The term “survival of the fittest” can take on a whole new meaning once the temperature drops, as those susceptible to bugs and flu’s drop like flies. Why is it that some people get sick and some do not? Is it as simple as eating some different types of food, or not getting caught out in the cold without a jumper? While your nutrition does play a vital role in optimal immune functioning, your head may too be just as powerful in keeping the colds and flu away, for good.
What you eat
The immune system, like the body’s other major systems is extremely complex. It is not a matter of eating one or two specific types of food to ensure your body is strong enough to fend itself from all the bugs but rather making sure that you eat the right things on a day-to-day basis to have the right things around to fight off any nasties that come your way. It is the body’s inability to generate bug-fighting cells, from an insufficiency of energy or key nutrients that hampers its ability to fight infection. Specifically, the powerful antioxidants Vitamin C, A and E are crucial, as is zinc and the long chain polyunsaturated fats found in oily fish, nuts and whole grain breads and cereal foods.
A common mistake people make with their diets that results in a poorly functioning immune system is eating very well some of the time, while letting it go others times. This is the reason that people often get sick not long after they change their diets; go partying for a few days, over exercise or when they lose weight. It is during these times that you are not eating the range of foods needed to give the body all of the key nutrients it needs to repair and regenerate damaged cells in the body. While we do need to live, focusing on some key nutrient rich foods in your diet most of the time will help to prevent this immune depleted state. Simply being aware of the powerful nature of these foods can help you to add them to your diet whenever you can. And for times when the nutrition may not be so great, try added a nutrient rich vegetable juice to at least give you an antioxidant boost whenever you are.
Daily immune fighting foods
Garlic, ginger and chili added to stir fries, roasted
Deeply coloured fruits including berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, oranges, kiwi fruits
Broccoli, red capsicum, carrots