Nutrients for our immune system

As we're slowly getting out and about, it’s crucial to take care of our immune system. Remember, it's your best friend and you want to keep feeding it a variety of colourful and nutrient-dense foods, to be sure it won't let you down. Our bodies respond really quickly to positive change, so it’s never too late to adopt a healthy and tasty diet!

How to fuel your overall wellbeing 

Aim for the following as part of your daily routine:

  • fresh air 
  • exercise (even just 10 to 15 minutes)
  • good quality sleep (aim for seven hours minimum)
  • a break from your computer (several times a day)

I know it can be hard to keep up, but now more than ever we need to take care of ourselves and our wellbeing.

Previously, I've mentioned the importance of zinc, vitamin C and selenium, but there are a few more critical nutrients we need to include in out diets.

Essential nutrients

One of my favourites, the beautiful Curcumin, found in turmeric, is a great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant spice. Its bright orange colour will lift up your mood just by looking at it! Add it to any of your dishes including soups, omelettes, stews, even in your chai tea. It’s available in powder or fresh, in which case you need to grate it.

My advice: mix it with a bit of fat to make sure you receive all of its nutritional benefits.

Quercetin is a flavonoid (antioxidant) that has beneficial immune-stimulatory effects and anti-inflammatory properties. The flavonoid can be found in many fruits and vegetables including:

  • apples
  • berries
  • brassica
  • capers
  • grapes
  • onions 
  • shallots

Buy fresh when you can at your local fresh market or corner shop. If you don’t have access to fresh foods you can always use frozen foods (check the ingredients to make sure there aren’t any added sugar or salt).

Vitamin A, (1,2) found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products but also in fruits, vegetables (leafy green vegetables & orange and yellow vegetables), and other plant-based products, is really important for our immune system and supports vision and heart health.

Last but not least, we are all deficient in vitamin D and we know our immune system depends on it. Try and access 10 minutes of daily sunshine to get natural vitamin D. It is hard to find in our food, so you might want to consider speaking to your doctor for a good supplement.

Eating a variety of foods and a balanced diet is the key to feeding your immune system the necessary nutrients, and helping your gut microbiome grow the good bugs. Use spices and herbs to add colours and flavours to your dishes, have fruit salads, they’re beautiful, tasty and nutrient-dense. Be sure to drink plenty of water - add some fresh mint or fresh lime juice to make it enjoyable. Eating healthy should be pleasurable!

References

1. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-Consumer/

2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-a/

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Huguette Lelong - Qualified Nutritionist - Global & Realistic Approach

I grew up in France and have travelled a lot. I’ve always been curious about local tastes, ingredients, and dishes but my focus has always been around health, whole, and tasty food.
I studied nutrition in Sydney, Australia where I earned an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine.
Because I consider each of my clients to be unique, I provide personalised solutions including pr… Read more

Written by Huguette Lelong - Qualified Nutritionist - Global & Realistic Approach

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