora which is protective against infections
- Sleep! - When we are not getting enough sleep, it reduces the effectiveness of our immune systems. Even 1-2 nights of disrupted sleep are enough to have an impact. Focus on going to bed earlier than usual in cold and flu season.
I also want to mention, that it goes without saying that proper handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick. Hands must be washed before you eat and should be washed when you get home. Be sure to scrub with soap for 20 seconds. Antibacterial soap is not necessary, any soap will do! You can sing Happy Birthday to yourself while you wash to help you time.
If your hands are dried out either from frequent washing, or winter, I would recommend our Hand Lotion. It was formulated, with the help of nurses, to be fast absorbing but very moisturizing!
What is your favorite trick to keep your family healthy? Post below
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