5 tips for supporting immune health

5 tips for supporting immune health

Our health is one of the most important things we have. Now, more than ever, it has never been so crucial to care and nourish ourselves. Pandemics aside, everyone benefits from a strong immune system. 

Consume antioxidant wholefoods

Our immune system relies on nutrient-dense whole foods to function correctly. In particular, polyphenol-rich foods, like berries and pomegranates, which are anti-inflammatory, reducing histamine levels, to reduce the infection time of a cold or flu. These polyphenols also contain potent antioxidants such as vitamin C and Vitamin E to reduce free radical damage to the body.

Get plenty of sleep

Sleep deprivation may reduce the body’s natural anti-inflammatory responses to infection. When we snooze, the body repairs and restores the immune system. Aiming for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, helps our immune system to function optimally, for protection against unwanted pathogens.

Reduce sugar intake

Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in our gut, this means pathogens stay longer and can multiply. This may lead to poor gut health and low counts of good bacteria. This in turn may result in a suppressed immune system. Eating an abundance of health unprocessed foods will help to nourish and heal our gut. 

The sunshine vitamin

Vitamin D comes from sun exposure, though too much can cause skin cancers. Vitamin D is vital for strengthening our immunity and protecting against viral infections. Many Aussies are vitamin D deficient, so rule of thumb, 10 minutes in Summer, 15-20 minutes in Spring and Autumn and 30 minutes of sun exposure in Winter. Or, supplement as directed by your healthcare practitioner. 

Consume healthy fats

Acute inflammation is the normal response to an injury or stress, though chronic inflammation can suppress our immune system. Healthy fats are anti-inflammatory, particularly olive and avocado oils, as well as omega-3s, found in fish and flaxseed oil. These healthy fats protect against cell damage and allow our immune system to function at its best. 

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Danny Urbinder

Danny Urbinder is a qualified naturopath and lecturer. He has been passionate about complementary and integrative medicine for over 25 years.

As a qualified naturopath who graduated from the Southern School of Natural Medicine, Danny lectured in Nutritional Biochemistry at the Australian College of Natural Medicine for many years. He also worked in functional pathology at Australian Reference Laboratories as Technical Services and State Manager.

For 15 years, since 2005, Danny worked at BioCeuticals as Director of Education and Director of Clinical Services. In 2012 he created and headed up FX Medicine, an online education platform bringing together education, research news and stories, to provide a high-quality reference source for those seeking evidence-based information on complementary and integrative medicine.