Boosting Your Immune System Naturally

Author: Claire Andrews   Date Posted:5 June 2017 

It’s that time of year again!  As we head into winter and the days shorten and temperatures drop, our bodies can require some extra nourishment in order to ward off those coughs and sniffles that we just don’t have time for.  Boost your immune system with the following tips so that you can enjoy the winter period and all it brings.

Avoid sugar – Sugar has a detrimental effect on immune function, and has been found to suppress immune system activity for up to five hours after ingestion.

Gut health  - 70% of the immune system resides in the gut, so a healthy digestive system equals a healthy immune system.  Include probiotic foods in your diet such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, or kombucha, or take a good quality high potency probiotic supplement.

Herbal medicine is a powerful ally for a strong immune system.  At Sunnybrook we have several herbal formulas which can be of benefit.  Kiwiherb Childrens Echinacture , Kiwiherb Immune Guard, and Fusion Astra8 are fantastic options for winter immunity.

Rest and reduce stress.  Winter is yin time – a time for going within, restoring and recharging.  When we don’t slow down, sleep more and embrace this season and instead continue full steam ahead with too much yang energy, commitments and activities, our body often will bring us back into balance by succumbing to an infection which forces us to rest.

Increase fruits and vegetables –this will of course improve your antioxidant and overall nutrient intake, therefore strengthening and fortifying the immune system for winter.   Warming soups and slow cooked stews are a great way of getting in extra vegetables as the weather gets cooler.  Focus on foods such as spinach, broccoli, pumpkin, carrots, blueberries and kiwifruit.

Get outside whenever the sun peaks through and soak up some Vitamin D.  As well as boosting your mood, your immune system will receive a boost too.

It can be helpful to supplement with specific immune boosting nutrients over winter.  Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin D can be of particular benefit.  Visit our friendly Naturopaths at the Sunnybrook Dispensary for advice on which supplements are best for you and your families immunity over the winter period.

Claire Andrews

(Naturopath, Medical Herbalist and Reiki healer)

References:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Role of Sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/11/1180.abstract


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