There are a lot of different things that you might start looking for when the weather turns colder. You know that this is a time of year where you’re more likely to get sick, so you look for ways to help support your immune system. This might mean stocking up on the ingredients for your favourite chicken soup recipe. Or perhaps your go to is citrus fruit, or tea and honey. These things do help to an extent, but our immune system is complex and needs more than just one type of food or nutrient to function optimally. Let us learn several ways on how to support our immune system from the best naturopaths near Ballarat and Bendigo.
Truthfully, there are a wide variety of factors that need to be in balance for your immune system to function optimally. You need to eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients, get sufficient sleep, adequate exercise, and to have low levels of stress.
What Weakens Your Immune System
Some of the things that can have a negative impact on your immune system include:
- Exposure to environmental toxins.
- Excess weight, which is associated with increased inflammation which impairs immune cell function.
- A diet that is low in one or more nutrients needed for optimal immune function.
- Chronic inflammation, especially in the gut, which negatively impacts immune function.
- Insufficient sleep and/or rest.
- Advanced age.
The first major thing you can do to help support your immune health begins before you fall ill. Eating a diet rich in a wide variety of nutrients is essential for the health and function of your entire body, including your immune system. The different stages of your body’s immune response each depend on a wide variety of different nutrients being present.
There isn’t really a single food or nutrient that is a magic bullet for the immune system. For example, eating a lot of oranges or taking a vitamin C supplement won’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick. There are nutrients that are known to support the production and function of immune cells. These nutrients include protein, iron, selenium, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C.
Deficiencies in the following nutrients can also have a negative impact on the body’s immune response: iron, copper, folic acid, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B6, selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and vitamin D.
Herbal Support For Your Immune System
There are some herbs that are known to be beneficial for the immune system and are often included in cold and flu support supplements that you can get over-the-counter, including echinacea, horseradish, garlic, elderberry, and green tea.
Keep in mind that the level of the herbs in an over-the-counter supplement are at a lower level than what is used in a practitioner only supplement. A Naturopath will also be able to give you more specific advice about herbal support following a consultation as the best support for you will depend on your personal health journey.
Have a chat with the best naturopaths near Ballarat and Bendigo to discuss more about supporting your immune system.