If our immune system isn’t strong enough, you’re at a higher risk and have a greater chance of getting sick. Now more than ever, it is critical that we consume a healthy and nutritious diet to ensure that we are receiving all nutrients to help us maintain strong immune systems, to reduce our chance and risk of contracting any type of virus or infection.
Important things to promote better immunity include:
- Manage and reduce stress and anxiety. This can lead to elevated cortisol levels which can suppress the immune system.
- Rest and recover- Have quality sleeps, around 7-8 hours per night. If we have limited hours of sleep it can lead to elevated cortisol levels which can suppress the immune system.
- Exercise regularly. This works to reduce stress and improve mood.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet
Keys to a healthy diet that nourish you from the inside and promote better gut health:
- Fruits and vegetables (frozen or fresh)
- High quality proteins (poultry, fish, red meat, etc.)
- Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado and omega 3’s
- Include foods with vitamin C, such as citrus, capsicums and strawberries
- Avoid excess alcohol, processed and high sugar foods
- Stay hydrated
Around 70-80% of the immune system is located in the gut, so you will notice many of the foods listed are also important for our gut integrity and function. Other foods that can promote better gut health include; probiotics, prebiotics (indigestible fibres), fibre-filled foods and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut.
Overall, all of these points are important as part of a regular healthy diet and lifestyle, however now more than ever it’s that we include these practices to give our body the best tools and nutrients to build and maintain a good immune system, and we know a poor diet, high stress and poor sleep can negatively impact it.