This month, we are taking a look at how you can support your body’s natural defences. With winter approaching and ‘Swine Flu’ (H1N1) spreading, now is the ideal time to take steps to support your immune system through good nutrition and lifestyle.Louis Pasteur spent his life studying ‘germ theory’. However, in his final days he made a famous quote, “
Le germe n'est rien, c'est le terrain qui est tout.” (The germ is nothing, the terrain is everything.) He had concluded that it was the ‘terrain’ or the ‘environment’ which mattered most – if we keep our immune systems strong, we are better equipped to fight off infections.
So what can you do to keep your immune system in top form this winter?
Look after your gut
Did you know that 80% of the cells which make up the immune system are situated in and around the gut?
Top up your vitamin D levels
Much more research is coming to light as to the importance of vitamin D on immunity. Vitamin D is produced through the action of sunlight on the skin. This may be a contributing factor as to why we are more prone to infections and lower mood in the winter.
Eat a well balanced healthy diet
Good nutrition plays a big role in supporting a healthy immune system.
Engage in moderate exercise
Getting the right amount of exercise is important for immune health. Too little, or even too much can have an impact.
Get enough sleep
Adequate sleep is important for maintaining proper immune function. Sleep can be effected by a number factors such as stress, hormone issues, nutrient deficiences or even the food choices you make through the day.
We have all probably heard of ‘stress induced illnesses’ and the reality is stress really can lower our defenses.
Consider herbal support
There are a range of herbal supplements which have been shown to support immunity.
At Key Nutrition, Elspeth can provide you with a nutritional programme targeted at immune support, including the use of specialist supplements.
*If you are over 60, over weight or have not exercised for some time, please consult your GP before starting an exercise regime.