Eat more fermented foods or take a high-quality probiotic
Up to 70% of your immune system stems from your gut, so it’s important to look after it. Fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt, kombucha and sauerkraut are rich in beneficial bacteria or probiotics. These bacteria are able to maintain the integrity of your gut, boost your immune system and help produce some essential vitamins! If you haven’t jumped on the fermented food bandwagon just yet, then taking a broad-spectrum probiotic is another great option.
Get your vitamin D checked
Vitamin D is involved in regulating your immune system. Research has shown vitamin D supplementation (when indicated) can help boost immunity and prevent illness. The greatest source of vitamin D is from the sun and not from food. But many of us have office jobs and lather ourselves in sunscreen to protect against sun damage when outside which blocks vitamin
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Focus on zinc-rich foods or take a supplement
Zinc is involved in cellular repair and renewal and is a key component of your immune system. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, lamb, beef, nuts, seeds and cacao. Zinc supplements can also be an option if you are deficient or you need an extra boost.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Aiming for seven to nine hours of consistent, deep sleep each night is grossly underestimated and often overlooked. Just a few nights of poor sleep can compromise your immune system significantly and leave you more susceptible to the ever-lingering office cold …
Manage your stress
When you’re stressed, stress hormones such as cortisol become dysregulated. This results in a compromised immune system. Implementing daily stress management strategies such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga are significant steps in the right direction.
Try some medicinal mushrooms
Some examples of medicinal mushrooms include reishi, cordyceps, maitake, trametes, shiitake, zhu ling and fu ling. These aren’t the typical varieties found at the supermarket but are available as supplements which contain concentrated amounts of their active compounds. These have immune-modulating effects and can also help promote lung health, regulate blood sugar, and help you manage stress.
Boost your vitamin C intake
Citrus, leafy greens or a high-quality vitamin C supplement can make a significant difference to both preventing and treating illness. Vitamin C supports your immune system by allowing it to function optimally and also plays a role in mitigating stress in the body.
Natalie Bourke, a holistic dietitian and nutritionist at BioCeuticals. Natalie is also a certified fitness instructor, speaker and presenter.